Purpose: Ileoanal anastomoses (J-pouches) are an alternative to permanent ostomy. The functional outcomes associated with the use of J-pouches are usually good, but continence disorders persist in a significant number of cases and have a negative impact on quality of life. The aim of this study was to assess the efficacy of sacral nerve stimulation (SNS) for poor functional results after J-pouch ileoanal anastomosis.
Methods: Patients suffering from severe fecal incontinence (FI) following coloproctectomy underwent a staged implant SNS procedure. Demographic data and functional results for FI episodes, urgencies per week, frequency of stools, ability to defer defecation, and Wexner scores were obtained at specified intervals. Patients also completed quality-of-life assessments.
Results: Four female patients were included in this analysis. All 4 experienced active and passive FI at baseline and subsequently underwent test stimulation with a 75 % success rate. Three received definitive implants. These 3 patients experienced improvement in functional outcomes at 1, 3, and 6 month assessments. Improvements in quality of life were also noted.
Conclusions: Our preliminary study suggests that SNS is effective for the treatment of poor functional results following J-pouch ileoanal anastomosis; however, larger studies with long-term follow-up are needed for confirmation of our findings.