Mayo clinic first to implant device to solve fecal incontinence

June 07, 2016

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- A clinical team on Mayo Clinic's Florida campus is the first to offer four patients with long-term fecal incontinence a new and potentially long-lasting treatment -- a small band of interlinked magnetic titanium beads on a titanium string that successfully mimics the function of the anal sphincter.

At this point, Mayo Clinic is the only medical center that has surgically implanted this device, known as the Fenix Continence Restoration System. In December 2015, the system received U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval under a humanitarian device exemption, which requires approval for patient use by a hospital's Institutional Review Board (IRB). The IRB at Mayo Clinic is the first and, as yet, the only center to approve use of the device.

The issue of fecal incontinence, or accidental bowel leakage, is not unusual. It can affect more than 20 percent of women over 45, says Paul Pettit, M.D., a female pelvic medicine and reconstructive surgery specialist at Mayo Clinic. "The condition can be debilitating due to social isolation, depression, loss of self-esteem and self-confidence.

"If a patient does not improve through use of less invasive techniques, our only option has been a colostomy," says Dr. Pettit, who performed the four surgeries. "This device now offers a new option that restores function, and we are happy to be able to offer it."

The operation itself lasts about 45 minutes and requires an overnight hospital stay.

Most patients with fecal incontinence -- a syndrome that involves unintentional loss of solid or liquid stool -- are women, and often the cause is childbirth, when the muscles and nerves near the anus are damaged, Dr. Pettit says.

When the system is implanted, the string of magnetic titanium beads is placed around the anal canal in the closed position. Increased intra-abdominal pressure opens the beads to allow for passage of stool. The magnets then spontaneously close.

The device works immediately after surgery and does not require any activation by the patient or adjustments by a physician, according to the manufacturer, Torax Medical Inc., in St. Paul, Minnesota.
-end-
Mayo researchers and clinicians who worked with Dr. Pettit on clinical use of the system are Heidi Chua, M.D., Anita Chen, M.D., and Chris DeStephano, M.D., M.P.H.

About Mayo Clinic

Mayo Clinic is a nonprofit organization committed to clinical practice, education and research, providing expert, whole-person care to everyone who needs healing. For more information, visit http://www.mayoclinic.org/about-mayo-clinic or http://newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org/.

Mayo Clinic

Related Mayo Clinic Articles from Brightsurf:

Mayo Clinic-led study links obesity with pancreatitis
A study by researchers at Mayo Clinic in Arizona published in the The Journal of Clinical Investigation has found that obesity is not only implicated in chronic diseases such as diabetes, but also in sudden-onset diseases such as pancreatitis.

Mayo Clinic researchers clarify how cells defend themselves from viruses
A protein known to help cells defend against infection also regulates the form and function of mitochondria, according to a new paper in Nature Communications.

Mayo Clinic study looks at changes in outcomes for coronary revascularization
The most common type of heart disease -- coronary artery disease -- affects 6.7% of adults and accounts for 20% of 2 in 10 deaths of adults under age 65.

Mayo Clinic researchers review modern cases of leprosy
Leprosy has a history that has spanned centuries and societies across the globe.

Kidney stones on the rise, Mayo Clinic study finds
Kidney stones are a painful health condition, often requiring multiple procedures at great discomfort to the patient.

Mayo Clinic researchers demonstrate value of second opinions
Many patients come to Mayo Clinic for a second opinion or diagnosis confirmation before treatment for a complex condition.

Mayo Clinic researchers clarify chemo resistance, and perhaps a new therapy
Mayo Clinic scientists have identified a specific protein implicated in drug resistance, as well as a possible therapeutic tool.

Mayo Clinic researchers identify therapy
Mayo Clinic researchers have found that an experimental drug, LCL161, stimulates the immune system, leading to tumor shrinkage in patients affected by multiple myeloma.

Mayo Clinic researchers uncover new agents
Mayo Clinic researchers have uncovered three new agents to add to the emerging repertoire of drugs that aim to delay the onset of aging by targeting senescent cells -- cells that contribute to frailty and other age-related conditions.

Mayo Clinic: Reversing physician burnout, using nine strategies to promote well-being
Researchers at Mayo Clinic have been documenting the rise and costs of physician burnout for more than a decade.

Read More: Mayo Clinic News and Mayo Clinic Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.