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Health A-Z

Medical Content Created by the Faculty of the
Harvard Medical School

Expected Duration

How long anal disorders last varies:

  • Anal fissure - Painful anal fissures can be a recurrent problem in people who suffer from repeated episodes of constipation. Fortunately, superficial fissures usually heal quickly with medical treatment, and most symptoms disappear within a few days to a couple of weeks.

  • Anal abscess - An anal abscess sometimes drains on its own, although it is always safer for a doctor to evaluate the problem. If the abscess does not drain on its own, the doctor may incise and drain the abscess. After an abscess is drained, the pain is usually immediately better. An anal abscess often turns into an anal fistula even with appropriate treatment.

  • Anal fistula - Without treatment, an anal fistula may continue to ooze blood or pus for prolonged periods.

  • Thrombosed external hemorrhoid - Usually the body will slowly reabsorb the clot in such a hemorrhoid, and the pain and swelling will slowly go away over a period of days to a couple of weeks.

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