Dynamic graciloplasty. Complications and management.

B.P. Geerdes, E. Heineman, J.L.M. Konsten, P.B. Soeters, C.G.M.I. Baeten

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Dynamic graciloplasty. Complications and management.

Geerdes BP, Heineman E, Konsten J, Soeters PB, Baeten CG.

Department of Surgery, University Hospital Maastricht, The Netherlands.

PURPOSE: Patients with intractable fecal incontinence, in whom all other treatment failed, can be treated by dynamic graciloplasty. Good results have been reported, but this technique involves specific problems. All problems that occurred over an eight-year period are presented, and management is discussed. METHODS: Dynamic graciloplasty was performed in 67 patients with a mean follow-up of 2.7 years. All patients were monitored by physical examination, anal manometry, defecography, and electromyography at fixed intervals. All complications were noted and treated. Continence was defined as being continent to solid and liquid stools. RESULTS: The technique was successful in 52 patients (78 percent), whereas failures occurred in 15 patients (22 percent). Complications resulted from technical problems, problems with infection, and problems attributable to an abnormal physiology of the muscle or an anorectal functional imbalance. In total, 53 complications were identified in 36 patients. Most technical problems, concerning the transposition and stimulation of the gracilis muscle, could be treated. Failures were attributable to a bad contraction of the distal part of the muscle (n = 4) and perforation of the anal canal during stimulation (n = 1). In eight patients, infection of the stimulator and leads required explantation. Three patients did not regain continence after reimplantation. Apart from moderate constipation, physiologic complications were very hard to treat and resulted in failures in five patients because of overflow incontinence, soiling, a nondistending rectum, strong peristalsis, and strong constipation. In two patients, the technique failed despite a well-contracting graciloplasty; no clear reason for the failure was found. CONCLUSION: Complications associated with the technique of dynamic graciloplasty such as loss of contraction, infection, bad contraction in the distal part of the muscle, and constipation can often be prevented or treated. Difficulties related to an impaired sensation and/or motility, attributable to a congenital cause or degeneration, are impossible to treat, and this signifies that a good selection of patients is essential to prevent disappointment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-6
JournalDiseases of the Colon & Rectum
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1996

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