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SOLESTA® - Fecal Incontinence Treatment

Sometimes referred to as bowel incontinence or anal incontinence, fecal incontinence is the inability to control bowel movements, causing an unintentional passing of solid or liquid stool or mucus from the rectum. Fecal incontinence can occur in people of any age, but it is more common in adults over the age of 50. Fecal incontinence is also slightly more common among women. The National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse (NDDIC) estimates that more than 18 million people in the United States suffer from fecal incontinence.

Common causes of fecal incontinence include diarrhea, constipation and muscle or nerve damage associated with age or giving birth.

Symptoms of Fecal Incontinence

  • Inability to hold a bowel movement before reaching the toilet
  • Inability to control the passing of gas or stools

Fecal incontinence can be accompanied with other bowel problems such as diarrhea, constipation and gas and bloating.

Fecal Incontinence Risk Factors

  • Age- fecal incontinence is more common in middle-aged and older adults.
  • Gender- it is slightly more common in women than men, most likely because fecal incontinence may be a complication of childbirth.
  • Nerve damage- people with conditions that can damage nerves that control bowel movements such as diabetes or multiple sclerosis may be at increased risk for fecal incontinence.
  • Dementia- fecal incontinence is often present in late-stage Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia
  • Physical disability- being physically disabled may make it difficult to reach the toilet in time.

Fecal incontinence can sometimes be kept under control with lifestyles changes, diet modification, medications and some forms of physical therapy. For individuals who do not respond to these measures, SOLESTA® may help to treat fecal incontinence.

SOLESTA® Injection Therapy for Fecal Incontinence

SOLESTA is an injectable gel that is used to treat individuals 18 years or older who have fecal incontinence. Comprised of naturally made materials, SOLESTA works by bulking up tissue in the anal canal. It is an alternative to surgery for fecal incontinence patients who have not been able to improve their condition through more conservative efforts.

What Happens During SOLESTA® Injection Therapy?

The SOLESTA procedure takes place at a gastroenterologist’s office. An enema will be administered prior to the procedure. Anesthesia is not typically required.

The gastroenterologist makes a total of four injections in the anal canal. SOLESTA injection therapy takes approximately 10 minutes.

What Happens After SOLESTA® Injection Therapy?

Individuals who receive SOLESTA injection therapy for fecal incontinence may resume light physical activity immediately following the procedure. In most cases, individuals can return to normal activities within one week. While SOLESTA may begin working immediately, results are typically seen within the first four weeks. Optimal results are most often reached at three months following the procedure. In some clinical trials, SOLESTA has proven effective for three years.