Fecal Incontinence

Progressive Surgical Care

Colorectal Surgeons and General Surgeons located in Howard Beach, Queens & New Hyde Park, Long Island

When you lose the ability to control passing gas or stool, it can be embarrassing and life-altering. The providers at Progressive Surgical Care in New Hyde Park, Long Island and Howard Beach, Queens, New York, offer surgery to treat your fecal incontinence. By repairing the underlying causes of your incontinence, they can help to ease your worries about bowel leakage and help you feel confident again. For a consultation, call to schedule an appointment today.

Fecal Incontinence Q & A

What’s fecal incontinence?

Fecal incontinence, also called bowel incontinence, is the inability to control when you pass gas or stool. Though it’s a common problem, many people don’t seek treatment because it’s embarrassing to discuss with their health care provider.

Fecal incontinence can be mild and prevent you from controlling when you pass gas. In more severe cases, you can lose some or all your ability to keep either liquid or formed stools from passing. The severity of this condition depends largely on the underlying cause of your incontinence. It can get worse over time as you age and the sphincter weakens.

Fecal incontinence can be temporary when you’re suffering from a period of diarrhea or it could be an ongoing problem that needs treatment. Your health care provider can determine what’s causing your symptoms and what treatments might be available to you.

What causes fecal incontinence?

Several factors could be contributing to your fecal incontinence, including:

  • Chronic or acute diarrhea: liquid stool is often difficult to control
  • Chronic constipation: can cause nerve damage and weaken sphincter muscles
  • Nerve damage: prevents muscle control and your awareness of the need to pass stool
  • Sphincter and muscle damage: rectal and anal, most often associated with childbirth
  • Hemorrhoids: prevents the anal sphincter from closing completely
  • Colon or rectal surgery: can cause scarring, nerve damage, and/or weakened muscles
  • Rectal prolapse or rectocele: conditions that hinder the proper storage and movement of stool

The underlying cause of your bowel incontinence is determined using your past medical history, a rectal exam, an MRI, a colonoscopy, and other tests.

How’s fecal incontinence treated?

Your personalized treatment plan depends on the underlying causes of your fecal incontinence. Some possible treatments include:

  • Sphincter Repair
  • Anti-diarrheal medications
  • Stool-bulking medications
  • Bowel training
  • Exercise therapy
  • Nerve stimulation
  • Fillers such as Solesta

For some, surgery is needed to repair your damaged rectum, anus, or sphincters.

What surgeries can treat fecal incontinence?

Progressive Surgical Care offers several surgeries, including:

  • Rectocele repair
  • Sphincteroplasty (sphincter repair)
  • Hemorrhoid surgery and pexy
  • Rectal prolapse repair
  • Colostomy formation, as a last resort to reroute your colon to outside the body

They specialize in sphincter repair, which tightens and restores sphincter muscle tone. Some types of sphincter repair use muscle tissue from the inner thigh to restore muscle tone to the anal sphincter.

Your surgeon discusses with you what surgical options are best for you, to help you regain control of your bowels.

For an expert consultation regarding your fecal incontinence, call or schedule an appointment online today with Progressive Surgical Care.