Anal Incontinence Treatment

The main aims of treatment are to improve the sphincter muscle function, altering the bowel function through bowel training and biofeedback techniques to strengthen the rectal sphincter muscles to give more control over bowel movements. 

Conservative therapies include change in diet, the use of bulking agents, anal plugs, anti-diarrhoeals, suppositories, enemas, and pelvic floor physiotherapy.

  • Sacral nerve stimulation (also known as sacral neuromodulation) is a procedure where the sacral nerve at the base of the spine is stimulated by a mild electrical current from a small devise. There are two phases for this treatment - the first being where a temporary electrode is used to trial the stimulation response and the second phase is when the devise is implanted in a small pocket underneath the skin at the base of the spine. To find out more about sacral nerve stimulation, please click here.
  • Sphincter repair- this is where the damaged sphincter muscles are removed (also known as a sphincteroplasty), the muscle edges are overlapped and stitched back together. This should make the muscles stronger by providing them with additional support.  To find out more about sphincter repair surgery please click here.
  • Artificial sphincter- is a procedure to replace the damaged sphincter muscles by a surgeon taking a sample of muscles from the thigh to create an artificial sphincter. Electrodes are then attached to a pulse generator which is inserted in the abdomen. The pulse generator runs an electrical current through the newly implanted muscles, gradually changing the way which they work, so they perform the same function as normal sphincter muscles.
  • Colostomy- this procedure is only recommended when other surgical treatments have been unsuccessful. It is a procedure where the colon is cut and brought through the abdominal wall to create an artificial opening- this is known as a stoma. Faeces are then collected in the bag- known as a colostomy bag, which is attached to the opening. To find out more about Colostomy formation click here.
What are the next steps?
If you think you have this condition or any of these symptoms
you will need to seek medical advice.
For more information or to make an appointment.
Contact birmingham bowel clinic on 0845 241 7762
or email
If you have private medical care or wish
to pay to see a consultant.
Take this factsheet along to your own
GP and request a referral to one
of our consultants
Search Symptoms
and Conditions
What our patients think...
You will never know quite how you and your team have changed my life ”
Phil Leech