Aim Since 1994 sacral neuromodulation (SNM) has increasingly been used for the treatment of faecal incontinence, but no long-term data in a large group of patients have so far been published. We report long-term outcome and quality of life in the first 50 patients treated by permanent SNM for faecal incontinence.
Method We began to use SNM in 2000. Data from the first 50 patients with faecal incontinence who underwent permanent SNM are presented. Efficacy was assessed using a bowel diary and the Quality of Life score was assessed by the Faecal Incontinence Quality of Life questionnaire (FIQOL) and the standard short form health survey questionnaire (SF-36).
Results Over a median follow up of 7.1 (5.6-8.7) years, forty-two (84%) patients had an improvement in continence of over 50%. Median incontinent episodes and days of incontinence per week decreased significantly during follow up (P <0.002). Improvement was seen in all four categories of the FIQOL scale and in some domains of the SF-36 QOL questionnaire. There were no statistically significant changes in the median resting and squeeze anal canal pressures.
Conclusion Initial improvement in continence with SNM was sustained in the majority of patients, with an overall success rate of 80% after a permanent implant at 7 years.
- Quality of life
- sacral neuromodulation
- sacral neurostimulation
- faecal incontinence