The loss of bowel control, also called fecal incontinence, is more common than you may think. Unfortunately, millions of people suffer every day from accidents and leaks. Some people may also experience feelings of sadness and depression and may not want to leave the house for fear of having an accident.
It is important to know how normal bowels work to fully understand fecal incontinence. When your bowels function normally, you are able to control the release of your stool (waste matter). The process of a normal bowel movement begins when the rectum fills with stool. The brain then sends signals to the anus and anal sphincter muscles to either
• Relax—which allows the rectum to release stool when desired, or
• Contract—to hold stool in when a bowel movement is not wanted Fecal incontinence is different for everyone.
While some people only have accidents now and then, others have them all the time. People with fecal incontinence experience accidents like
• The inability to hold in gas
• Passing stool (waste matter from the bowels) while passing gas
• Passing stool during normal activities
• Passing stool before reaching the toilet
This condition can have a dramatic impact on your quality of life—limiting your daily activities and affecting your relationships. However, some people avoid seeking treatment. This might be because of embarrassment, or simply because they have been told that fecal incontinence is just a part of getting old. Fecal incontinence is not a normal part of aging. It is a medical problem. But there is hope.
A new non-surgical approach is available for treating this medical condition. This injectable therapy called Solesta is liquiform material that develops a consistency “akin to a gummy bear” in the area of anal sphincter to provide strength and bulk to the sphincteric muscles. This material has been shown to stay in place, without migration, creating a more robust sphincteric mechanism, enhancing anorectal sphincteric competence.
• Treatment with Solesta was associated with high response rates in all 3 clinical studies at 6 and 12 months1,3,4 • Solesta was proven effective for up to 24 months following treatment in the pivotal clinical study and proof-of-concept study2 • To enable individual adjustment of dose, a single retreatment procedure can be performed no sooner than 4 weeks after the first injection1,3
References: 1. Solesta [package insert]. Raleigh, NC: Salix Pharmaceuticals, Inc; 2011. 2. Data on file, Salix Pharmaceuticals, Inc. 3. Dodi G, Jongen J, de la Portilla F, Raval M, Altomare DF, Lehur P-A. An open-label, noncomparative, multicenter study to evaluate efficacy and safety of NASHA/Dx gel as a bulking agent for the treatment of fecal incontinence. Gastroenterol Res Prac. 2010:467136 [Epub ahead of print]. 4. Danielson J, Karlbom U, Sonesson AC, Wester T, Graf W. Submucosal injection of stabilized nonanimal hyaluronic acid with dextranomer: a new treatment option for fecal incontinence. Dis Colon Rectum. 2009;52:1101-1106.
Please talk to your doctor today to find out if this treatment would be appropriate for you.