Sitz bath is frequently recommended by physicians for a variety of anal disorders including anal fissure. The aim of the present study was to determine whether sitz bath does have any therapeutic properties improving upon a patient's postoperative symptoms after a closed lateral sphincterotomy.
MATERIALS AND METHODS:
Forty-six patients were randomly assigned to receive analgesics and fiber supplement alone (control patients) or a twice-daily sitz bath along with identical fiber and analgesics (sitz bath group). A 24-h pain score--post-defecation anal burning and symptom improvement--was evaluated on a visual analog scale (VAS).
The groups were equally matched for age, gender distribution, and duration of disease. No significant difference in mean pain score between groups (p = 0.284) was noticed after one week. However, the patients from the control group experienced significant anal burning compared with patients from sitz bath group (p < 0.0001). The improvement score was higher in the sitz bath group when compared with the control group; however, it did not reached a statistically significant level.
Patients after sphincterotomy for anal fissure receiving sitz bath experienced similar levels of pain when compared with those not receiving sitz bath. However, they reported a significant relief in anal burning and a marginally better satisfaction score and no reported adverse side effects.