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Fecal Incontinence Treatment in Denver
Fecal incontinence describes an inability to control bowel movements, which can cause patients great embarrassment and make it difficult to participate in normal activities. Those who experience fecal incontinence will also often experience emotional distress, feeling the need to hide away from the world, as well as skin irritation from repeated contact with stool.
There is good news for those who suffer from fecal incontinence. At the Women’s Health Group, we offer several treatment options to address fecal incontinence so patients can enjoy fulfilling, comfortable lives.
Understanding Fecal Incontinence
Experiencing a loss of bowel control can lead to many frustrating symptoms. It can range from occasional stool leakage while passing gas to a total loss of bowel control. Fecal incontinence can result from muscle or nerve damage from childbirth or aging. Some patients also experience fecal urgency, or the sudden need to rush to the bathroom to empty one’s bowels.
Fecal incontinence often occurs with other bowel issues, including:
Evaluating Fecal Incontinence
Though many patients may be reluctant to discuss their fecal incontinence, it’s important to seek medical care so you can get the help you need.
To begin, we will confirm that you have an up-to-date colonoscopy performed by a gastroenterologist or colorectal surgeon. We will also perform a digital rectal exam to check the tone of the anal sphincter.
We often choose to begin with conservative management to control your fecal incontinence symptoms. This can include:
- OTC anti-diarrheal medications (Pepto-Bismol, Imodium)
- Fiber supplements to bulk the stools (Citrucel, Metamucil)
- Dietary changes (e.g. reducing consumption of foods and beverages such as spicy foods, caffeine, alcohol)
- Scheduled bowel movements
- Pelvic floor exercises
If these measures don’t improve symptoms, we may consider advanced surgical options.
Advanced Treatment Options for Fecal Incontinence
Treatment for fecal incontinence doesn’t end with lifestyle modifications and medications. At the Women’s Health Group, we offer several advanced surgical treatment options that can help manage your symptoms.
Advanced surgical procedures we may consider include:
- Sacral Neuromodulation Implant Surgery: This implant uses electrical stimulation to help control the nerves that control the bowels. Over 90% of patients see at least a 50% reduction in fecal incontinence incidents.
- Sphincteroplasty Surgery: This procedure repairs a damaged sphincter. By restoring the anatomical barrier needed for fecal continence, patients regain functional muscle control.