Outcome of patients with an implanted artificial anal sphincter for severe faecal incontinence. A single institution report

Int J Colorectal Dis. 1998;13(2):88-92. doi: 10.1007/s003840050141.


Implantation of an artificial sphincter is an alternative treatment for patients with severe faecal incontinence. This prospective study from one institution has evaluated the results from 13. Preoperative and postoperative incontinence scores, anal manometry, and quality of life were evaluated in 13 patients who had undergone implantation of an artificial sphincter over a 7-year period. Two patients were definitive failures. One developed acute total colitis after 5 years of satisfactory function, and a second had discomfort and demanded removal of an otherwise functioning device. After a median follow-up of 30 (range 5-76) months, 11 patients had an activated and functional device. These included 6 with a urinary AMS 800 and 5 with the newly designed anal ABS. The mean incontinence score decreased from 17 to 4, and quality of life improved markedly. Two of the 11 patients had undergone successful reimplantation, one following rupture of the cuff and the second following ulceration of the control pump through the labia. In no case was infection or erosion of the anal canal a cause of failure. While the cause of incontinence and age did not affect outcome, psychological reaction had a significant impact. The artificial anal sphincter may have a role to play in severe faecal incontinence.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anal Canal / surgery*
  • Fecal Incontinence / physiopathology
  • Fecal Incontinence / surgery*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Manometry
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Prostheses and Implants*
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Treatment Outcome