Fecal incontinence is the inability to control bowel movements, causing unexpected leakage of either liquid or solid stool from the rectum. If you’re struggling with fecal incontinence, you don’t need to suffer in silence. Patrick Nosti, MD, FACOG, at Urogynecology of Kansas City, offers innovative treatment solutions. Find out more by booking an evaluation today.
UROGYNECOLOGY OF KANSAS CITY | 913.262.3000
Many women find relief through diet changes and medicines. Sometimes women may need surgery to obtain relief from accidental bowel leakage, such as to repair a torn anal sphincter muscle.
- Percutaneous tibial nerve stimulation (PTNS): outpatient office procedure in which a slim needle electrode is temporarily inserted near your ankle and connected to a battery-powered stimulator. This is like a combination of acupuncture and a TENS unit. The impulses travel through the tibial nerve and then to the sacral nerve plexus. Each treatment lasts for approximately 30 minutes weekly for usually up to 12 weeks. This has been shown to decrease fecal incontinence in the short term. It can also help urinary urgency incontinence. Potential side effects include discomfort and pain near the stimulation site.
- Sacral nerve stimulation (SNS): an implantable system (similar to a heart pacemaker) that sends mild electrical impulses to the sacral nerves. It can be helpful in patients who have failed other options. It typically involves a one- to two-week trial prior to placement of the permanent lead (a thin wire) and stimulator. If the trial period is not successful, the permanent device will not be implanted. Because the device is metal, you would not be able to have MRIs in this area if the device is implanted. Studies found that women who had SNS experienced fewer episodes of fecal incontinence compared to women who were treated with other medical therapies. Some women even regained full control of the bowels. Risks of this procedure include infection and pain/discomfort of the lead or stimulator. Some women require additional surgeries.