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11 August 2021

Faecal incontinence (FI) and constipation are both socially‐embarrassing and physically‐disabling conditions that impair quality of life. For both, surgery may be required in a minority of people when more conservative measures fail. However, the invasiveness and irreversible nature of direct surgery on bowel and sphincter muscles, poor long‐term outcomes and well‐established compIications makes such procedures unappealing for these benign conditions. A less‐invasive surgical option to treat faecal incontinence and constipation is direct, low‐voltage stimulation of the sacral nerve roots, termed sacral nerve stimulation (SNS). SNS has become the first line surgical treatment for FI in people failing conservative therapies. Its value in the treatment of constipation is less clear.

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