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Dis Colon Rectum. 2001 Jun;44(6):779-89.

Effect of sacral nerve stimulation in patients with fecal and urinary incontinence.

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Groupe de Recherche de l'Appareil Digestif, Environnement et Nutrition, andService d'Urologie, Centre Hospitalier RĂ©gional et Universitaire de Rouen, Rouen, France.



Preliminary studies have shown improvement in fecal incontinence in several patients who received temporary or permanent stimulation. The purpose of this study was to report our experience in sacral nerve stimulation in the treatment of fecal incontinence and to target patients who would benefit most from stimulation.


Patients with fecal incontinence were studied clinically and manometrically before, during, and after temporary nerve stimulation. If temporary nerve stimulation was clinically successful, the patient was implanted and followed up for six months.


Nine patients (6 female) with a mean age of 50.7 +/- 12.3 years underwent temporary nerve stimulation. Temporary nerve stimulation was successful in eight patients, six of whom were implanted. Of the patients who could be evaluated, three of five had improved at the six-month follow-up visit, particularly in relation to the number of urgency episodes and delay in postponing defecation. All implanted patients had urinary symptoms. Urinary urgency was also improved by stimulation. During temporary nerve stimulation, the maximal squeeze pressure amplitude increased. After implantation, only the duration of maximal squeeze pressure seemed to improve.


Sacral nerve stimulation can be used in the management of fecal incontinence, particularly in cases of urge fecal incontinence associated with urinary urgency. This study seems to confirm the effect of sacral nerve stimulation on striated sphincter function.

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