Dr. Kevin Stepp, MD - Urogynecology and Robotic and Laparoscopic Surgery - Carolinas HealthCare System - Mercy Hospital
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Pelvic Organ Prolapse
Urinary Incontinence
Fecal Incontinence
Reconstructive Pelvic Surgery
Uterine Fibroids
Ovarian Cysts
Minimally Invasive Hysterectomy
Single Incisiion Laparoscopy
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Sphincter muscles, external and internal, in your anus - a short canal at the end of the rectum  - control the release of waste (stool) from the body. As the rectal walls stretch, they signal the need to release stool. As the sphincter muscles relax, the rectal walls contract to increase pressure. Sometimes, the abdominal muscles contract to put pressure on the outside of the colon and rectum. With this coordination of muscles and also nerves, stool is expelled through the anus.

The most common risk factor for fecal incontinence is trauma related to childbirth. During a vaginal delivery, great stress is placed on the pelvic muscles responsible for support and function of the rectum. These muscles can be torn during delivery. This risk is increased with an episiotomy. Dr. Stepp can evaluate the muscle strength and assess for tears in the muscle with a specialized ultrasound. Most patients will get significant relief with conservative treatments such as pelvic floor physical therapy, biofeedback, dietary fiber or medications. In some cases, surgery may be indicated to repair a torn sphincter muscle. Newer therapies such as sacral neuromodulation/stimulation have shown promise for fecal incontinence.

If you have been suffering from bowel control issues, contact Dr. Stepp for more information.