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What surgical procedures are used to treat bowel incontinence?

Surgery is an option for people with bowel incontinence for whom dietary changes and biofeedback do not help, or for those with an injury to the anal sphincter, anal canal, or pelvic floor. Surgery can repair injury to the sphincter mechanism, or help constrict the sphincter using the patient's tissue or a device. In addition, minimally invasive surgery may be possible for patients with rectal prolapse, which allows for less postoperative pain, less medication, and more rapid healing when compared with traditional open surgical techniques.

For people with very severe bowel incontinence who do not respond to other treatments may require colostomy. In this procedure, which may be temporary or permanent, the colon is surgically disconnected and one end brought through an opening made in the abdomen, called a stoma, through which stool exits the body and is collected in a pouch attached to the abdomen.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.