Aim: Chronic constipation is a problem with debilitating effects on patients' quality of life. This study aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of percutaneous tibial nerve stimulation in patients with slow transit constipation.
Method: Eighteen patients (17 women, median age 47 years, range 21-74) with slow transit constipation previously failing maximal biofeedback therapy participated in the study. Patients had 12 sessions of 30 minutes of percutaneous tibial nerve stimulation. Wexner constipation score (0-30, 30 being the worst) was the primary outcome, colonic transit time, bowel diary and Patient Assessment of Constipation Quality of Life (PAC-QOL) were evaluated pre- and post-treatment.
Results: Wexner constipation score improved significantly with treatment (median 18 pre-treatment, range 10-24, to median 14 post-treatment, range 7-22; P = 0.003). The PAC-QOL also showed significant improvement (median 2.31, range 1.36-3.61, to median 1.43, range 0.39-3.78; P = 0.008). Stool frequency increased (P = 0.048) and the use of laxatives decreased (P = 0.025). There was no change in colonic transit time (P = 0.45).
Conclusion: Percutaneous tibial nerve stimulation has potential as an affordable and minimally invasive treatment for slow transit constipation.
© 2011 The Authors. Colorectal Disease © 2011 The Association of Coloproctology of Great Britain and Ireland.