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  News - BMI The Droitwich Spa Hospital , Worcester Worcestershire UK
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Chipping Norton Hospital (maternity)
New treatment for distressing condition
Date : - 13/09/2012
A new procedure to treat the distressing condition of bowel incontinence has been introduced at BMI Hospitals across the West Midlands.

Consultant General Surgeon, Mr Simon Radley, who has consulting clinics at BMI The Priory, Edgbaston and Droitwich Spa Hospitals explains what percutaneous tibial nerve stimulation (PTNS) is and how it can help men and women of all ages.

“The inability to control bowel movements can clearly be a distressing condition. There are many causes. These can include damage to the muscles and/or nerves around the anus. The commonest cause of such damage is childbirth, but anal incontinence can affect men as well.

“When there is clear damage to the anal sphincter muscle and a wide gap in the muscle the surgeon, may recommend an anal sphincter repair in the first instance.

“Where there isn’t a big gap in the sphincter muscle, and/or the symptoms cannot be controlled with drugs such as loperamide (anti-diarrhoea drug) and physiotherapy, percutaneous tibial nerve stimulation (PTNS) may be recommended.”

PTNS uses a small slim needle electrode, which is temporarily inserted near to the ankle. The needle electrode is then connected to a battery-powered stimulator and a mild electric current is passed through the needle to stimulate the tibial nerve.

The exact mechanism of how the treatment works is not known. There is usually a tingling sensation in the ankle, foot or toes. The treatment usually consists of 12 outpatient sessions of 30 minutes each, about once a week, but it can be repeated if necessary.

Upon activating the stimulator, the treating consultant or nurse can identify the response to stimulation by looking for movement in the feet and toes.

Patients will lie on a couch or recliner during the treatment. Each treatment session will last for 30 minutes. The treatment usually consists of 12 outpatient sessions of 30 minutes each, about once a week, but it can be repeated if necessary.

Patients will normally notice some improvement in symptoms after eight weeks. Where no improvement has been achieved the treatment may be discontinued.

After the first twelve treatment sessions, the consultant or nurse will discuss with the patient’s their response to the treatments and will decide whether any further treatments are required to maintain results.

Some patients may suffer from stomach ache which can last a few hours. Other rarely reported side effects include:

Transient leg or toe numbness
Transient discomfort or throbbing at insertion site
Redness and inflammation at needle insertion site
Your treating consultant will discuss all risks with you with prior to the procedure.

PTNS can also be used to treat patients with symptoms of over active bladder.
Reference : -
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