August 1997

Biofeedback Is Effective Therapy for Fecal Incontinence and Constipation

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Surgery, University of California, Los Angeles (Dr Ko) and the University of California, San Francisco (Drs Tong, Shelton, Schrock, and Welton and Mr Lehman).

Arch Surg. 1997;132(8):829-834. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1997.01430320031004

Objective:  To define the role of biofeedback in fecal incontinence and constipation.

Design:  A case series of patients with fecal incontinence or constipation with pelvic floor dysfunction.

Setting:  Tertiary care center with an anorectal physiology laboratory.

Patients:  Patients with 1 of the following: (1) chronic or acute fecal incontinence, (2) fecal incontinence and neurologic injury, or (3) constipation with pelvic floor dysfunction.

Intervention:  Electromyogram-guided biofeedback retraining of the pelvic floor.

Main Outcome Measures:  Resolution of electromyographic abnormalities and subjective resolution of fecal incontinence or constipation.

Results:  Of the patients with fecal incontinence, 92% experienced significant improvement with biofeedback without significant improvement in electromyographic values. Of the patients with constipation and pelvic floor dysfunction, 80% experienced improvement with biofeedback without significant change in electromyographic values.

Conclusion:  Biofeedback is effective in selected patients with fecal incontinence and constipation with pelvic floor dysfunction.Arch Surg. 1997;132:829-834