Long–term assessment of fecal incontinence after lateral internal sphincterotomy



Lateral internal sphincterotomy (LIS) can cause fecal incontinence. The aim of this study was to evaluate this sequelae after long–term follow–up of patients treated by LIS and to identify possible associated factors.


Data were retrospectively collected for patients with chronic anal fissure who had LIS between 1994 and 1997. Continence was assessed according to the incontinence score (IS) obtained by medical record review and telephone questionnaire. Statistical analysis was performed using by Student's t test for qualitative variables and chi–square test for qualitative variables.


All 68 patients evaluated had healed after fissure surgery. None of these patients had preoperative fecal incontinence neither recurrence at the time of follow–up. At a mean follow–up of 66.6 months (range, 30–84 months), 7 patients (10.2%) were incontinent (mean IS=8.2; range, 5–16) and none had recovered continence at the time of follow–up. There was no significant difference between patients with and without fecal incontinence relative to gender age, hemorrhoidectomy combined with LIS, or vaginal delivery.


Incontinence due to LIS does not recover after long-term follow-up and appears to be an independent cause of fecal incontinence.

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Correspondence to N. A. Rotholtz.

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Rotholtz, N.A., Bun, M., Mauri, M.V. et al. Long–term assessment of fecal incontinence after lateral internal sphincterotomy. Tech Coloproctol 9, 115–118 (2005). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10151-005-0208-3

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Key words

  • Fecal incontinence
  • Lateral internal sphincterotomy
  • Chronic anal fissure