What Is The Difference Between Fistula And Fissure?

Both the diseases fissure and fistula are hard to ignore, especially the symptoms like itchiness or pain and bleeding in the rectal area. It is not uncommon for such patients to experience signs which indicate haemorrhoids, but in most the cases the tissues have already aggravated to either fistula or fissure. In the case of haemorrhoids, the symptoms itself can be uncomfortable and painful. If you develop either of the two diseases, the situation gets worse.

The doctor or medical examination is best for diagnosing the exact problem you have. However, it is best to stay informed. Knowing the similarities and difference between fistula and fissure can help you deal with the problem better.

What is the primary difference?

The fissure is a term referring to the tear of skin while fistula is an abnormal tube-like connection between organs. Generally, fissures get cured within a few days or weeks, sometimes does not require treatment. They do not cause many complications. However, fistula if left untreated, could cause complications. Precisely why, you need to identify the symptoms and avail treatment soon.

Causes of fissure and fistula

There are different causes of fissures. Some of them include rectum cancer, vaginal childbirth, anal sex, prolonged diarrhoea, etc. In most scenarios, the reason behind fissure is strained bowel movement or constant constipation. It causes a tear of muscles which controls sphincters to the inner rectum.

Fistula symptoms are not about tearing. It is an abnormal passage which forms from the canal to the skin near the anus. With this condition, the canals connect to the infected gland through tunnels formed under the skin. Typically, fistulas result from previous or existing abscesses. A single fistula can create many openings. Hence, if there is no proper treatment, one tract can cause problematic issues.

Let us understand the symptoms better of the two –


  • The tear of the skin around the anus
  • Pain in the anal area, especially during bowel movements
  • Streaks of blood in stools
  • Burning or itching in the anal area


  • Frequent anal abscesses
  • Pain and swelling around the anus
  • Bloody drainage
  • Fever, fatigue, and chills

What are the treatment options for both?

The best fistula and fissure treatment are to go surgery which cures the conditions entirely. If the condition gets diagnosed early on, specific medications such as antibiotics, antipyretics, and analgesics come handy. The treatment options vary from person to person. It also depends on the type, location, severity, and size. The recovery period also differs.

Such conditions cannot get treated through changes in diet. However, implementing dietary changes promotes proper bowel movement. It also reduces the constipation risk, which results in the fissure. If you notice any symptoms of fissure or fistula, get medical attention as soon as you can.

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