About this disease
What it is about
Fecal incontinence is, contrary to popular belief, relatively common and increasingly affects women. The sealing function of the anus is made possible by an interaction of various anatomical and functional properties. With age, it decreases due to the reduction of muscle mass. Thus, damage to the sphincter muscles as a result of the birth process can remain unnoticed for decades and only become apparent in old age.
In addition to age-related fecal incontinence, the condition can also occur as a result of surgery on the anus. In the case of external rectal prolapse, continuous overstretching of the sphincter muscles also leads to increasing problems with continence. Last but not least, large polyps and tumors near the anus can also lead to a restriction of the sealing function.
Symptoms and consequences
Regular involuntary loss of stool leads to social isolation and usually dominates the daily life of those affected. Sufferers are reluctant to leave the house. They know the locations of all publicly accessible toilets in their area and are constantly accompanied by fear of involuntary defecation.
What we do for you
Examination and diagnosis
The first step in breaking out of the vicious circle is to address the problem - for example with the family doctor, the gynecologist or the gastroenterologist. Once this step has been taken, the patient is referred to the proctology or gastroenterology departments, where further investigations are carried out. These usually include colonoscopy, sphincter pressure measurements and ultrasound examinations.
Treatment of fecal incontinence always includes stool regulation to prevent liquid bowel movements and physiotherapy to strengthen and correctly control the sphincter muscles. In addition, implantation of a pacemaker is possible, which can significantly improve the function of the sphincter muscle. The procedure is performed on an outpatient basis.