What are the treatment options for fecal incontinence following middle cerebral artery (MCA) stroke?

Updated: Aug 09, 2021
  • Author: Daniel I Slater, MD; Chief Editor: Stephen Kishner, MD, MHA  more...
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Bowel management methods that are successful in patients with other neurologic pathology are often used in the management of stroke patients in the rehabilitation setting. Treatment programs should be individualized and implemented by the interdisciplinary team. Interventions are directed at preventing unplanned bowel movements, preventing constipation, and promoting efficient and effective bowel care. As in other settings, fecal incontinence is often managed with protective garments and appropriate skin care to prevent incontinence-related skin breakdown. Scheduled bowel programs may be used for patients with neurogenic bowel. Physical and occupational therapy interventions are directed at solving functional toileting problems. Although anal sphincter and pelvic muscle strengthening exercises may be used to treat fecal incontinence, their efficacy is poorly studied in this population.

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