Fecal Incontinence

As patients age, the probability of fecal incontinence increases greatly. Almost 50% of the elderly residing in nursing homes suffer from bouts of fecal incontinence. Some elders are unlikely to report fecal incontinence to their healthcare providers due to embarrassment or believing that it is a normal occurrence of aging. However, the condition can be burdensome on activities of daily living and may be indicative of a serious underlying condition, such as poor diet, diarrhea, constipation, or damage to the rectum or rectal walls. When dietary changes or antimotility medication have failed, patients have another treatment option. Solesta is a biocompatible tissue bulking gel that is injected into the layer of tissue underneath the anus. Approved by the FDA on May 27, 2011 to treat fecal incontinence, the sterile gel is made of dextranomer and sodium hyaluronate, both naturally made materials. Treatment with Solesta requires a series of four shots to narrow the opening of the anus in an effort to reduce uncontrolled bowel movements. For more information regarding Solesta and the treatment of fecal incontinence, take a look at our December Supplement for Annals of Long-Term Care.

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