Diagnosis and Management of Fecal Incontinence

Wald A1. Curr Gastroenterol Rep. 2018 Mar 26;20(3):9. doi: 10.1007/s11894-018-0614-0.

Author information

1 Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Centennial Building, 4th floor, 1685 Highland Avenue, Madison, WI, 53705, USA. axw@medicine.wisc.edu.


PURPOSE OF REVIEW: The purpose of this review is to highlight current and newer therapeutic approaches to treat fecal incontinence in patients who do not respond to conservative measures.

RECENT FINDINGS: Neurostimulation techniques, injection of bulking agents, and radiofrequency energy delivery to the anal canal have been proposed and tested for fecal incontinence over the last decade. Sacral stimulation is both effective and durable and is now the most popular of the invasive techniques whereas percutaneous tibial stimulation, radiofrequency energy, and bulking agents are either less effective or their evaluation has been handicapped by suboptimal study designs. The precise indications for the new vaginal control device and anal plugs remain to be established. The magnetic anal sphincter is disappointing. Stem cell therapy is a potentially exciting approach, which is in its infancy. There continues to be an unmet need for innovative approaches to patients with fecal incontinence who do not respond to conservative measures. The efficacy of current and future therapies should be assessed using criteria more stringent than has been used in the past to provide a more realistic assessment of meaningful efficacy.

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