Sphincter defects are not associated with long-term incontinence following ileal pouch-anal anastomosis

Susan L. Gearhart, Tracy L. Hull, Tom Schroeder, James Church, Crina Floruta

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

INTRODUCTION: Frequent loose stools test the integrity of sphincter function in patients undergoing ileal pouch-anal anastomosis. The authors hypothesized that women with anal sphincter defects were more likely to experience incontinence episodes than women with intact sphincter muscles following ileal pouch-anal anastomosis. METHODS: From 1996 to 1998, 42 women with a mean age of 42 (range, 22-63) years were prospectively evaluated by anorectal manometry and endoanal ultrasound before pouch surgery. Forty women underwent a stapled ileal pouch-anal anastomosis and two underwent a handsewn anastomosis. All patients considered themselves continent of stool before the procedure. A postoperative survey including the Cleveland Clinic Florida scale, Fecal Incontinence Severity Index, and Fecal Incontinence Quality of Life scale was sent to study participants. RESULTS: Nineteen women with an obstetrical history had significant sphincter defects associated with significant lower mean resting pressure, mean squeeze pressure, and shorter anal canal length (3 vs. 3.7 cm, P = 0.0007). Thirty-five women (83 percent) responded resulting in a mean follow-up of 62 (range, 49-72) months. Fourteen responders (mean age, 46 years) had sphincter defects but no significant difference was found in Cleveland Clinic Florida scale, Fecal Incontinence Severity Index, or Fecal Incontinence Quality of Life scale scores when compared with those without defects. CONCLUSION: Although almost all women reported episodes of seepage, marked sphincter defects associated with low anal pressures and shorter anal canal length did not affect anal function following pouch surgery. This study supports the findings that continent women with significant sphincter defects on ultrasound evaluation may be considered for restorative proctocolectomy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1410-1415
Number of pages6
JournalDiseases of the colon and rectum
Volume48
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2005

Keywords

  • Anal sphincter
  • Fecal incontinence
  • Ileal pouch-anal anastomosis
  • Restorative proctocolectomy
  • Ulcerative colitis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology

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