Review of organic causes of fecal incontinence in children: evaluation and treatment

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Abstract

Even though fecal incontinence (FI) in children is most commonly the result of functional constipation, there are organic conditions that can be associated with incontinence. FI has a major impact on the quality of life of those children who experience it. The general objectives of any bowel program are to achieve predictability and independence. This is achieved by manipulating colonic transit and stool consistency and by producing more controlled evacuations, usually with the use of rectal interventions. Dietary interventions and medications can be used to change stool consistency or to manipulate transit by accelerating or slowing it down. Biofeedback or other interventions that increase sphincter pressure can also be used to improve anorectal function. Enemas or suppositories can be used to empty the sigmoid colon in a more controlled manner. With the recent advent of the antegrade colonic enemas, the patient can have predictable bowel movements and become independent.

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