Fecal incontinence is a common problem in adults. However, many individuals are too embarrassed to talk about it or seek medical advice. At her practice in Los Angeles, California, Karen Zaghiyan, MD, FACS, FASCRS, offers discreet and compassionate treatment for men and women with colorectal issues like fecal incontinence. There are solutions for fecal incontinence. To learn more, call Karen Zaghiyan MD or schedule an appointment online today.
Fecal incontinence is the inability to control passing gas or stools. This condition can vary from mild, where you can’t stop passing gas, to a severe loss of control over liquid or formed stools.
You can experience fecal incontinence due to a variety of reasons, including:
Your anal sphincter muscles surround your anus and control when to release stools from your rectum. When these muscles weaken or become injured, they can impair your ability to control your bowels.
Anal sphincter damage can develop due to a variety of reasons, including childbirth, anal surgery, traumatic injury to the anal region, or because of the aging process. Often, the injury occurs many years before the onset of symptoms.
Your anal sphincter muscles have nerves controlling their function. Common causes of nerve problems associated with your sphincter include childbirth, anal surgery, or traumatic injury.
Other causes of nerve problems leading to fecal incontinence include neurological disorders, spinal cord injuries, or nerve complications caused by conditions like diabetes.
Overflow incontinence develops when you have a large volume of stool that overwhelms your rectum and anal sphincters. This form of fecal incontinence is often due to diarrhea.
You might have diarrhea because of changes to your dietary habits or prescription medications, colon inflammation, infections, tumors, or recent surgery.
Dr. Zaghiyan diagnoses fecal incontinence by thoroughly reviewing your medical history and performing a physical exam. Common fecal incontinence screenings include:
Based on this information, Dr. Zaghiyan can determine the best treatment methods for your fecal incontinence.
Dr. Zaghiyan often starts treating fecal incontinence with conservative approaches involving diet, medications, and muscle-strengthening exercises.
For chronic or severe fecal incontinence, however, Dr. Zaghiyan might recommend minimally invasive therapies, such as:
To find treatment for your fecal incontinence, call Karen Zaghiyan MD or schedule an appointment online today.