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A new method of providing continence to patients with fecal stomas is presented. The device, used as an artificial sphincter, consists of an inflatable Silastic balloon, which is implanted in the subcutaneous tissue around the stoma; it is easily handled by the patient. The artificial sphincter was used in six patients with colostomies. In all cases, satisfactory continence of the stoma was achieved, obviating the need to use enemas, bags or other appliances. In three patients subcutaneous infections developed around the prosthesis. In two cases, this was readily controlled; in one case, the prosthesis had to be removed. The other five patients are well and continent. None of the patients experienced pain or discomfort during use of the prosthesis. There has been no stomal ischemia.