NEPTUNE, N.J.—Jersey Shore University Medical Center this week announced a treatment option for patients with the debilitating and stigmatized condition of chronic fecal incontinence who have not found relief from more conservative treatment options.
According to a National Institutes of Health-funded study, more than 18 million Americans suffer from bowel incontinence problems, and as a result they often struggle with everyday activities, such as traveling or spending time with friends and family. Jersey Shore offers InterStim Therapy for Bowel Control, a minimally invasive option proven to improve or restore bowel control.
“Bowel control problems can significantly impair a patient’s quality of life, and many patients are too embarrassed or uncomfortable to talk about the problem with their physician," said Ellen Conner, MD, one of the first physicians in the Monmouth/Ocean counties region to offer the therapy. “InterStim is an exciting option for people with fecal incontinence who don’t respond to traditional treatments. InterStim Therapy for Bowel Control allows patients to live a more normal, active lifestyle."
The implantable InterStim system uses mild electrical stimulation of the sacral nerves to influence the behavior of the pelvic floor muscles and bowel. As a result, the therapy significantly reduces fecal incontinent episodes for many patients. InterStim Therapy is the only bowel control treatment option that allows patients and physicians to determine probable success of the therapy through a test stimulation procedure prior to committing to long-term therapy.
Fecal incontinence is more common in adults, predominately women, and it is not a normal part of aging. Fecal incontinence can be caused by a variety of factors, including damage to the nerves or muscles in the rectum from trauma such as childbirth, or other pelvic health disorders.
Jersey Shore University Medical Center is a member of the Meridian Health family, a not-for-profit teaching hospital. Jersey Shore is the regional provider of cardiac surgery, a program which has been ranked among the best in the Northeast, and is home to the only trauma center and stroke rescue center in the region. Jersey Shore University Medical Center specializes in cardiovascular care, orthopedics and rehabilitation, cancer care, neuroscience, and women’s specialty services.