Patients who suffer from the medical condition known as bowel incontinence have difficulty controlling their gas or stool elimination. The degree of a patient’s bowel incontinence can range from mild (difficulty controlling gas) to severe (loss of control over formed or liquid stools). Bowel continence can be caused by a number of factors, including:
- Injury to the anal muscles (or nerve endings in the anal region) can occur when a woman gives birth—multiple pregnancies, forceps deliveries, episiotomies or large weight babies may exacerbate the risk of bowel incontinence
- Anal operations
- Traumatic injury to the anal tissue
- Loss of anal muscle strength resulting from the natural aging process
- Illnesses or medications
A physical exam of the anal region, accompanied by an ultrasound probe and (when necessary) an “anal manometry” test can be used to determine the underlying cause of the incontinence and to select an optimal course of treatment. Treatment options for mild cases of incontinence may include dietary changes, anal muscle strengthening exercises, biofeedback therapy techniques, and constipating medications. Severe cases of incontinence may require surgery to repair any tears or injury to the anal region, and, for patients whose anal nerves or musculature are damaged beyond repair, an artificial sphincter may be surgically implanted.
For more information, please use the following link: Bowel Incontinence
At Pinnacle Colon and Rectal Surgeons, Dr. Ann L. Kalhorn and Dr. Eugene M. Kim are well respected and board certified colon and rectal surgeons. They have received specialized training in the diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions pertaining to the colon, rectum and anus. We work collaboratively with you to ease painful symptoms and ensure the safe and successful resolution of your colorectal issues. If you would like additional information about treatment, please contact our office today. We look forward to speaking with you and to scheduling your consultation with Dr. Kalhorn or Dr. Kim.