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Rochester General is Region's Leader Offering a Breakthrough Option to Treat Fecal Incontinence with Nerve Stimulation

June 14, 2011

Trial Assessment Used to Predict Success

The Division of Colon & Rectal Surgery at Rochester General Hospital now offers a minimally-invasive procedure for the treatment of Fecal Incontinence (FI), a condition estimated to impact more than 6 million Americans. These RGH specialists, the first and only board certified group of colon & rectal surgeons in the Rochester NY area, are pleased to provide this breakthrough treatment.

In simple language, FI prevents a person from controlling their bowel movements. There are a variety of causes for this acquired disorder, ranging from obstetrical injury to stroke. While some people are able to reduce their symptoms through medication, lifestyle changes, diet modification and physical therapy, others can not. It is those patients who are possible candidates for this FDA-approved neurostimulation therapy.

Dr. Stephen Rauh“Neurostimulation therapy can eliminate or reduce your bowel symptoms to a tolerable level, allowing you to resume your daily activities,” said Stephen Rauh MD, Division Chief of Colorectal surgery at Rochester General Hospital. “This procedure is an important option for restoring quality of life.”

In advance of surgery, potential candidates for neurostimulation therapy undergo a trial assessment last several days. This allows patients to ‘test’ the therapy before making a long-term commitment. If the patient decides to proceed with surgery, the surgeon implants a thin, flexible wire attached to a small stimulator device which sends mild electrical pulses to the tailbone to keep bowel incontinence in check.

“The procedure has been used with success in Europe and now in the United States,” said Dr. Claudia Hriesik, who learned the procedure from the originator of this treatment in Germany. “We are pleased to be able to now offer this option at Rochester General Hospital. For more information, call 585-244-5670.