Retrograde colonic irrigation is a possible treatment for defecation disorders when conservative treatment or surgery has failed.
Dr Koch and colleagues undertook a prospective study to investigate its effectiveness in 39 patients.
Patients were divided into 3 groups, including those with fecal incontinence in Group 1, those with constipation in Group 2 or patients presenting with both symptoms in Group 3.
The Biotrol® Irrimatic pump or the irrigation bag was used for colonic irrigation.
|The overall quality of life scores improved|
|British Journal of Surgery|
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.
In Group 1, 11 of 18 patients were pseudocontinent for feces at 3 months.
The researchers found that incontinence scores decreased for all patients in Group 1 at 3 months, 6 months and 1 year.
In Group 2, the team noted that 3 of 10 patients reported a major improvement.
The mean score for the feeling of incomplete evacuation decreased at 3 months, 6 months and 1 year.
In Group 3, 6 of 10 patients became pseudocontinent for feces and 3 reported improvement in constipation.
The research team found that the overall quality of life scores improved.
Dr Koch’s team concluded, “Retrograde colonic irrigation is an undervalued but effective alternative treatment for intractable defecation disorders.”