ID: 7454
Physician surgical forceps holding a suture needle in operating room preparing for Sphincteroplasty

Sphincteroplasty

A sphincteroplasty is a procedure used to treat anal incontinence that’s moderate to severe fecal incontinence. This is a common condition caused by childbirth and is performed to repair the gap that has been created in the sphincter muscle.

Did you know?

The need for anal sphincter repair is typically noted immediately after delivery and surgery is usually performed as soon as possible to provide the woman with the best outcome for healing.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Sphincteroplasty like?

The sphincteroplasty requires patients be given an enema about an hour prior to the procedure. This ensures the lower bowel is cleaned out. Once the patient is prepped she is put under general anesthesia and an incision is made between the vagina and anus.

The doctor identifies the damaged muscle, removes any scar tissue, and then overlaps the healthy tissue before sewing it together. Altogether the procedure takes about an hour to perform.

Are there risks associated with the procedure?

All surgeries come stitch risks. Prior to the procedure, the doctor will assess your lungs and heart to ensure they’re healthy enough for surgery. They will also give you compression stockings to reduce the chance of blood clots and regular injections to break up any clots.

While rare, infection is possible. If this happens the doctor will prescribe antibiotics.

What’s the post-operative procedure like?

After the procedure, there isn’t a ton of pain. Basic oral painkillers tend to get the job done for patients. As soon as a patient feels ready she can enjoy a meal and drinks.

You’re usually in the hospital for 3-5 days after surgery, however, you’ll need to be on stool softeners for 4-6 weeks to ensure you don’t strain when having a bowel movement. It’s also advised that you keep active after the procedure, but avoid heavy lifting.