Dr Bruce Farnsworth

Pelvic Reconstructive Surgeon







Faecal Incontinence

Faecal Incontinence


Faecal incontinence is the inability to control bowel movements resulting in leakage from the rectum. This problem may result from damage at childbirth and nerve damage. Constipation, diarrhoea and the aging process are also implicated.


In order to determine the best treatment some investigations may be helpful in addition to simple inspection and digital examination of the anus

Anal manometry is a simple pressure test where a tube is put into your rectum and pressures are measured

Anorectal ultrasound enables the sphincter to be evaluated.

Proctography is an X-Ray where barium is placed in the rectum.

Endoscopy involves looking into the bowel with a camera

Electromyography is the measurement of nerve activity with small electrical sensor electrodes.



Dietary Changes can change the consistency of stools and reduce leakage. This usually involves increasing fibre and fluid intake.

Medications can be helpful in some situations. this may include treatment to reduce diarrhoea such as Imodium or mild laxatives such as milk of magnesia, or stool softeners where impaction is a problem.

Physiotherapy and Conservative measures may be helpful.

Surgical Options

These options will be discussed by your colorectal surgeon following your assessment and after conservative options have been explored.

  • Neuromodulation
  • Bulking Agents (PTQ)
  • Sphincteroplasty
  • Sphincter Repair
  • Artificial Sphincter