Sacral Nerve Stimulation for Fecal Incontinence
If the sphincter muscle is not working properly, it can lead to lack of control of bowel movements, a condition referred to as fecal incontinence. This can occur for many reasons, including:
- Nerve damage to the area
For some patients, dietary changes and medication help reduce fecal incontinence. When those don’t work, sacral nerve stimulation may be an option. This procedure creates electronic impulses directed at the spine to help coordinate the impulses from the brain to the bowel and sphincter muscles.
During the surgery, your physician will implant a lead wire connected to a temporary device (like a pacemaker) that sends impulses to the sacral nerve. It will be placed near the base of the spine.
There is an initial testing phase that lasts a couple of weeks to make sure the device is working. After this time, a permanent device is connected. To stop the therapy, the device must be removed permanently.