Surgical Treatments

Many modalities of treatment are available to patients with fecal incontinence. Surgery is not the answer for all patients with incontinence but for appropriately selected patients it can restore their continence. There are two main types of surgical options to treat incontinence:

Repair surgery
Surgery to repair the anal sphincter may be an option for some people who have not responded to less invasive treatments and have muscle damage but functioning nerves. However, improvements appear to deteriorate over time. Different techniques can be considered depending on the type or extent of damage.

  • Sphincteroplasty is a technique to attempt repair of anal sphincter muscles
  • Muscle transposition is a technique of transferring a muscle from another part of the body and wrapping it around the anal canal to act like a sphincter.

Diversion surgery
Some individuals with severe incontinence who have had no success with management plans or treatments choose to have a colostomy. Stool leaves the colon through a surgically created opening in the abdomen where it is collected in a pouch. A colostomy does not restore continence, but it can give individuals control over defecation and may allow them to resume normal activities.

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