Fissures can be excruciatingly uncomfortable and adversely disturb your daily routine. There are cases where they recur every six months (chronic fissures), and this can be quite frustrating.
However, you can avoid such a condition once and for all in several ways. And we’re here to tell you how.
Before we get into the stages of fissure healing, 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’s classified as acute. And if it has been present for more than six weeks, it’s considered chronic.
When a fissure forms, the internal anal sphincter usually spasms, causing the tear to widen. Even worse, if blood supply is restricted to the area, it will prolong healing and cause 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.
How To Heal Anal Fissures?
You can heal anal fissures by letting them heal by themselves. However, there are certain treatments that can speed up the healing process.
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.
1. Home Remedies To Heal a Fissure
Home remedies can be used to cure short-term anal fissures. Nine 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 anaesthetic may be used to ease the pain.
2. Medications To Heal a Fissure
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.
- Botulinum toxin injections
- Calcium channel blockers
- Glyceryl trinitrate
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.
If your anal fissure is especially severe or doesn’t respond to treatment after eight weeks, you may need to see a colorectal surgeon — a doctor who specializes in 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 nine 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.
Complications in Anal Fissure Healing
According to a 2013 study, medical and surgical treatment of anal fissures may come with some complications. Below is a list of some complications in anal fissure healing.
With medical treatment:
- Faecal soiling (involuntary passing of stool)
- Flatus incontinence (sensation of a full rectum, despite the lack of stool).
With surgical treatment:
- Haematoma (blood clotting outside of blood vessels)
- Wound infection
Headaches were the most common symptom, while others have a less than 10% likelihood of happening.
How Much Time Does It Take for a Fissure To Heal?
With proper care and treatment, a fissure will heal within two to eight weeks, provided there aren’t many major complications. Most people have their fissures healed within two weeks.
Fissure healing time will also depend on the intensity of the fissure and your genetic ability to heal.
What Are the Signs a Fissure Is Healing?
There are no signs to determine if a fissure is healing, even if you’ve experienced little to no pain and the absence of blood in the stool. Healing can only be confirmed by your doctor.
What Can Speed Fissure Healing Time?
Increasing your fibre and fluid consumption to keep your stool soft can speed fissure healing time. 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?
Yes, you can 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, chronic fissures might take more than 4–8 weeks to heal.
Understanding the stages of fissure healing can be quite helpful, especially in preparing yourself for a doctor’s visit.
If you are someone who’s suffering from this condition or suspect you might have it, don’t hesitate to reach out for help.
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.
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About the Author
Dr. Suresh Babu D
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