4 Surgical Options for Fecal Incontinence: Which One is Right for You?

4 Surgical Options for Fecal Incontinence: Which One is Right for You?

Losing the ability to control your bowel is more than simply a logistical problem. It can lead to embarrassment, loss of dignity, and social isolation. Fecal incontinence may affect as many as 1-in-3 Americans, with numbers increasing in the older population. 

At Southeast Urogyn, our urogynecologists, Robert Harris, MD, and Steven Speight, MD, are fecal incontinence specialists, able to help you find the right solution. 

While there are medications and therapies that may help some patients, persistent bowel issues occasionally need surgical solutions. When surgery becomes necessary, we typically recommend one of four approaches. 

Causes of fecal incontinence

There’s no single cause for fecal incontinence, and for many patients, a combination of factors might be in play. Some of the common causes and risk factors include: 

Disabilities that interfere with movement can also contribute to fecal incontinence if you can’t reach a restroom in time. 

4 surgical options

While there are a wide range of surgical options, we typically turn to four approaches for our patients with fecal incontinence. 

Axonics® therapy

A nerve stimulation implant designed to help fecal and urinary incontinence, the Axonics device lasts 15 years or more, delivering a gentle current that helps to restore normal control abilities for patients suffering from nerve irregularities. 

Axonics uses a temporary system to verify the therapy works before we proceed with an implant. 

Rectocele repair

When the rectum bulges into the vagina, called rectocele, incontinence can result from matter trapped in the rectocele pouch. We can repair this pouch surgically through an incision in the vaginal wall. 

Rectovaginal fistula repair

A fistula is a problem similar to rectocele, but a hole or tract develops between the vagina and the rectum. We can repair a rectovaginal fistula surgically in a minimally invasive way through the vagina. 


If your incontinence is due to problems with the sphincter muscle itself, we can reinforce the damaged or weak area with a surgical procedure to overlap the muscle at its weak point, enabling complete closure after successful surgery. 

Your best option depends on the cause or combination of causes behind your fecal incontinence. While there are surgical options, we recommend these only after conservative treatments fail to produce sufficient results. 

Contact the most convenient location of Southeast Urogyn by calling that office directly. We’re located in Flowood and Madison, Mississippi. There’s no reason to endure the challenges of fecal incontinence. Find out more by booking an appointment today.

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