Clin Colon Rectal Surg 2021; 34(01): 022-027
DOI: 10.1055/s-0040-1714247
Review Article

Current Position of Sacral Neuromodulation in Treatment of Fecal Incontinence

Binit Katuwal
1  Department of Surgery, Providence Hospital & Medical Centers, Southfield, Michigan
Jasneet Bhullar
2  Department of Surgery, UPMC Williamsport, Williamsport, Pennsylvania
› Author Affiliations


Fecal incontinence (FI) is defined as uncontrolled passage of feces or gas for at least 1-month duration in an individual who previously had control. FI is a common and debilitating condition affecting many individuals. Continence depends on complex relationships between anal sphincters, rectal curvatures, rectoanal sensation, rectal compliance, stool consistency, and neurologic function. Factors, such as pregnancy, chronic diarrhea, diabetes mellitus, previous anorectal surgery, urinary incontinence, smoking, obesity, limited physical activity, white race, and neurologic disease, are known to be the risk factors for FI. Conservative/medical management including biofeedback are recognized as the first-line treatment of the FI. Those who are suitable for surgical intervention and who have failed conservative management, sacral nerve stimulation (SNS) has emerged as the treatment of choice in many patients. The surgical technique involves placement of a tined lead with four electrodes through the S3 sacral foramen. The lead is attached to a battery, which acts as a pulse generator, and is placed under the patient's skin in the lower lumbar region. The use of SNS in the treatment of FI has increased over the years and the beneficial effects of this treatment have been substantiated by multiple studies. This review describes SNS as a modality of treatment for FI and its position in the current medical diaspora in patients with FI.

Publication History

Publication Date:
28 January 2021 (online)

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