Fecal Incontinence Treatments
Patients suffering from fecal incontinence have a variety of treatment options available which are typically based on the cause of the fecal incontinence. After a thorough history, examination and diagnostic testing is performed, your surgeon will review your treatment options and present their recommendations, which may include one or a several of the following:
Diet & Lifestyle Changes
If diarrhea and constipation are causing the fecal incontinence, a high-fiber diet may be recommended. Patients will be advised to avoid stimulants such as caffeine as this often worsens symptoms. Routine exercise and weight loss can improve symptoms.
Medications & Bulking Agents
Medications such as Imodium™ and Lomotil™ may be recommended if the underlying cause is a medical illness, such as inflammation of the bowel, infection, or irritable bowel syndrome. Bulking Agents such as Citrucel™ and Metamucil™ may be recommended to improve stool consistency and control.
Pelvic Floor Therapy
Your surgeon may refer you to a Pelvic Floor Therapist if your fecal incontinence is caused by muscle damage. Pelvic Floor Therapists provide Biofeedback and/or Bowel Training, working on muscle strength and improving sensation.
Solesta™ is a sterile injectable bulking agent injected under the lining of the anal canal, designed to increase the resting pressure within the anus thereby decreasing the leakage of fecal matter from the rectum. This injection can be performed in the office and does not require an anesthetic. Solesta™ has an approximate success rate of 60%. Learn more about Solesta™
InterStim: Sacral Nerve Stimulation
InterStim™ is a device implanted in the lower back with electrodes placed into the sacral nerve roots. This is a two-stage outpatient procedure: The first procedure consists of surgically inserting the electrode; the second procedure is only performed if the results of the first procedure show signs of considerable improvement. InterStim™ has an 80% success rate. Patients with an InterStim™ implanted can’t have an MRI. Learn more about InterStim™
Sphincteroplasty surgery (repair of sphincter muscle) is an option if there is a significant gap or tear in the anal sphincter muscles. This is typically reserved for younger patients following a birth-related injury.
To learn more about fecal incontinence treatment options visit the American Society of Colorectal Surgeons website.