Bowel Incontinence - Treatment

What was the treatment for your bowel incontinence?

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What is the treatment for bowel incontinence?

The treatment approach for a patient with fecal incontinence is individualized based upon the underlying cause. The purpose is to regulate bowel movements, decrease their frequency, and increase stool firmness and consistency. Often this involves dietary changes and the use of medications that bulk the stool.

Increasing the strength of the muscles of the pelvic floor might be helpful. Kegel exercises and electrical stimulation may be recommended. Biofeedback is often used to help retrain the anal sphincters and have the patient appreciate the sensation of rectal fullness that comes just before the need to defecate.

If the incontinence persists even after maximum medical therapy has been attempted, surgery may be an alternative. If damaged, attempts can be made to repair the muscles of the pelvic floor including the external anal sphincter. The internal anal sphincter function may be enhanced by injecting materials like silicone, carbon beads, or collagen.

As a last resort, where all other options have failed, a colostomy may be performed, where the colon is diverted through the abdominal wall to empty into a removable bag.

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