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New Treatment for Fecal Incontinence

It is not a topic many people want to talk about, but fecal incontinence is a problem that affects millions of people – and it is a problem doctors can solve.

Fecal incontinence is the involuntary leakage of feces from the rectum. Some people only experience occasional leakage, while others can have complete loss of bowel control. There are many causes of this problem, but the most common causes are damage to the muscles and nerves of the rectum due to diabetes complications or complications from multiple traumas.

Conservative methods of treating the problem include changing your diet, exercise, taking stool softeners and taking drugs that will slow down the digestive process, such as Imodium®. But if none of these methods work well for you, Saint Francis Medical Center now offers a new, minimally invasive procedure that can provide relief.

Wilfred Lee, MD
Wilfred Lee, MD

“During the procedure, we inject a gel called Solesta® into the wall of the anal canal,” says Wilfred Lee, MD, gastroenterologist at Saint Francis Medical Center. “It bulks up the tissue in the anal canal so you have more control over your bowel function. This procedure can be done in the office and takes only 10 to 20 minutes. It does not require any anesthesia and you can go back to limited activity right after. In a week, you can resume all but the most strenuous activities.”

Patients typically see results very soon. By three months post-procedure, the problem likely will be gone.

“The best part about this procedure is its simplicity,” says Lee. “Patients do not need anesthesia or any type of surgery. They can come into my office for the procedure and leave the same day.”

“It is important that you tell your doctor when you experience fecal incontinence,” continues Lee. “There is no need to be embarrassed. The sooner we evaluate the condition, the sooner we can begin treatment and you can find relief. There are many options for you, and Solesta is the newest weapon in our arsenal.”

For more information, call 573-331-3000.

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