Hemorrhoids and anal fissures in inflammatory bowel disease

S D'Ugo, E Stasi, A L Gaspari, P Sileri
Minerva Gastroenterologica e Dietologica 2015, 61 (4): 223-33
Perianal disease is a common complication of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). It includes different conditions from more severe and potentially disabling ones, such as abscesses and fistulas, to more benign conditions such as hemorrhoids, skin tags and fissures. Most literature has been focused on anal sepsis and fistulae, as they carry the majority of disease burden and often alter the natural course of the disease. Hemorrhoids and anal fissures in patients with IBD have been overlooked, although they can represent a challenging problem. The management of hemorrhoids and fissures in IBD patients may be difficult and may significantly differ compared to the non-affected population. Historically surgery was firmly obstructed, and hemorrhoidectomy or sphincterotomy in patients with associated diagnosis of IBD was considered harmful, although literature data is scant and based on small series. Various authors reported an incidence of postoperative complications higher in IBD than in the general populations, with potential severe events. Considering that a spontaneous healing is possible, the first line management should be a medical therapy. In patients non-responding to conservative measures it is possible a judicious choice of surgical options on a highly selective basis; this can lead to acceptable results, but the risk of possible complications needs to be considered. In this review it is analyzed the current literature on the incidence, symptoms and treatment options of hemorrhoids and anal fissures in patients with Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis.

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