Ask a Specialist: "I struggle with fecal incontinence."

Sunday, June 7, 2015
Dr. Amanda Hayman

 
Dr. Amanda Hayman, Colon & Rectal Surgeon, answers patient questions about this common disease. Dr. Hayman specializes in a wide range of colorectal diseases and conditions, and always strives to provide compassionate care. Learn more about Dr. Hayman or request an appointment by clicking here.
 
 
Q:

How common is fecal incontinence? Do other people have this problem, too?

A:

Fecal incontinence can be a debilitating and embarrassing disease. Although it afflicts approximately 8% of people, few patients are comfortable discussing it with their provider, friends, or family.

 
Q:

What are my treatment options? Isn't my only option to fix this problem to get a colostomy?

A:

Not at all. Initial management consists of anti-diarrheal pills and fiber supplements. If not sufficient, there is a wide range of treatment options, including sphincter bulking agents for mild leakage, to sacral nerve stimulation (like a pacemaker for the bowels) and artificial bowel sphincters for more severe cases. Occasionally, more traditional approaches, such as sphincter repair, are also utilized.

 
Q:

Are treatments for fecal incontinence covered by my insurance carrier?

A:

Most often, yes. We have you fill out a detailed bowel diary to quantitate the problem. We then pick the option best suited for you and work with your insurance to determine what, if any, out-of-pocket expense you will have.

To learn more about fecal incontinence and what The Oregon Clinic's team of specialists in UroGynecology and Colon & Rectal Surgery can do for you, visit oregonclinic.com/fecal-incontinence