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ANZ J Surg. 2006 Aug;76(8):718-21.

Randomized, controlled study comparing sitz-bath and no-sitz-bath treatments in patients with acute anal fissures.

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Gupta Nursing Home, Nagpur, Maharashtra, India.



To determine the efficacy and safety of sitz baths in the management of acute anal fissures.


Individual patients were randomized to either receive sitz baths or no sitz baths for 4 weeks in addition to oral psyllium husk. Patients were asked to soak their hips and buttocks in a tub containing plain lukewarm water for 10 min, once after defecation in the morning and again at bedtime. Each week, the patients were called to assess pain scores and healing of fissures, whereas the level of satisfaction was recorded at the end of 4 weeks. Main outcome measures were validated pain scores and levels of satisfaction.


Fifty-eight subjects were recruited for this study. In all, 52 of them completed the trial (27 in the sitz bath group and 25 in the control group). Although the pain score was lesser in the sitz bath group than in the control group, it failed to reach statistical significance. There were no significant differences in fissure healing between the two groups over the 4-week study period. However, patients in the sitz bath group reported better satisfaction levels than the control group (P < 0.01). Although no serious adverse effects were observed, two patients from sitz bath group developed perianal skin rash.


This study suggests that sitz baths improve patient satisfaction in acute anal fissures. However, the healing and overall pain relief was not significant enough to attract attention. It was also found to be associated with adverse effects in few patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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