Sacral nerve stimulation for the management of faecal incontinence.


Faecal incontinence is a distressing and embarrassing problem that can have a profound affect upon quality of life. The true incidence is unclear, as figures from studies vary depending on the definition used and the population studied. Data from a comprehensive study by Nelson et al (1995) found that 2.2% of the population has faecal incontinence and 10% of those have severe symptoms. The incidence increases with age (Perry, 2002) This article sets out to highlight the importance of assessment along with exploring appropriate conservative and surgical management options for faecal incontinence. If conservative management fails, sacral nerve stimulation (SNS) is one treatment option which is a minimally invasive technique allowing modulation of nerves and muscles in the pelvic floor. The procedure is carried out in two stages: the diagnostic stage involves a peripheral nerve evaluation (test) and a therapeutic stage involves permanent implantation of the stimulating device. Results from a recent study focusing on the medium term follow up for SNS will be presented.

Cite this paper

@article{Sharpe2010SacralNS, title={Sacral nerve stimulation for the management of faecal incontinence.}, author={Alison Sharpe and Andrea Read}, journal={British journal of nursing}, year={2010}, volume={19 7}, pages={415-9} }