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Medical rehabilitation in patients with anal incompetence after surgery for stage IV hemorrhoids

Vopr Kurortol Fizioter Lech Fiz Kult. 2022;99(4):36-42. doi: 10.17116/kurort20229904136.


The choice of medical rehabilitation in patients with anal incontinence is impossible without diagnostic data revealing the mechanism of fecal incontinence. The most promising are programs of comprehensive physiotherapeutic rehabilitation based on biofeedback training. The rate of anal incompetence (AI) after hemorrhoidectomy is 1.3-12.5%. However, in addition to the organic cause (surgical trauma), functional disorders of the external sphincter and pelvic floor muscles may contribute to the pathogenesis of anal incontinence, aggravating the incontinence symptoms after surgery. Therefore, these functional disorders should be diagnosed before surgery. However, medical rehabilitation programs for anal incontinence after hemorrhoidectomy are not standardized, and functional outcomes have not been studied.

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the outcomes of comprehensive rehabilitation in patients with AI after hemorrhoidectomy to improve quality of life after surgery.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: A retrospective study was carried out on 46 patients (mean age 53.8±15.4 years) after hemorrhoidectomy with fecal incontinence, 13 (28.3%) males and 33 (71.7%) females. The main group included 25 patients who received comprehensive rehabilitation, including biofeedback training and tibial neuromodulation (TNM) for 15 days. The control group consisted of 21 patients who received TNM at home also for 15 days. The severity of fecal incontinence was determined using the Wexner score. The functional state of the sphincter before and after surgery was assessed using the anorectal manometry (sphincterometry) (WPM Solar, the Netherlands).

RESULTS: Comprehensive rehabilitation resulted in a statistically significant clinical improvement: a decrease in the Wexner score in both males and females. No significant differences in manometry results were observed: the anal sphincter tone increased by 16.0% in females and 10.6% in males, and contractility increased by 17.7% and 15.1%, respectively. Monotherapy with TNM in control group patients improved tone indices by 8.7% in females and 6.8% in males, and contractility by 6.2 and 5.4%, respectively, which was lower than in the main group.

CONCLUSION: Contraindications to physiotherapeutic procedures based on electrical stimulation, extracorporeal magnetic stimulation, and magnetic translumbosacral neuromodulation determine the only possible choice of medical rehabilitation, which is the combination of biofeedback training and TNM (as superior to TNM monotherapy). If out-patient medical rehabilitation is not feasible, patients are recommended to complement the home course with a specially designed set of exercises for anal incontinence treatment.

PMID:35981340 | DOI:10.17116/kurort20229904136

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