Current Management of Fecal Incontinence

Current Management of Fecal Incontinence: Choosing Amongst Treatment Options to Optimize Outcomes

Julie Ann M Van Koughnett, Steven D Wexner

The severity of fecal incontinence widely varies and can have dramatic devastating impacts on a person's life. Fecal incontinence is common, though it is often under-reported by patients. In addition to standard treatment options, new treatments have been developed during the past decade to attempt to effectively treat fecal incontinence with minimal morbidity. Non-operative treatments include dietary modifications, medications, and biofeedback therapy. Currently used surgical treatments include repair (sphincteroplasty), stimulation (sacral nerve stimulation or posterior tibial nerve stimulation), replacement (artificial bowel sphincter or muscle transposition) and diversion (stoma formation). Newer augmentation treatments such as radiofrequency energy delivery and injectable materials, are minimally invasive tools that may be good options before proceeding to surgery in some patients with mild fecal incontinence. In general, more invasive surgical treatments are now reserved for moderate to severe fecal incontinence. Functional and quality of life related outcomes, as well as potential complications of the treatment must be considered and the treatment of fecal incontinence must be individualized to the patient. General indications, techniques, and outcomes profiles for the various treatments of fecal incontinence are discussed in detail. Choosing the most effective treatment for the individual patient is essential to achieve optimal outcomes in the treatment of fecal incontinence.

World J Gastroenterol. 2013 Dec 28;19(48):9216-30. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v19.i48.9216.

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Last Updated 4/28/2014
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