Dynamic graciloplasty for fecal incontinence

C.G.M.I. Baeten*, Ö Uludag, M.J.G.M. Rongen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

13 Citations (Web of Science)


Fecal incontinence is a socially incapacitating condition with associated high treatment costs. The most common cause of fecal incontinence is trauma during childbirth followed by surgical interventions. After unsuccessful conventional treatment, muscle transposition is the next treatment option. Two local muscles are used for this purpose: the gluteus and the gracilis muscles. With both muscles, long-term muscle contractions are difficult to maintain due to muscle fatigue. The gracilis muscle, however, is technically much easier to transfer and most activities of daily living and even sports are still possible. Experimental studies have shown that electrical stimulation of skeletal muscles can transform fatigue-prone muscles into fatigue-resistant muscles. In 1986, we started to perform graciloplasty procedures with intramuscular electrodes connected to an electrical stimulator. To date, 200 patients have been treated in our institution using dynamic graciloplasty. All patients had severe incontinence without control of liquid or solid feces, most of them had previously received unsuccessful treatment using other techniques. The mean age was 48 years, the average time that patients had been incontinent was 12.4 years, and the cause of incontinence were trauma (n=99), congenital (n=28), pudendopathy (n=58), and low motor neurological lesions (n=15). Of these patients, 76% were considered to have successful outcomes. Patients whose cause of incontinence was trauma or pudendopathy tended to respond better to this treatment than patients with anal atresia.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)230-234
Number of pages4
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2001

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