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An effective treatment for anal incontinence

Date:
October 14, 2011
Source:
Deutsches Aerzteblatt International
Summary:
Combination therapy for fecal incontinence is more effective than the current standard treatment. This is the conclusion of a randomized trial comparing the different treatments.

Combination therapy for fecal incontinence is more effective than the current standard treatment. This is the conclusion of a randomized trial comparing the different treatments, described by Thilo Schwandner and colleagues in the current issue of Deutsches Δrzteblatt International.

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In Germany, 1-2% of the population suffers from anal incontinence. The problem is often caused by weakness of the pelvic floor muscles. Targeted training, biofeedback, and electrical stimulation are used to restore coordination to the muscles responsible for continence. For anatomical reasons, physical exercises alone do not suffice to train all of the relevant muscles; thus, stimulation with an electric current plays an important role as well.

The standard treatment to date, low-frequency electric stimulation, is painful for patients and is shown in the present study to yield no demonstrable therapeutic benefit. In contrast, the combination therapy devised by the authors, which they call "triple-target treatment" (3T), restored continence in 50% of the patients who received it. In one component of 3T, the phasic voluntary musculature is trained with EMG-biofeedback so that patients can learn to activate the correct muscle groups to achieve continence. In a separate component, the smooth muscle (which cannot be voluntarily contracted) is treated with medium-frequency stimulation, which is less painful than low-frequency stimulation.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Deutsches Aerzteblatt International. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Schwandner T, Hemmelmann C, Heimerl T, Kierer W, Kolbert G, Vonthein R, Weinel R, Hirschburger M, Ziegler A, Padberg W. Triple-target treatment versus low- frequency electrostimulation for anal incontinence—a randomized controlled trial. Dtsch Arztebl Int, Oct 14, 2011 DOI: 2011; 108(39): 653%u201360

Cite This Page:

Deutsches Aerzteblatt International. "An effective treatment for anal incontinence." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 October 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111014095607.htm>.
Deutsches Aerzteblatt International. (2011, October 14). An effective treatment for anal incontinence. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 1, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111014095607.htm
Deutsches Aerzteblatt International. "An effective treatment for anal incontinence." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111014095607.htm (accessed April 1, 2015).

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