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Br J Surg. 2013 Jan;100(2):174-81. doi: 10.1002/bjs.8944. Epub 2012 Nov 2.

Sacral nerve stimulation for constipation.

Author information

1
The Sir Alan Parks Physiology Unit, St Mark's Hospital and Academic Institute, Watford Road, Harrow HA1 3UJ, UK.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

For over 10 years sacral nerve stimulation (SNS) has been used for patients with constipation resistant to conservative treatment. A review of the literature is presented.

METHODS:

PubMed, MEDLINE and Embase databases were searched for studies demonstrating the use of SNS for the treatment of constipation.

RESULTS:

Thirteen studies have been published describing the results of SNS for chronic constipation. Of these, three were in children and ten in adults. Test stimulation was successful in 42-100 per cent of patients. In those who proceeded to permanent SNS, up to 87 per cent showed an improvement in symptoms at a median follow-up of 28 months. The success of stimulation varied depending on the outcome measure being used. Symptom improvement correlated with improvement in quality of life and patient satisfaction scores.

CONCLUSION:

SNS appears to be an effective treatment for constipation, but this needs to be confirmed in larger prospective studies with longer follow-up. Improved outcome measures need to be adopted given the multiple symptoms that constipation may be associated with. Comparison with other established surgical therapies also needs consideration.

PMID:
23124687
DOI:
10.1002/bjs.8944
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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