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Fecal Incontinence Surgery

If you are having bowel control difficulties, you are not alone.

At least eight percent of the adult population has this problem, which equates to nearly 18 million people. Maybe you can’t “hold it” long enough to get to the bathroom, or maybe it happens and you don’t even know. In medical terms, this condition is referred to as fecal incontinence.

Many try to hide the problem my reducing their contact with others, limiting their trips out of the house and becoming isolated, hindering their quality of life. But with the right help it is possible to take back control.

Am I at risk?

  • Age is a big factor. Although fecal incontinence can occur at any age, it's more common in middle-aged and older adults.
  • Gender also matters. If you are female, you are slightly more likely to experience fecal incontinence than males; complications surrounding childbirth may contribute to increased risk. Most women who develop fecal incontinence do so after the age of 40.
  • Additional contributing conditions. Diabetes, multiple sclerosis and other conditions that can cause nerve damage may also contribute to increased risk of fecal incontinence and the inability to properly control your bowel movements. Additionally, patients who are in late-stage Alzheimer's disease or show evidence of dementia may experience fecal incontinence.

Additional risk has also been associated with physically disability. It might be as simple as being unable to get to a toilet in time. Or perhaps the injury that caused the disability may have also caused rectal nerve damage.

What treatment options do I have?

Treatment for fecal incontinence may include one or more of the following:

  • Eating, diet, and nutrition
  • Medications
  • Training the bowel - biofeedback and exercising your pelvic floor
  • Electrical stimulation
  • Surgery, such as InterStim® Therapy