People who suffer from fecal incontinence find it an embarrassing problem they don’t want to talk about. But the condition is common, affecting more than 5.5 million people in the United States. The experienced team at Colon and Rectal Surgeons of Greater Hartford specializes in the treatment of fecal incontinence and can develop a treatment plan that helps you gain control of your bowel so you can get your life back. To schedule a consultation, contact the office in Bloomfield, South Windsor, Enfield, or Plainville, Connecticut, by phone or book an appointment online today.
Fecal incontinence, also called bowel or anal incontinence, is an accidental leakage of gas or stool from your rectum. The severity of the incontinence ranges from loss of a small amount of stool when passing gas to a total loss of your bowel’s contents.
Adults normally don’t experience loss of bowel control except in cases of severe diarrhea. Whether your accidents are few or frequent, the experienced team at Colon and Rectal Surgeons of Greater Hartford offer the expert care you need.
Fecal incontinence develops from many causes, but it most often occurs due to a change in bowel habits (diarrhea or constipation) or conditions that alter bowel function.
Your bowel continence depends on the normal functioning of your rectum, anus, and nervous system. The sensory nerves in your rectum must function normally, so you know when stool is present, and the muscles in your rectum need to be strong enough to hold stool in until you’re ready to go.
Changes in the strength of the rectal muscles or damage to the sensory nerves can lead to fecal incontinence. Aging, vaginal birth delivery, trauma, and anal surgery can affect the normal functioning of the muscles and nerves. You could be at risk of nerve damage that leads to fecal incontinence if you have a history of diabetes or stroke.
The experienced team at Colon and Rectal Surgeons of Greater Hartford understand how hard it is to seek help for fecal incontinence and provide the competent and professional care you need to help you feel at ease. During your exam, the team reviews your symptoms, medical history, and does physical and rectal exams.
The team could recommend a number of tests like an anal manometry (a procedure we are able to perform in the office), MRI, defecography, anal ultrasound, or anal electromyography to determine the cause of your fecal incontinence.
The experienced team at Colon and Rectal Surgeons of Greater Hartford develops individualized treatment plans for fecal incontinence based on the underlying cause. Your treatment plan can include changes to your diet, bowel training, and/or prescription drugs.
If conservative medical treatment fails to improve your fecal incontinence, the team could suggest other treatments like sacral nerve stimulation with the Axonics SNM System™, a special injection to decrease the size of your anus, or surgery to repair damaged muscles.
You might find it hard to talk to your doctor about your fecal incontinence, but the experienced team at Colon and Rectal Surgeons of Greater Hartford provides expert care to help you regain control over bowel function. Call the office or book an appointment online to schedule an appointment today.