BACKGROUND: Fecal incontinence
is a common debilitating condition.
The aim of this study is to investigate the feasibility of sacral transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation
as an alternative treatment modality for fecal incontinence
All consecutive patients who presented with fecal incontinence
to the senior author’s clinic were prospectively recruited between June 2009 and September 2010. The severity of their fecal incontinence
was assessed by the Wexner and Vaizey scores and anal physiology.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:
Any improvement following a period of sacral transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation
treatment was determined by repeating the scores. In addition, patient satisfaction with the procedure was assessed by using a patient impression score.
Twenty female patients with a median age of 57.5 years (range, 30–86) were evaluated. The median follow-up was 10 months (range, 5–12 months). Two patients did not record a change in their Vaizey score. The overall mean Wexner score
was 7.9 ± 4.2 before in comparison with 4.0 ± 3.1 after sacral transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation
< 0.0001, CI = 2.2–5.7, SE = 0.832). The overall mean Vaizey score was 12.7 ± 5.7 before in comparison with 5.8 ± 5.6 after sacral transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation
< 0.0001, CI = 4.5–9.4, SE = 1.162). The pretreatment patient impression score was set at a mean of 1 ± 0 in comparison with 2.8 ± 1.1 after sacral transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation
< 0.0001, CI = 1.2–2.3, SE = 0.25).
The preliminary results suggest sacral transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation
is a promising noninvasive alternative to existing modalities in the treatment of idiopathic fecal incontinence