Advances in the Surgical Treatment of Fecal Incontinence

Person, Benjamin; Wexner, Steven D.
March 2005
Surgical Innovation;Mar2005, Vol. 12 Issue 1, p7
Academic Journal
Although surgery for fecal incontinence has been shown to be effective, it is still very challenging and sometimes frustrating. Overlapping sphincteroplasty, by far the most common procedure, is effective in patients with sphincter defects; however, recent data suggest that success rates tend to deteriorate over time. A thorough preoperative evaluation incorporates numerous factors, including patient characteristics, severity of incontinence, type and size of the sphincter defect as assessed by physical examination, anal ultrasound, and anorectal physiology studies including anal manometry, electromyography, and pudendal nerve terminal motor latency assessment. The use of these evaluation methods has allowed better patient assignment for a variety of new alternative treatment options. Innovations in the surgical treatment of fecal incontinence range from simple, office-based sphincter augmentation techniques to surgical implantation of mechanical devices. This article reviews 5 alternative surgical treatment options for fecal incontinence: injection of carbon-coated beads in the submucosa of the anal canal, radiofrequency energy delivery, stimulated graciloplasty, artificial bowel sphincter, and sacral nerve stimulation.


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