Summary: Urinary and fecal incontinence can affect your life in many ways. Discover a cutting-edge option that may help you regain bladder and bowel control.
Incontinence is a prevalent yet infrequently addressed health condition that commonly leads to physical, psychological, emotional, and social impacts. The condition is problematic for countless individuals in the United States and could obstruct a person’s way of life from minor to significant forms. Adults may experience urinary or fecal incontinence, or a combination of both, which might range in the scale of severity and dysfunction. A number of patients find speaking about bladder or bowel incontinence highly uncomfortable, even when it is with a medical professional. This creates an obstacle to care for a large number of individuals.
In many instances, even sparse episodes of incontinence might hamper a person’s desire to engage in outside activities. The idea of being away from home for too long or needing to use the bathroom at any given moment keeps many people from enjoying a normal standard of living. If you or someone you love has bladder or bowel incontinence (or a combination of both), please understand that help is available, and you are not alone. There are effective treatments in use today to help you regain control of your bladder and bowels and boost your comfort and confidence.
Unanticipated bowel or urinary leakage is a considerable concern for numerous patients in our community. The board-certified gastrointestinal (GI) specialists at GI Associates & Endoscopy Center offer personalized care for incontinence problems, including an innovative service called sacral neuromodulation (SNM). Do not hesitate to contact our Jackson, MS gastroenterologists right away to find out more about urinary and fecal incontinence and to discuss your treatment options.
What causes urinary leakage?
Characterized as the absence of urinary or bladder control, urinary incontinence causes patients to accidentally pass urine. It is comprised of several conditions, including overflow incontinence, urinary retention, stress incontinence, and overactive bladder (OAB) or urgency incontinence. The likelihood of developing this health concern increases for those older than 50, though adults of every age may be impacted. Moreover, the National Association for Continence states that greater than 25 million people across the nation have urinary incontinence each day. Common factors leading to bladder incontinence include:
- Damage to the pelvic muscles
- Defects in normal anatomy
- Childbirth trauma
- Previous surgery
- Ongoing constipation
- Nerve damage
- Infection in the pelvic organs
- Caffeine consumption
- Some medications
What causes bowel control problems?
Although a lot of Jackson, MS patients find it disconcerting to ask for help for bladder leakage, issues with bowel incontinence can be even more awkward to admit. Bowel dysfunction, or the inability to control bowel movements, can range from sporadic bowel leakage to a total inability to control the bowels. According to the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons, research shows that 1.8 – 18% of the U.S. population has fecal incontinence. Some of the more common causes of bowel incontinence include:
- Muscle weakness due to age
- Chronic constipation or diarrhea
- Rectal prolapse
- Central nervous system (CNS) conditions
- Damage to the nerves
- Irritable bowel diseases
- Excessive laxative use
- History of surgery
- Birth trauma
- Defects in normal anatomy
Are urinary and bowel incontinence related conditions?
Bladder and bowel incontinence affects double as many women as men. Even though they can persist individually or at the same time, there is a physiological connection between these two concerns. The brain and muscles that direct the bladder and bowels work together to manage urinary and fecal function. When neural pathways involving the brain and these muscles become blocked, varied conditions of incontinence might arise. Generally, both urinary and fecal incontinence might be caused if the brain is unable to transmit the proper signals to the muscles that facilitate bowel and bladder functions.
How is incontinence treated?
Treatment for improving urinary and fecal incontinence often initiates with conservative options, such as pelvic floor exercises, modifying diet and fluid consumption, and medications. These therapies may incorporate adding additional fiber to daily nutritional intake, or lowering caffeine consumption and other items that have diuretic properties. When such approaches do not produce desired results, or people are not ideal candidates for conservative solutions or other procedures, the gastroenterologists at GI Associates & Endoscopy Center may suggest sacral neuromodulation therapy. Though a variety of therapeutic treatments are available for controlling urinary leakage, there are not many options for treating bowel leakage, apart from sacral neuromodulation.
What should you know about sacral neuromodulation treatment?
Sacral neuromodulation is a minimally invasive method for treating cases of incontinence. It is conducted through the internal placement of a small electrical device, similar to a pacemaker. The stimulator is implanted beside the sacral nerve in the tailbone (coccyx), around the top portion of the buttocks, or gluteus muscles. Authorized for individuals age 18 or older, sacral neuromodulation is highly recommended by the American Society of Gastroenterology and the American Society of Colorectal Surgeons (after a conservative approach). SNM enables an extended therapeutic option that has delivered positive treatment outcomes for a large number of adults. Furthermore, patients are able to try it beforehand to find out whether it works for them.
How does a sacral nerve stimulator treat incontinence?
Individuals who are candidates for sacral neuromodulation therapy generally go through a 1 to 2-week trial to begin the process. The neurostimulator is then inserted via a minimally invasive surgery carried out by a gastrointestinal specialist at GI Associates & Endoscopy Center. SNM is a restorative therapy that regulates the function of the pelvic floor by facilitating signal conduction between the brain and muscles controlling bladder and bowel functions. The electrical device is charged by the patient every 2 – 4 weeks through an external device and requires only a short recharging period. Many SNM therapy patients deem the process of recharging the neurostimulator to be relatively efficient and easy.
Is SNM therapy effective at treating urinary and bowel incontinence?
GI Associates & Endoscopy Center proudly offers sacral neuromodulation as an effective, safe, and long-lasting approach to treating bladder or fecal incontinence in Jackson, MS individuals. SNM is clinically proven to treat urinary incontinence, urinary retention, OAB, and fecal incontinence. Studies performed show that sacral neuromodulation therapy produces a high rate of patient satisfaction and treatment success for both urinary and bowel incontinence concerns, and also has a very high safety profile. It has proven successful in adults for whom a conservative approach to therapy was ineffective, can allow for significant quality of life enhancements, and is linked to considerably lower rates of incontinence events.
Get treatment for incontinence in Jackson, MS
The introduction of SNM has been paramount in determining a minimally invasive method for treating treat bladder and bowel incontinence, enhancing the lives of adults dealing with these conditions. At GI Associates & Endoscopy Center, we understand the issues and embarrassment people encounter when living with bladder and bowel leakage. Our experienced GI doctors are pleased to offer individualized options and private consultations to address these medical conditions with the greatest level of discretion, care, and clinical distinction. To learn if you are a candidate for sacral neuromodulation therapy, contact our offices in Jackson, MS today to schedule a visit with a GI physician.