Percutaneous tibial nerve stimulation (PTNS) is a minimally invasive treatment for faecal incontinence. Many patients with faecal incontinence have coexisting pelvic floor disorders such as urinary incontinence and vaginal symptoms. We utilized a pelvic floor assessment tool to analyse any effect of PTNS on global pelvic floor function.METHODS:
Patients with faecal incontinence attending our institution who had failed to respond sufficiently to biofeedback were offered a course of PTNS. Patients underwent pre- and post-stimulation assessment with a validated electronic Personal Assessment Questionnaire - Pelvic Floor (ePAQ-PF) for pelvic floor disorders. Scores were compared to assess the effect of treatment on global pelvic floor function.RESULTS:
During the study period pre- and post-stimulation ePAQ-PF data were available for 60 patients (55% of all patients starting PTNS). In this cohort there was a significant improvement in bowel continence, bowel related quality of life, irritable bowel syndrome and bowel evacuation with a large effect size for continence and bowel related quality of life. There was also a significant improvement in non-bowel related symptoms, including urinary pain and stress incontinence, urinary related quality of life and bowel related sexual function. Sixty-five per cent of those who answered the question reported improvement in global health after stimulation.CONCLUSION:
For patients presenting with faecal incontinence, PTNS appears to have a positive effect on bowel related function in approximately two-thirds of patients. However, for treatment responders, improvement appears to relate mainly to improvement in bowel related function rather than a global pelvic floor effect.
PTNS; Tibial neuromodulation; ePAQ; faecal incontinence