Rectal fissure

What to Expect after Fissure Surgery

What to Expect after Fissure Surgery

Fissure is a tear or cut in the anus, extending up towards the anal canal. This is a common anal condition, and usually causes severe pain during bowel movements. Anal fissure is usually caused by repeated diarrhea or hard stool that caused trauma to the anal canal. Sometimes, insertion of an enema tip, rectal thermometer, ultrasound probe or endoscope can also cause fissure in the anus. If the fissure cannot be treated with medicines, a surgery becomes a necessity. Read this oneHOWTO article to find out more information about this surgery and what to expect after fissure surgery.

You may also be interested in: How to Cure a Rectal Fissure - Without Surgery
  1. Symptoms of anal fissure
  2. Diagnosis of anal fissure
  3. Fissure treatment
  4. Fissure surgery
  5. Medicines to take after fissure surgery
  6. After-care instructions
  7. When to contact your physician

Symptoms of anal fissure

Anal fissure causes pain in the anus, and it worsens during bowel movements. The pain subsides in between the bowel movements, and can be long lasting or brief after that. Sometimes, patients avoid going to the washroom for fear of pain, resulting in fecal impaction or at least constipation. When a person is constipated, he is likely to pass a harder stool later, which causes extreme trauma to the anal canal, and worsens the fissure condition. Bleeding, itching and pus discharge are also the results of fissure. Although some symptoms may be cured without surgery, it will be the doctor's diagnosis that will determine if you need an intervention.

Diagnosis of anal fissure

An anal fissure can be confirmed with a physical examination of the anus. It looks like a tear that can be easily seen with naked eye. Endoscopy is required if the patient is experiencing rectal bleeding as well. Colonoscopy is recommended to patients with a family history of colon cancer. UGI and X-rays of the small intestine may be required to exclude possibilities of other anal diseases.

What to Expect after Fissure Surgery - Diagnosis of anal fissure

Fissure treatment

Once a patient is diagnosed with fissure, the first thing that the doctor will do is to soften the stools and add bulk to it with a high fiber diet, psyllium and methylcellulose. Increased liquid intake and sitz baths are recommended as home remedies for fissures. Prescription medicines like topical anesthetics, like xylocaine, lidocaine, tetracaine and pramoxine are used to relieve pain. Other medicines like steroids, nitroglycerin, calcium channel blockers and Botulinum toxin are also prescribed to heal and treat the condition. But if all these things fail, it is treated with fissure surgery.

Fissure surgery

Partial lateral internal sphincterotomy is the surgical procedure used for treating anal fissures. In this procedure, the fissure is removed by making a cut on the right or left side of the anus. 97% fissures heal after a surgery, and the recurrence rate is very low at only 0 to 3%.

What to Expect after Fissure Surgery - Fissure surgery

Medicines to take after fissure surgery

When you are discharged from the hospital, this is what to expect after anal fissure surgery, regarding the medicines you will be prescribed, which include:

  1. Topical medicine to relax your anal muscle and increase blood circulation in the area. Some of these medicines also have anesthesia to relive your pain, which should only last for two to three days after surgery.
  2. Stool softeners aimed at preventing constipation and softening your bowel movements, as you may also feel pain during bowel movements.

After-care instructions

Most importantly, you should take all the medicines exactly as prescribed. You will most likely be able to resume your normal activity one or two weeks after the surgery. In addition to these, you will need to follow these recommendations for proper recovery:

  • Take sitz baths that are helpful in reducing swelling and pain after the surgery. Your surgeon and physician will tell you how to take a sitz bath, and how many times a day. You may notice blood in stool for several weeks after the anal fissure surgery, this is normal and sitz baths will help.
  • Go to the washroom as soon as you feel the need. Ignore it may cause unnecessary strain in the area. Clean the anus gently every time you use the washroom and pat the area dry when you have a shower
  • Eating high fiber foods will help in keeping your bowels soft. Such foods include whole grains, vegetables and fruits. Drink loads of liquids to soften your bowels as well
  • Make sure you boost blood flow in the anal area by taking short walks each day so circulation gets moving again
  • Avoid anal sex until you heal completely. This may cause excessive strain in your anal tissue, thus causing them to tear
  • If you don't want this to happen again, we advise you to take the necessary measures to prevent anal fissures.
What to Expect after Fissure Surgery - After-care instructions

When to contact your physician

Go back to your physician if, during your recovery from anal fissure surgery, you develop any of these symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Inability to pass stool
  • Pain even after taking pain killers regularly
  • Frequent anal spasms
  • Continuous bleeding from the anus

Although there are minimal chances of recurrence, it is better to keep an eye on these symptoms, so that they can be managed in time.

This article is merely informative, oneHOWTO does not have the authority to prescribe any medical treatments or create a diagnosis. We invite you to visit your doctor if you have any type of condition or pain.

If you want to read similar articles to What to Expect after Fissure Surgery, we recommend you visit our Diseases & secondary effects category.


  • Do not drive until your doctor says you an do so.
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Sara bubb
I’m Sara’s mum. She had surgery 2 days ago. She has packing in the area and been told to dress it herself. She can’t. What should we do
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What to Expect after Fissure Surgery