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A Journal on Surgery

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Minerva Chirurgica 2001 August;56(4):357-64

language: Italian

Fecal incontinence. Personal experience in direct sphincteric repair

Di Bella F., Blanco G. F., Giordano M., Torelli I.


Background. Fecal incontinence is a disabling condition causing social isolation, whose real incidence is difficult to be exactly valued because patients are often reluctant to speak about it, even with their physician, or because they don't trust on surgical procedure. Aim of this study is report our experience in sphincteric reconstruction by direct sphincteric repair in patients suffering from post-traumatic fecal incontinence.
Methods. Seven patients suffering from fecal incontinence due to traumatic lesions of anal sphincterial apparatus were surgically treated between 1981-2000; in the first patient cause was an injury due to impaling, in the second a previous obstetrical lesion and in the last five a previous fistulectomy. Direct sphincteric reconstruction after finding and isolation of two retracted terminals of sectioned sphincter was performed in all the patients. Sphincteric reconstruction has been always accompanied by total parenteral nutrition for about two weeks during the postoperative period. A protective colostomy was never performed.
Results. In five cases the results were excellent: patients had continence total recovery and postoperative manometry recorded basal and voluntary contraction pressures normalisation. In the two remaining cases there was only a modest improvement because of concomitant pudendal neuropathy. No operative wound infection was observed.
Conclusions. We hope that more attention is paid to fecal incontinence either regarding instrumental semeiotics or medical or surgical therapy. In particular, direct sphincteroplasty can restore a satisfactory continence in a strong number of patients with anal sphincterial apparatus single traumatic lesions without pudendal neuropathy, relieving them from a heavily disabling condition.

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