Medium-term outcome of percutaneous tibial nerve stimulation in the treatment of fecal incontinence

Hidalgo-Pujol M1, Andriola V2, Jimenez-Gomez LM3, Ostiz F4, Espin E3. Tech Coloproctol. 2018 Dec 18. doi: 10.1007/s10151-018-1892-0. [Epub ahead of print]

Author information

1 Department of Gastrointestinal Surgery, Vall d'Hebron Hospital, Barcelona, Spain. b737800as@hotmail.com.

2 Colorectal Unit, Aldo Moro University Bari, Bari, Italy.

3 Department of Colorectal Surgery, Vall d'Hebron Hospital, Barcelona, Spain.

4 CAP Sant Andreu, Barcelona, Spain.


INTRODUCTION: Fecal incontinence (FI) is a multifactorial disease that affects patients' quality of life. The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of posterior tibial nerve stimulation (PTNS) in the treatment of FI and to assess the medium-term results.

METHODS: A prospective cohort of patients with FI treated with PTNS between 2012 and 2014 was analysed. Endoluminal ultrasound and anorectal physiologic studies were performed in all patients. The efficacy of PTNS was assessed using a validated questionnaire (Cleveland Clinic Incontinence Score) at baseline, after treatment, and 2 years later. The Vaizey score was also used at 2-year follow-up to assess urge incontinence.

RESULTS: Fifty-six patients (38 females; mean age 59.7 years) with FI were treated. The causes of FI were mainly obstetric injury and previous colorectal surgery. A decrease of 50% from baseline CCIS was seen in 41.1% of patients after PTNS. One-third maintained a minimum of 50% decrease of their initial CCIS after 2 years. Comparing CCIS at baseline, after treatment, and at 2-year follow-up, a statistically significant difference was observed (p < 0.0001 and p < 0.0004 respectively). Medium-term improvement was not maintained in patients with passive and mixed FI, while it was maintained in those with urge incontinence. At 2 years, patients with mild incontinence maintained the greatest response.

CONCLUSIONS: PTNS is a safe, effective, non-invasive treatment for FI with good results in almost half of the patients at the end of the treatment. There is also an acceptable maintained response at 2-year follow-up. It seems to be most successful in patients with mild incontinence and urge incontinence.

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