Purpose: Dynamic graciloplasty has been used for intractable fecal incontinence, and good results have been reported. The aim of this study was to assess prospectively the safety and efficacy of dynamic graciloplasty for intractable fecal incontinence in a prospective, multicenter trial.
Methods: A total of 123 adults were treated with dynamic graciloplasty at 20 institutions. Continence was assessed preoperatively and postoperatively by use of 14-day diaries.
Results: There was one treatment-related death. One hundred eighty-nine adverse events occurred in 91 patients (74 percent). Forty-nine patients (40 percent) required one or more operations to treat complications. One hundred seventy (90 percent) events were resolved. Sixty-three percent of patients without pre-existing stomas recorded a 50 percent or greater decrease in incontinent events 12 months after dynamic graciloplasty, and an additional 11 percent experienced lesser degrees of improvement. Twenty-six percent were not improved, worsened, or exited. In patients with pre-existing stomas, 33 percent achieved successful outcomes at 12 months. This number increased to 60 percent at 18 months. Seventy-eight percent of patients had increased enema retention time, and mean anal canal pressures improved significantly at 12 months. Significant changes in quality of life were also observed.
Conclusions: Objective improvement can be demonstrated in the majority of patients with end-stage fecal incontinence treated with dynamic graciloplasty. Reduction in incontinence episodes can be correlated with improved quality of life. Adverse events are frequently encountered, but most resolve with treatment.