Objective To assess the efficacy and benefits of pelvic rehabilitation programs in terms of functional outcomes and quality of life for patients with fecal incontinence and defecation disorders after rectal cancer surgery. Design Prospective, observational study. Setting University hospital physiotherapy clinics. Participants Patients (N=32) who experienced fecal incontinence after sphincter-saving surgery with the intersphincteric resection (ISR) technique and could follow and cooperate with the treatment schedule were included in the present study. Interventions Pelvic rehabilitation programs included electrical stimulation (ES) and biofeedback (BF). Main Outcome Measures Functional results, Wexner score, and anorectal manometry were used to assess the clinical outcomes of rehabilitation treatment. Results Maximum squeeze pressure improved after rehabilitation training (P=.014). There were no statistical differences in resting pressure, resting muscle electromyography, and maximum squeeze electromyography (P=.061, P=.76, and P=.99, respectively). The mean stool frequency was 18.8 per 24 hours before the pelvic intervention program and 7.8 per 24 hours after ES and BF training (P<.001). Of the 32 patients, 27 required antidiarrheal medications before treatment, and after completion of the training, only 9 patients still needed antidiarrheal medications (P<.001). Significant improvements were observed in the Wexner score (17.74 vs 12.93; P<.001). Conclusions Our data show that ES and BF are effective in the treatment of fecal incontinence, leading to improvement of quality of life for patients with low rectal cancer after ISR.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation