Fecal Incontinence Specialist
Dr. Daniel Stone, MD FACOG
Urogynecologist located in Phoenix, AZ
Dr. Daniel Stone, MD is one of the leading experts in the surgical and non-surgical management of accidental bowel leakage or fecal incontinence. Dr. Stone can diagnosis and provides management options for fecal incontinence to patients in the Phoenix, Scottsdale and surrounding Arizona areas.
Fecal Incontinence Q&A
What is accidental bowel leakage or fecal incontinence?
Accidental bowel leakage or fecal incontinence is the loss of bowel control leading to the accidental leakage of stool. This can happen with or without you knowing. It can also happen with or without the urge to go. This condition can be very upsetting and embarrassing but it is very common with around 6 % of younger women and 15% of older women suffering from the condition in their lifetime.
What is the cause of accidental bowel leakage or fecal incontinence?
The usual cause of accidental bowel leakage is a problem with the muscles and nerves of the rectum and anus. Normally these muscles and nerves work together to prevent leakage and to have normal bowel movements. There are several conditions and risk factors that can lead to accidental bowel leakage:
- Injury during childbirth to the anal sphincter
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Nerve disorders
- Certain medications
Dr. Stone will discuss with you your risk factors and potential causes of this condition. He will perform a physical exam to evaluate the anal sphincter to determine if there are any injuries to these muscles.
Are there any other tests that may be performed during this evaluation?
Depending on your history and physical exam findings, Dr. Stone may recommend other tests including the following:
- Anorectal manometry – tests for the sensory function of the anal canal and sphincter.
- Anal ultrasound – Evaluates any defects in the anal sphincter.
What are the conservative treatments for accidental bowel leakage or fecal incontinence?
Dr. Stone will discuss with you several conservative therapies to help with accidental bowel leakage.
Dietary changes: Dr. Stone will discuss fiber intake with you. Your daily intake of fiber should between 25 to 38 grams of fiber. This will help keep the stool well-formed. He will also discuss avoiding foods that can irritate the bowel including caffeine, coffee, tea, soda, artificial sweeteners, or alcohol.
Skin Care: Women with Accidental bowel leakage often have sore skin around the anus as well as hemorrhoids. Taking care of this skin soreness and taking care of hemorrhoids will reduce the amount of leakage as well as the amount of bother that the leakage causes. Using soft toilet paper, avoiding excessive cleaning, cleaning with warm water can all help reduce inflammation.
Are there any exercises that I can do to help with accidental bowel leakage?
Dr. Stone will discuss with you Pelvic Floor Muscle Exercises (Kegels). These exercises can help manage and reduce episodes of accidental bowel leakage. Ask Dr. Stone if you’d like to see a special physical therapist called a pelvic floor physical therapist to learn how to best perform these exercises.
Are there any medications that I can take to help with accidental bowel leakage?
Dr. Stone may consider loperamide which is a constipating drug to help reduce the number of leakage episodes. This can be especially useful if you have frequent loose stool.
What are the surgical treatments for accidental bowel leakage or fecal incontinence?
There are several surgeries done for accidental bowel leakage. Dr. Stone performs 2 of these surgeries in specific scenarios.
Anal Sphincteroplasty: This is a surgery that is used if you have a torn anal sphincter which is usually from a childbirth injury. During this surgery, Dr. Stone will identify the torn ends and bring them back together with several sutures.
Sacral Nerve Stimulation: Dr. Stone will offer this surgery if you have accidental bowel leakage of formed stool. This is an implanted device that stimulates the nerves that innervate the anal sphincter. By stimulating these nerves, leakage can be reduced significantly.
Major Insurance Providers Accepted
We accept most insurance policies for your convenience. Please contact your insurance carrier to verify your individual benefits and any copays or coinsurance that are part of your plan. Patients are responsible for notifying our office if a specific plan requires precertification, preauthorization, or a referral (especially HMOs). Please call the phone number on the back of your insurance card to verify your provider network participation as insurance carriers change policies often.
Phoenix, Arizona 85016-1302
Office Hours: Monday-Friday from 8 AM – 5 PM
Main: (602) 788-1521
Fax: (602) 688-5420
Conveniently located just off Highway 51 on Maryland Avenue just East of 16TH Street between East Bethany Home Road and East Glendale Avenue.