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Clinical Data

Prospective study of colonic irrigation for the treatment of defaecation disorders.

            Koch SM, Melenhorst J, van Gemert WG, Baeten CG.  

Department of Colorectal Surgery, University Hospital Maastricht, PO Box 5800, 6202 AZ Maastricht, The Netherlands.

BACKGROUND:

Retrograde colonic irrigation is a possible treatment for defaecation disorders when conservative treatment or surgery has failed. The aim of this prospective study was to investigate its effectiveness.

METHODS:

Patients were divided into three groups: those with faecal incontinence (A), constipation (B) or both (C). The Biotrol Irrimatic pump or the irrigation bag was used for colonic irrigation. Patients completed a questionnaire at baseline and after 3, 6 and 12 months, as well as a Short Form 36 health survey and an American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgery quality of life questionnaire at baseline and after 6 months.

RESULTS:

The study included 39 patients (26 women; mean age 58.0 years). In group A, 11 of 18 patients were pseudocontinent for faeces at 3 months (P < 0.001). Parks' incontinence scores decreased for all patients in this group at 3 months (P < 0.001), 6 months (P = 0.036) and 1 year (P = 0.005). In group B, three of ten patients reported a major improvement. The mean score for the feeling of incomplete evacuation decreased at 3 months (P = 0.007), 6 months (P = 0.013) and 1 year (P = 0.036). In group C, six of ten patients became pseudocontinent for faeces (P = 0.009) and three reported improvement in constipation. The overall quality of life scores improved (P = 0.012).

CONCLUSION:

Retrograde colonic irrigation is an undervalued but effective alternative treatment for intractable defaecation disorders.

PMID: 18720454 [Pub Med - indexed for MEDLINE