Faecal incontinence and rectal leakage is a debilitating but quite common problem, affecting approximately 15% of Australia’s population. It tends to be more common in elderly people, but can affect young people as well and can lead to significant suffering, social isolation, and problems with employment.
Symptoms include regular loss of mucus or faecal material from the anus without warning – this is often associated with irritation around the anus, itch or even a rash in the area. Another common symptom is the sensation of moisture or leakage around the anus, coming on after visiting the toilet, or difficulty in being able to clean the area.
Some people are unable to “hold on” for long, and need to rush to the toilet. Often people modify their lifestyle to always be near a toilet, or only going out where they know where the toilets are. Patients can suffer from sudden loss of bowel motions, and have “accidents” in public, and often feel a lot of embarrassment and shame.
Some patients may have these problems in association with loose bowel motions, others will have the same symptoms yet normal formed motions. The majority of our patients will have these symptoms in combination with difficulties in going to the toilet as well.
Many people, including doctors and medical professionals, feel that there is nothing that can be done for people with these problems – but they are very wrong. Our highly experienced team can assess your condition and can almost always make a difference and improve your quality of life, through medication, specialist physiotherapy, and a number of surgical interventions that can also help.
If you are experiencing faecal incontinence or rectal leakage and would like to see one of our specialised Brisbane physicians, please book an appointment with us today.