(Incontinence, Fecal; Bowel Incontinence; Incontinence, Bowel)
- Rectal prolapse
- Congenital abnormality (condition present from birth)
- Trauma or injury to anal sphincter or its nerves (the healthy sphincter opens and closes to control the release of fecal material)
- Scarring of the rectum from irritable bowel syndrome , radiation therapy , or surgery
- Anal abscess or perirectal abscess
|The rectum falls through the anal opening.|
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When Should I Call My Doctor?
- Colorectal surgeon
- Anorectal manometry—test that uses a catheter to check pressure in the anal canal while resting and squeezing
- Pudendal nerve terminal motor latency (PNTML) testing—test that uses an electrode in the anal canal to evaluate how well the nerves are working
- Endoanal ultrasound—test that uses sound waves to make a picture; used to detect any injury to anal sphincter muscles
- Proctosigmoidoscopy—test that uses a thin, lighted tube inside the rectum; used to examine the rectum and lower colon for injury or disease
- Defecography—test that uses x-rays and dye to look at the bowel and how it functions
- An overlapping sphincteroplasty to rebuild the anal sphincter
- Injecting bulking agents, radiofrequency therapy, and/or nerve stimulation
- Inserting an artificial bowel sphincter (which you can open and close as needed)
- Colostomy (done in severe cases)—disconnects the colon and brings the end through an opening in the abdomen
- Prevent constipation by eating a high-fiber diet and drinking plenty of fluids.
- Pay attention to your diet and avoid foods that trigger diarrhea.
- Try to maintain a regular bowel movement schedule.
- Talk to your doctor if you are having trouble with diarrhea or constipation.
International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders http://www.iffgd.org/
National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse http://www.niddk.nih.gov/
Canadian Digestive Health Foundation http://www.cdhf.ca/
Canadian Society of Intestinal Research http://www.badgut.org/
Diarrhea. National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse website. Available at: http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/diarrhea/ . Accessed January 9, 2012.
Fecal incontinence. National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse website. Available at: http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/fecalincontinence/index.htm . Accessed January 9, 2012.
Fecal incontinence: lifestyle and home remedies. Mayo Clinic website. Available at: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/fecal-incontinence/DS00477/DSECTION=lifestyle-and-home-remedies . Accessed January 9, 2012.
Fecal incontinence: treatment. Family Doctor.org website. Available at: http://familydoctor.org/familydoctor/en/diseases-conditions/fecal-incontinence/treatment.html . Updated January 2011. Accessed January 9, 2012.
Fauci A, Harrison TR. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine . 17th ed. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill; 2008.
Garg, P, Song J, Bhatia A, Kalia H, Menon G. The efficacy of anal fistula plug in fistula-in-ano: a systematic review. Colorectal Diseases . 2010;12:965-970.
Landefeld CS, Bowers BJ, Feld AD, et al. National Institutes of Health State-of-the-Science Conference Statement: prevention of fecal and urinary incontinence in adults. Ann Intern Med . 2008;148:449-458.
Rectal prolapse. American Society of Colon & Rectal Surgeons website. Available at: http://www.fascrs.org/patients/conditions/rectal%5Fprolapse/ . Accessed January 9, 2012.
12/4/2009 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance : Deutekom M, Dobben A. Plugs for containing fecal incontinence. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2009;(4):CD005086.
- Reviewer: Daus Mahnke, MD
- Review Date: 03/2013 -
- Update Date: 03/15/2013 -