Anal Fissure

  • Medical Author:

    Thomas P. Sokol, MD received his medical degree from the University of Health Sciences/The Chicago Medical School in 1980. He went on to his general surgical residency at Harbor/UCLA Medical Center and then to the Carle Clinic/ University of Illinois for Fellowship Training in Colon and Rectal Surgery.

  • Medical Editor: Jay W. Marks, MD
    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD, is a board-certified internist and gastroenterologist. He graduated from Yale University School of Medicine and trained in internal medicine and gastroenterology at UCLA/Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

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What is the treatment for anal fissures?

The goal of treatment for anal fissures is to break the cycle of spasm of the anal sphincter and its repeated tearing of the anoderm.

General treatment and home remedies for anal fissures

In acute fissures, medical (nonoperative) therapy is successful in the majority of patients. Of acute fissures, 80% to 90% will heal with conservative measures as compared with chronic (recurrent) fissures, which show only a 40% rate of healing.

Initial treatment involves adding bulk to the stool and softening the stool with psyllium or methylcellulose preparations and a high fiber diet.

Other home remedies include:

  • Avoiding "sharp" foods that may not be well-digested (i.e., nuts, popcorn, tortilla chips).
  • Increase liquid intake, and, at times, take stool softeners (docusate or mineral oil preparations).
  • Sitz baths (essentially soaking in a tub of warm water). Sitz baths are encouraged, particularly after bowel movements, to relax the spasm, to increase the flow of blood to the anus, and to clean the anus without rubbing the irritated anoderm.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 2/10/2015

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