Fecal Incontinence Program

Fecal incontinence is the inability to control bowel movements, causing stool to unexpectedly leak from the anus. This treatable condition often goes undiagnosed because patients are too embarrassed to mention their symptoms. Our program is the only one of its kind in western Michigan. Fellowship-trained colorectal surgeons lead the clinical team and are uniquely qualified to treat this condition. We offer state-of-the-art nonsurgical techniques, such as InterStim® therapy, as well as the latest surgical procedures.

 Referrals and Consultations

 

 

Symptoms

  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Emotional distress—embarrassment, shame, frustration, anger and depression
  • Gas and bloating
  • Inability to reach a toilet in time
  • Skin irritation—pain, itching or ulcers—around the anus
  • Soiled undergarments
  • Uncontrolled passage of gas or stool—liquid or solid

Diagnosis

  • Anal electromyography
  • Anal manometry
  • Analrectal ultrasonography
  • Digital rectal exam
  • Proctography
  • Proctosigmoidoscopy

Treatments

Depending on severity of the symptoms, fecal incontinence may be successfully treated with nonsurgical interventions, such as diet and behavior modification, exercise therapies to restore sphincter muscle control, medications or nerve stimulation using InterStim® therapy. For more severe cases, such as rectal prolapse or rectocele, surgery is indicated.