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Ann Surg. 1999 Jul;230(1):45-8.

Long-term results of artificial anal sphincter implantation for severe anal incontinence.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, Herlev Hospital, University of Copenhagen, Denmark.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To evaluate the long-term results of implantation of an artificial anal sphincter (AAS) for severe anal incontinence.

SUMMARY BACKGROUND DATA:

Implantation of an AAS is one of the options for treatment of anal incontinence when standard operations have failed. It is the only surgical option for treatment of anal incontinence in patients with neurologic disease that affects the pelvic floor and the muscles of the lower limb.

METHODS:

Seventeen patients underwent implantation of an AAS before 1993. These patients have been followed and their continence status evaluated.

RESULTS:

Two patients died of unrelated causes within the first 3 years after surgery, and in three patients the AAS was explanted because of infection. During the follow-up period, four patients had the AAS removed because of malfunction, and eight patients had a functioning AAS > or =5 years after the primary implantation. Five of these patients had revisional procedures, mainly because of technical problems in the early part of the study, when a urinary sphincter or slightly modified urinary sphincter was used. Continence at follow-up was good in four patients and acceptable in three, whereas one patient still had occasional leakage of solid stool. One patient had rectal emptying problems, which she managed by enema.

CONCLUSIONS:

An AAS based on the same principles as the artificial urinary sphincter seems to be a valid alternative in selected patients when standard surgical procedures have failed or are unsuitable. Approximately half of the patients have an adequate long-term result. Infectious complications still present a problem, whereas mechanical problems are less frequent with the modification of the device now available.

PMID:
10400035
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC1420843
Free PMC Article
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