How common is fecal incontinence? Do other people have this problem, too?
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.
What are my treatment options? Isn't my only option to fix this problem to get a colostomy?
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.
Are treatments for fecal incontinence covered by my insurance carrier?
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