Fecal incontinence, also known as bowel incontinence, is loss of control of bowel movements, causing unexpected fecal leak from the rectum. It is more common among women than men.
- Muscle damage as a result of childbirth
- Nerve damage as a result of:
- Rectal damage or scarring as a result of:
- Surgery to treat hemorrhoids or other conditions
- Rectal prolapse
Fecal Incontinence — Dr. Bidhan Das
Bidhan Das, MD, a colorectal surgeon at Houston Methodist’s Center for Restorative Pelvic Medicine, defines fecal incontinence, lists causes and symptoms and suggests ways the condition can be treated.
Diagnosing Fecal IncontinenceYour doctor will ask about your medical history and symptoms and perform a physical examination to assess your anal sphincter muscle. Procedures include:
• Anal manometry
• Defecography – also known as evacuation proctography, evaluates pelvic floor muscles and rectum during a bowel movement
• Pudendal nerve testing – determines whether the pudendal nerve in the pelvis correctly functions
Treating Fecal IncontinenceHouston Methodist doctors will discuss your condition and determine your personalized treatment plan. Options may include:
• Diet changes
• Pelvic floor physical therapy