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Living with constipation, accidental bowel leakage (ABL) or fecal incontinence can be socially isolating, physically painful and emotionally challenging. At Weill Cornell Medicine, we help patients achieve the high quality of life that you want and deserve.
If you have tried non-surgical treatments for constipation or fecal incontinence, consider learning about surgical options. You do not need to live with discomfort or the fear of embarrassment.
Individualized treatment: The team of colon and rectal surgeons at Weill Cornell Medicine is uniquely able to help patients with complex conditions and challenging cases. With surgery, our goal is to help improve control over bowel movements and sensation of the need to have a bowel movement.
Our team offers comprehensive treatment and lifelong care for constipation and fecal incontinence to help you live as comfortably as possible.
Multidisciplinary care from leading experts: When you choose Weill Cornell Medicine, you have access to a network of doctors and specialists. Your colon and rectal surgeon may consult with experts in gastroenterology, obstetrics and gynecology, physical therapy and other medical specialties as needed.
Weill Cornell Medicine partners with NewYork-Presbyterian, one of the top hospital systems in New York City and the U.S.
Constipation: If constipation does not improve with lifestyle changes or non-surgical treatments, surgery may be beneficial. Surgical treatments may include removing a blockage or removing part of the colon through which stool moves slowly.
Fecal incontinence: There are several surgical options for treating ABL and fecal incontinence:
● Sphincteroplasty is the most common surgical treatment for fecal incontinence. During this procedure, the surgeon reconnects and repairs torn sphincter muscles.
● Nonabsorbable bulking agents can be injected into the wall of the anus to grow the tissue around the anus, making the anus opening smaller and able to close better.
● Bowel diversion reroutes the movement of stool out of the body. During this procedure, the surgeon diverts the lower part of the small intestine or colon to an opening outside the body. An external pouch is attached to the opening to collect stool as it passes out of the body.
Electrical stimulation or sacral nerve stimulation for fecal incontinence improves bowel function and sensation. During this procedure, electrodes are placed in the sacral nerves to the anus and rectum. The electrodes continuously stimulate the nerves with electrical pulses.
At Weill Cornell Medicine and NewYork-Presbyterian, we do everything we can to support our patients and their loved ones before, during and after treatment. Learn more about what to expect during your stay.
The length of your recovery will depend on several factors, including the type of surgery. Your care team will discuss how long you will need to rest and avoid specific activities, as well as a suitable diet for the weeks and months after your surgery.
Whether you visit us virtually through a video visit or you see us in person, you can be assured that we will deliver the highest standards of care with compassion. Our team has taken every step to keep our facilities safe for you to continue your care. Learn more about our safety measures and the changes we’ve made to enhance your patient experience.
To request an appointment, please fill out our form. Our staff will help you find the physician who best fits your individual medical needs.
The physicians at the Weill Cornell Medicine Colon and Rectal Surgery Division offer patients the highest level of safety and care. As a top-ranked academic medical center, you have access to our extensive network of specialists who provide seamless care throughout your treatment — to promote long-term physical and mental health.