Diseases of the Colon & Rectum

, Volume 40, Issue 7, pp 827–831 | Cite as

Biofeedback in colorectal practice

A multicenter, statewide, three-year experience
  • Sanjiv K. Patankar
  • Andrea Ferrara
  • Jacqueline R. Levy
  • Sergio W. Larach
  • Paul R. Williamson
  • Santiago E. Perozo
Original Contributions


PURPOSE: Biofeedback treatment is often offered to patients in colorectal centers; however, standards of treatment are still lacking. A dedicated team approach is desirable but difficult to coordinate. We present our three-year experience of electromyographic-based biofeedback treatment offered within a multicenter, statewide organization. METHODS: Between October 1992 and October 1995, 188 patients completed a biofeedback treatment program in one of five coordinated centers within a 200-mile radius. A unified common database was established and continuously updated. A colorectal surgeon served as statewide director, and dedicated teams were established at each location. Each local team included the medical director and a certified biofeedback therapist and had access to a dietitian and a nurse data coordinator. Electromyographic-based biofeedback sessions were given weekly, and a home trainer program was established. RESULTS: A total of 116 patients with chronic constipation had a mean of eight (range, 2–14) weekly sessions. A total of 72 patients with fecal incontinence had a mean of seven (range, 2–11) weekly sessions. A total of 84 percent of the constipated and 85 percent of the incontinent patients had significant improvement with biofeedback treatment. Patient compliance and satisfaction were high. Constipated patients increased the mean number of weekly unassisted bowel movements from 0.8 to 6.5. Incontinent patients decreased the mean number of weekly gross incontinence episodes from 11.8 to 2. CONCLUSIONS: Biofeedback treatment can be extremely successful in both incontinent and constipated patients. A large geographic area can be covered with coordinated centers in which each dedicated team uses a unified treatment protocol, and a common database is established.

Key words

Fecal incontinence Constipation Biofeedback Electromyographic biofeedback 


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Copyright information

© American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sanjiv K. Patankar
    • 1
  • Andrea Ferrara
    • 1
  • Jacqueline R. Levy
    • 1
  • Sergio W. Larach
    • 1
  • Paul R. Williamson
    • 1
  • Santiago E. Perozo
    • 1
  1. 1.Colon and Rectal Clinic of OrlandoOrlando

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