Fissures can be excruciatingly uncomfortable and adversely disturb your daily routine. There are cases where it is seen to be recurring every six months (chronic fissures) and this can be quite frustrating. However, one can avoid such a condition once and for all in several ways. And we’re here to talk about it. 

Before we get into fissure healing and its different stages let’s get a thorough overview of the condition itself. 

What is a fissure? 

A tear in the lining of the anus (the entrance where faecal matter is discharged) is known as an anal fissure. The tear usually extends into the internal anal sphincter (a circular ring of muscle). If the fissure has been present for less than six weeks, it is classified as acute, and if it has been present for more than six weeks, it is classified as chronic.

When a fissure forms, the internal anal sphincter usually spasms, causing the tear to widen, even more, restricting blood supply to the area, prolonging healing, and creating excruciating pain.

Symptoms of anal fissures 

Anal fissures are characterized by severe pain that begins with stool passage. This discomfort might last anywhere from a few minutes to several hours. Other signs and symptoms include:

  • Bloody stools 
  • A small lump or skin tag on the skin near the anal fissure 

Treatments for fissure healing 

Approximately 90% of anal fissures heal with home remedies, while 40% of long-term anal fissures recover with surgical treatment. In general, if the anal fissure does not heal after 4-5 weeks of home cures or medicines, you should seek medical advice.

The severity of this condition determines the fissure healing stages which range from home remedies to over-the-counter medicines and ointments to surgery if nothing else works. 

Let’s go over each of these fissures’ healing stages one by one.

Home remedies 

Home remedies can be used to cure short-term anal fissures. 9 out of 10 acute fissures (short-term) are reported to be curable with home treatments.

Uncomplicated anal fissures can be treated at home by increasing fibre intake, using stool softeners, and drinking more water. In addition, sitz baths and a local anesthetic may be used to ease pain.

Medications 

When a patient’s symptoms do not respond to home remedies, a doctor may prescribe a variety of medications to help relieve your symptoms and allow your anal fissure to heal. Some of the common medications prescribed by doctors are given below.  – 

  • Lavitives 
  • Botulinum toxin injections
  • Calcium channel blockers
  • Glyceryl trinitrate
  • Painkillers

A few weeks after starting your treatment, you may have a follow-up appointment. This will allow your doctor to see if your fissure has healed or is improving sufficiently.

Surgery 

If your anal fissure is especially severe or does not respond to treatment after eight weeks, you may need to see a colorectal surgeon, a doctor who specializes in the rectum and anal conditions. This usually necessitates some form of surgery.

Anal fissures can be treated with a variety of surgical methods. It is widely regarded as the most effective treatment for anal fissures, with over 9 out of 10 persons reporting positive long-term outcomes. It does, however, come with a slight risk of complications which your healthcare provider will discuss with you. 

Frequency Asked Questions

How do you know if a fissure is healing?

Even if you have experienced some fissure healing symptoms like reduced or even no pain,  and the absence of blood in the stool. Healing can only be confirmed by your doctor. 

What promotes fissure healing? 

Increasing your fiber and fluid consumption to keep your stool soft can promote fissure healing. Besides that, soaking for 10 to 20 minutes in warm water many times a day, especially after bowel motions, can help relax the sphincter and also promote healing.

Can you have an anal fissure without anal bleeding? 

A stool that hurts but doesn’t bleed is a sign of chronic anal fissure. 

How many days does a fissure take to heal?

Anal fissures normally heal within a few weeks (2-4 weeks), however, if you have chronic fissures it might take more than 4–6 weeks.

If you are someone who is suffering from this condition or suspect you might have it, don’t hesitate to reach out. Ayu Health hospitals in Bangalore, Chandigarh, Jaipur and Delhi NCR can offer you the best treatment possible for a smooth healing process. Call us at +91 – 6366 100 800 for a consultation or book an appointment online today. 

About the Author

Dr. Suresh Babu D
Dr. Suresh Babu D
MBBS, MS (General Surgery), DNB (Surgical Gastroenterology) at AyuHealth | Website

Dr. Suresh Babu D  is a renowned Internal Medicine Specialist currently practicing at Ayu Health Hospital, Bangalore.  He is a Specialist in GastroIntestinal Surgeon, Laparoscopic Surgeon, and Colorectal Surgeon. Having been trained in one of the largest super-specialty centre, have vast experience in managing gastrointestinal and hepato-pancreato-biliary diseases