Recovery

Anal fissure treatment

An anal fissure can be treated by having surgery under general anaesthetic

Most people have surgery in the day surgery unit and can leave hospital on the same day.  

You need a family member or friend to travel home and stay with you for at least 24 hours after your surgery. It's important that you rest for the remainder of the day.

If you stayed in hospital to have the surgery, your doctor or nurse will explain when you can go home.  

You usually have a follow-up appointment about 6 to 8 weeks after your surgery to check your wound.  

After surgery

When you wake from the anaesthetic, we give you something to eat and drink. We also help you to get up as soon as you feel able to. 

We might give you some painkillers, gel or creams to put on your bottom. 

Dressings

You might have a dressing over your wound. You can remove this in a bath on the day after your surgery.

You might need to give the dressing a gentle pull to take it off. This can cause your wound to bleed. There is no need to worry if this happens. You can contact us if you have any concerns.

Looking after your wound

Try to wash the area with water and pat it dry, or use alcohol-free wet wipes after going to the toilet to have a poo. Avoid using dry toilet tissue.

Keep the area clean and gently bathe your wound in a warm bath each day, if possible. This can also help with your pain. 

Do not use soap, or put salt or any perfumed products in the water until your wound has healed. These could irritate your wound.  

Do not be worried if you notice blood in the bath. This is normal and reduces with time.

Bleeding

It's normal to have a small amount of bleeding after surgery, especially after having a poo. You might notice blood on the tissue paper after wiping. The bleeding improves with time. You do not need any special dressings.

Speak to ward or department where you were treated if:

  • you have persistent bleeding from your wound

Out of hours, contact your GP or go to your nearest emergency department (A&E).

Ask for an urgent GP appointment or go to A&E if:

  • you feel generally unwell
  • you have a high temperature (fever)

Pain after surgery

You can expect some discomfort for the first couple of days after surgery. It might seem like the pain gets worse before you start to feel more comfortable again. 

You should be able to go to the toilet normally and naturally after surgery. It is important to keep your poo (stool) soft. This can prevent any damage to your anus and ease your pain. 

When you leave the ward or after your day surgery, we might give you the following medicines to take home.

Painkillers

It's important that you take your prescribed amount (dose) of painkillers regularly. This keeps you as comfortable as possible. You might not need to take the painkillers if you are not in pain. Always follow the instructions on the packet and never take more than the recommended dose.

Laxatives

We might give you laxatives to help you go to the toilet. Laxatives help you to poo. They also help to keep your poo soft.

Returning to work and normal activities

Most people take a few days off work, but this depends on how you feel and how active your job is. 

Do as much as you feel able to, but avoid any strenuous activity such as lifting, exercise or running during the first week or so.

You should not go swimming until your wound has healed. You can have sex when you feel comfortable. 

Preventing anal fissure returning

Increasing the amount of fibre in your diet can soften your poo and help you go to the toilet more easily. You can do this by eating more fruit and vegetables and increasing the amount of water and fluids that you drink. 

Try to eat lots of high-fibre foods, such as muesli, brown rice or pasta, prunes and other fruits and vegetables. This helps to prevent the anal fissures from returning.

Try to have 5 portions of fruit and vegetables and drink about 2 litres of fluid each day. This helps to make your poo larger and easier to pass. 

Follow-up appointment

Anal fissures can return. It's important that you go to your follow-up appointment. This is usually about 6 to 8 weeks after your surgery. 

If you have not been given an appointment within 2 to 3 weeks of your surgery, please call the surgical clinic clerks on 020 7188 7188. When you call, please ask for the GI surgery appointment team.  

If you have any symptoms or concerns after surgery, we can bring forward your follow-up appointment.

Resource number: 0914/VER6
Last reviewed: March 2022
Next review due: March 2025

Logo PIF

Contact us

GI surgical access centre

Phone: 020 7188 8875

Email: [email protected]

pals icon

Do you have any comments or concerns about your care?

Contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS)

Is this health information page useful?