Solutions for Fecal Incontinence
Nechol Allen, MD:
Fecal incontinence is where a person will lose control over their bowels. It's obviously embarrassing and can be socially isolating. We try [to] help people who are experiencing that problem. It is treatable. First, we typically start with diet modification and adding fiber. Sometimes for people who have long-term diarrhea, we'll start adding an over-the-counter Imodium®. If those things don't work, then we move on to physical therapy to help strengthen the muscles. If that is not enough, there are nerve modulators which go into our low back, which stimulate the S3 nerve. It controls our bowels and it helps give the nerve extra electricity. It helps us get better control, gives us more time to make it to the bathroom and [fewer] accidents.
Our goal is to get people at least 50% [fewer] accidents and leakage. Most patients have a significant higher percentage. It doesn't sound like a lot, but when you're leaking and you're leaking 50% less, you can go out to dinner without fearing, without looking for every bathroom around every corner. It's a lot more independence. It gets people back into society. We've already experienced how lonely it can be with COVID-19. We don't want people having to stay home because of leakage.