Sacral nerve stimulation for fecal incontinence following surgery for rectal prolapse repair: a multicenter study

M.E. Jarrett, K.E. Matzel, M. Stosser, C.G. Baeten, M.A. Kamm*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


PURPOSE: A proportion of patients have fecal incontinence secondary to a full-thickness rectal prolapse that fails to resolve following prolapse repair. This multicenter, prospective study assessed the use of sacral nerve stimulation for this indication. METHODS: Patients had to have more than or equal to four days with fecal incontinence per 21-day period more than one year after surgery. They had to have failed conservative treatment and have an intact external anal sphincter. RESULTS: Four female patients aged 42, 54, 68, and 65 years met the inclusion criteria. Three of the four patients had had more than one operation for recurrent full-thickness rectal prolapse before sacral nerve stimulation, one of whom had undergone a further operation for recurrence following stimulation. One patient had undergone one operation for prolapse repair. The preoperative duration of symptoms was ten, eight, three, and nine years, respectively. Although patients had an intact external anal sphincter, one patient had a fragmented internal anal sphincter. The frequency of fecal incontinent episodes changed from 11, 24.7, 5, and 8 per week at baseline to 0, 1.5, 5.5, and 1 per week at latest follow-up. Ability to defer defecation was also improved in two of three patients who had this documented. Fecal incontinence-specific quality of life assessment showed an improvement in all four domains. CONCLUSION: Sacral nerve stimulation should be considered for patients with ongoing fecal incontinence following full-thickness rectal prolapse repair if they prove resistant to conservative treatment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1243-1248
JournalDiseases of the Colon & Rectum
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2005

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