, Volume 13, Issue 4, pp 316-322
Date: 03 May 2011

Recent Advances in Functional Anorectal Disorders

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Defecatory disorders are a common cause of chronic constipation and should be managed by biofeedback-guided pelvic floor retraining. While anorectal tests are necessary to diagnose defecatory disorders, recent studies highlight the utility of a careful digital rectal examination. While obstetric anal injury can cause fecal incontinence (FI), diarrhea is a more important risk factor for FI among women in the community, who typically develop FI after age 40. Initial management of fecal incontinence should focus on bowel disturbances. Pelvic floor retraining with biofeedback therapy is beneficial for patients who do not respond to bowel management. Sacral nerve stimulation should be considered in patients who do not respond to conservative therapy.