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A Journal on Surgery

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Minerva Chirurgica 2003 December;58(6):769-76

language: Italian

The treatment of fecal incontinence

Romano G., Bianco F., Esposito P.


The treatment of faecal incontinence includes: the education of the patient, medical therapy, biofeedback and sphincteric exercises, surgical therapy. Conservative, non-surgical treatment is almost always the initial therapeutic approach, except in those cases in which an evident defect of the sphincter muscle is present. Surgical treatment has seen a noteworthy increase in the last fifteen years as a consequence of the development of new surgical techniques. These techniques include: external anal sphincter plasty, pelvic floor plasties, sacral neuromodulation, muscular transpositions with or without electrostimulation, artificial anal sphincter. These procedures may be employed as first or second level treatment depending on the type of pathology considered and its aetiology. The 1st results achieved by surgical treatment authorise us to believe that reconversion with artificial sphincter is a valid alternative to graciloplasty, notwithstanding the fact that its costs are higher. Attentive pre- operative assessment of patients is important. Patients must be strongly motivated and able to manage the new condition. Although further studies are necessary, the degree of satisfactory of the 1st patients operated is the best stimulus for pursuing the development of this technique.

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