This study aimed to report at ten years on the results of the same cohort that had been studied at five years who had undergone an anal sphincter repair for fecal incontinence.METHODS:
Patients studied at five years were contacted after ten years and asked to fill out the Fecal Incontinence Quality of Life Scale, the Fecal Incontinence Severity Index, and the Bristol Stool Form Scale.RESULTS:
Thirty-one of 44 (71 percent) patients were contacted. Median follow-up time was 129 (range, 113 to 208) months. Median age at surgery was 44 (range, 22 to 80) years. No patients were fully continent at 129 months. Fecal Incontinence Severity Index and Fecal Incontinence Quality of Life scores were correlated with the age at surgery. Older patients had lower Fecal Incontinence Quality of Life scores (P = 0.001), reflecting a lower quality of life, and a higher patient-rated Fecal Incontinence Severity Index score (P = 0.01) and a higher surgeon-rated Fecal Incontinence Severity Index score (P = 0.005), denoting more severe fecal incontinence. The Bristol Stool Form Scale, not utilized at 77 months, showed a correlation to patient-rated Fecal Incontinence Severity Index (P = 0.04) and surgeon-rated Fecal Incontinence Severity Index (P = 0.02). Fecal Incontinence Severity Index scores were significantly higher in women who had more than two vaginal births.CONCLUSION:
Continence after overlapping sphincter repair deteriorates in the long term. Long-term outcome was worse for patients who were older at the time of surgery or those with two or more vaginal births. The Bristol Stool Form Scale score correlates with the severity of incontinence, and may be used to guide the management of the patient's symptoms.