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30 Lesions of the anus also, when they do not yield to medicaments, require the aid of surgery.[p. 463] If, therefore, any fissure has persisted so long that it has become hard and callous, it is best to move the bowels by a clyster, then apply a hot sponge to soften the fissures and cause them to protrude. When brought into view each is excised and made into a fresh wound; then soft lint is put on and over this a pad smeared with honey, and all is covered with soft wool, fixed by a bandage; on the next and following days all the other emollient medicaments are to be used, which I said above, were required by such lesions when recent, and for the first few days at any rate the patient must live on fluids; then some food is gradually added, but of the class prescribed in the same passage. If however any pus arises in these fissures as the result of inflammation, as soon as it becomes evident, it is to be cut into, lest the anus itself suppurate. But this must not be done hastily, for if cut before it matures the inflammation is very much increased, and pus is somewhat more freely formed. Here too a light diet and emollient dressings are necessary. The tumours, which are called condylomata, when hardened are treated by the following method. First of all the bowel is clystered; then the tumour is seized with a forceps close to its roots and cut away. After this, the same course of treatment is followed as that described above; only if there is any excrescence it is repressed by copper scales. The mouths of veins which discharge blood are removed as follows. When any patient is losing[p. 465] blood, fasting is indicated, and a rather severe clystering of the bowel, to make the openings more prominent, and thus what may be called the little heads of the veins all come into view. Then if a head is very small and has a thin base it must be tied by a flax thread, a little above where it joins the anus. A sponge squeezed out of hot water is next to be applied until it becomes livid, then with a finger-nail or scalpel it is to be scratched off above the knot. Unless this is done great pain follows, and sometimes even difficulty in urinating. If the head is larger and the base broader, it is seized by one or two hooks, and an incision made a little above the base; in doing this nothing of the head should be left nor anything taken away from the anus. This is accomplished by not drawing upon the hooks either too much or too little. When the incision has been made, a pin should be passed through, and under the pin the head is tied round with a linen thread. If there are two or three, the lowest must be dealt with first; if more, they are not all treated at once, to avoid having tender scars in several places at once. If there is bleeding, it is taken up in a sponge; then lint is put on, the thighs and groins anointed, as well as the parts near the wound; over it is applied a cerate and a poultice of barley meal, and this part must be filled up with soft wool and then bandaged. The next day, the patient should sit in hot water and after that have the same poultice applied. Twice a day, before and after the operation, the necks and thighs are to be anointed with a liquid cerate; and the patient must be kept in a warm room. After five or six days, the bits of linen are removed[p. 467] by the aid of an earscoop. If the little heads do not come away at the same time, they are to be removed by the finger; then by the same soothing medicaments which I have described above, the wounds are healed up. After the trouble has been ended I have already noted elsewhere what must be done.
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