The inability to control bowel movements because of fecal incontinence can be uncomfortable, making it difficult to engage in daily activities with stool leaking unexpectedly. Due to its complexity, fecal incontinence requires medical treatment to effectively reduce side effects. Although this condition can be awkward to talk about with a medical professional, our colorectal specialists at Colon & Rectal Surgical Specialists of New York in Garden City, NY, can provide a number of conservative and surgical treatments to minimize symptoms and improve your quality of life.
Fecal incontinence can result in diarrhea, constipation, and bloating.
The inability to control bowel movements is typically the result of nerve and muscle damage in the rectum and anus. Proper bowel function relies on a variety of factors, such as rectal sensation, anal sphincter pressure, and rectal storage capacity. Rectal sensation is what signals an individual when its time to have a bowel movement. The anal sphincter is the muscle responsible for keeping stool contained in the rectum. Once stool travels to the rectum, it can remain inside for a certain amount of time, depending on an individual’s rectal stretch and storage capacity. Fecal incontinence can occur when any one of these factors malfunctions.
Fecal incontinence can be upset your daily activities and significantly impact your health, relationships, and overall quality of life.
Although fecal incontinence can affect anyone, it is more commonly diagnosed in women and elderly patients and is estimated to affect nearly 18 million people in the U.S. Depending upon the extent of your condition, fecal incontinence can cause minor and occasional leakage to complete bowel loss. You may have an increased risk for developing fecal incontinence if you:
Our team can review your unique medical history to determine the factors that my contribute to your condition.
Muscle and nerve damage to the pelvic floor is the leading cause of fecal incontinence. Other triggers may include:
Fecal incontinence can cause patients to experience emotional distress and physical discomfort, irritating the skin around the anus.
After diagnosing your condition, we may recommend a variety of treatment options depending upon the source of your condition. Making a few simple adjustments to your diet and restoring the muscles of your pelvic floor with bowel training exercises can often reverse fecal incontinence. When conservative methods have proven ineffective, surgery may be necessary for moderate to severe cases. At Colon & Rectal Surgical Specialists of New York, our colorectal specialists offer a variety of nonsurgical and surgical treatments, including:
Our team can customize your treatment plan to address your unique needs and goals.
Fecal incontinence can upset your daily activities and significantly impact your health, relationships, and overall quality of life. To learn more about the treatments we provide, contact our office online or call (516) 217-8626 to schedule your consultation with one of our colorectal specialists.