Have you noticed an inability to control your bowel movements? If so, you’re not alone. Fecal incontinence causes leakage due to muscle and nerve damage that can happen from aging or giving birth. The condition ranges from an occasional leak while passing gas or a total loss of control of the bowels.
Nevada Surgery and Cancer Center offers treatment for fecal incontinence with Dr. Stephanie Wishnev. One type, called urge incontinence is when someone has the inability to resist the urge to go, which comes on suddenly and you are unable to make it to the bathroom on time. The other type is called passive incontinence, in which people are not aware they need to pass fecal matter.
What Causes Fecal Incontinence?
Muscle or nerve damage. Injuries from childbirth, or other conditions can cause damage to the muscles and nerves that prompt you to defecate.
Diarrhea. Loose stool is more difficult to hold in the rectum, so diarrhea can worsen fecal incontinence.
Surgery. Surgeries occurring in the rectum and anus that treat hemorrhoids or other conditions can contribute to nerve and muscle damage that weaken one’s ability to hold stool.
Rectal prolapse. Should the rectum drop down to the anus from weakening muscle structure, fecal incontinence is likely to occur.
Who’s at Risk?
The elderly. While incontinence can happen at any age, it is more common in elderly adults.
Females after childbirth. A complication in childbirth may result in fecal incontinence.
Nerve Damage from other conditions. Diabetes or MS (multiple sclerosis) both damage nerves that control defecation.
Mayo Clinic states, “The loss of dignity associated with losing control over one’s bodily functions can lead to embarrassment, shame, frustration, anger and depression. It’s common for people with fecal incontinence to try to hide the problem or to avoid social engagements.”
Dr. Wishnev of NVSCC is currently one of the few surgeons in Las Vegas and the whole of Nevada who performs anorectal ultrasounds for patients with fecal incontinence. Patients take an enema for the procedure, where the anorectal ultrasounds use high frequency sound waves to get a visual of the anal canal to see tears, scarring, or lesions that may have contributed to the patient’s fecal incontinence.
For patients experiencing frequent diarrhea, constipation, gas and bloating, seek treatment options with NVSCC. The sooner you are diagnosed, Dr. Wishnev can prescribe a plan of action that will help or cure your symptoms and give you a better quality of life. To learn more about Dr. Wishnev and the treatment options available at Nevada Surgery and Cancer Center, contact NVSCC on their website or call 702-733-1689.