Fecal incontinence (FI) is a socially and emotionally devastating disorder. The prevalence of FI among institutionalized persons reaches 45 %. Prevalence rates are similar between men and women, 7.7 % and 8.9 %, respectively, and increase with age, reaching 15.3 % in those 70 years of age or older. Due to social perception, many patients do not seek treatment, which likely leads to an underestimation of prevalence. Thirty-six percent of primary care patients reported episodes of FI but only 2.7 % of these patients had a documented diagnosis. Healthcare costs are 55 % higher in FI than continent patients, amounting to an estimated $11 billion annually. Most patients achieve significant improvement in symptoms through proper treatment. Early diagnosis may prevent complications that reduce quality of life.
KeywordsPelvic Floor Fecal Incontinence Anal Sphincter Rectal Prolapse External Anal Sphincter
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