Biofeedback for fecal incontinence using transanal ultrasonography: Novel approach

Michael J. Solomon*, Jenny Rex, Anthony A. Eyers, Peter Stewart, Rachael Roberts

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


PURPOSE: Neosphincter procedures may prove to be the treatment of choice for patients with neuropathic fecal incontinence but are rarely proposed for milder forms of the disease. Biofeedback may prove beneficial to these patients but is yet unproven. The objectives of this study were to develop a method of performing biofeedback using transanal ultrasound to teach the patient to contract repetitively and to determine biologic measures of sphincter function using transanal ultrasound in healthy and incontinent patients. METHODS: Initial uncontrolled studies were performed to determine the compliance, normal values, biologic measures of external sphincter strength (isotonic and isometric fatigue times), and early efficacy data using continence scores and visual analog scale scores. RESULTS: Forty-four patients were assessed during three months, with relative improvements in continence scores (St. Mark's Hospital, 40 percent; Pescatori, 20 percent) and patient and investigator visual analog scale scores (38 percent for both) and measurable increase in biologic fatigue times measured by transanal ultrasound. CONCLUSIONS: Transanal ultrasound seems to be a method of teaching external sphincter contraction and measuring sphincter strength with good initial compliance. Clinically and statistically significant improvements in incontinence scores, visual analog scale scores, and biologic strength of the external sphincter were detected in the short-term follow-up with uncontrolled data. The randomized, controlled trial that we have begun will either confirm or refute these results.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)788-792
Number of pages5
JournalDiseases of the Colon and Rectum
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Anal
  • Biofeedback
  • Incontinence
  • Ultrasonography


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