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Fecal Incontinence after stroke?

I had an operation 10 months ago for a aneurysm very near to my opthalmic nerve.  Lots of complications afterwards - the surgeons cut a large vein and I had two strokes, coma, CSF leakage and I am still not doing well.  Two weeks
ago I started having fecal incontinence which surprised me and scared me.  I do not even feel an urge to go to the bathroom.  I go to urinate and find that I have already had a bowel movement.  Is there anything medically that can be done to treat this?  I was so active before my surgery - worked out 5 days a week and now I have had my driver's license taken away because I am still taking the neurotransmitters.  VERY depressed and things just seem to keep getting worse and worse.  I have gained 20 lbs since I cannot go to my gym classes and the depression is really overtaking me.  I am on antidepressants, but now this bowel problem is really taking me down.
5 Responses
Avatar universal
I do not have any problem with bladder incontinence.  It is as if I have lost control of my bowels.  When I go to urinate a lot of times I have already had a bowel movement and did not even know it.  When I urinate, everytime and wipe myself I have had a bowel movement and did not know it.  I do not feel the urge to have a bowel movement alot of times but I have had one.  This is terribly awful and I do not know what to do bout it
351246 tn?1379685732
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
Hi!
Bowel incontinence or leakage or involuntary passage of stool occurs due to loss of bowel control. This can just be a leak of small amounts of stool or it could be a complete loss of bowel control. Pelvic floor dysfunction, damage to the anal sphincter muscles or nerves of the anal sphincter muscles or the rectum, diarrhea, constipation, and loss of storage capacity in the rectum are a few causes.  
Disc degenerative diseases that cause nerve root pressure or damage, pressure on the spinal cord/pressure on the tail bone are frequent causes of fecal incontinence. Other causes could be chronic laxative use, chronic constipation, recent bowel surgery, decreased awareness rectal fullness or need to defecate, severe hemorrhoids, stress and even emotional problems (so, this is a possibility in your case).
Drugs like narcotics, sedatives and hypnotics, antacids, laxatives, and muscle relaxants can cause fecal incontinence. So, check with your doctor regarding these.
For diagnosis, your doctor will take help of complete history, digital rectal examination and examination through proctoscope, stool examination, barium enema, rectal or pelvic ultrasound, Electromyography (EMG), and test of anal sphincter tone.  Treatment depends on the underlying cause and usually involves pelvic floor exercises and medications. Take care!

The medical advice given should not be considered a substitute for medical care provided by a doctor who can examine you. The advice may not be completely correct for you as the doctor cannot examine you and does not know your complete medical history. Hence this reply to your post should only be considered as a guiding line and you must consult your doctor at the earliest for your medical problem.
Avatar universal
This is a long shot, but make sure you are not leaking around a bowel impaction.  Some drugs cause constipation as a side effect, and then sometimes liquid stool can leak around a stuck bolus of solid stool.  That's probably NOT what's happening, because it's unusual, but I'm mentioning it just in case.  That would be an entirely different situation than an actual loss of bowel control.  With the older antidepressants, such as tricyclic antidepressants, constipation was an expected side effect, and impaction would sometimes happen.  
Avatar universal
I went to family dr. and he gave me Welchol  625 mg daily and told me to stop taking the Cymbalta I was taking.  He told me to come back and see him to recheck things in 2 wks.  I am going back in the hospital on Sept. 19 to have a cranioplasty and I hope to have this problem fixed somehow before then.  I have not told my surgeons yet because this started after I saw both of them for the last time before I go into the hospital.  My primary dr. said he thought it was definitely caused by the 2 strokes that occurred after the surgery to remove the aneurysm.  Can these tests be done in the hospital or are they strickly out patient tests?  I am going to do neuro rehab this time in hospital after surgery since I did not get to do that last time. Thank you for your help
Avatar universal
I see u have not written in a long while and I am hoping u still come to this site. I read your question and the replies. My gosh, u have been thru it !
I have cerebral aneurysms, several in 2 diff places, on R and L internal carotids.  I also have MS and some degree of anal leakage due to numbness in the general area. Also I am on a lot of meds. I sure hope u have found some relief for the problem.  The side effects of your aneurysm surgery r in part why I , so far, have not agreed to have surgery . Just hoping they won't burst ( so far in 15 yrs they r intact ). God bless u. Nicky
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