Quantification of Colonic Motor Patterns to Optimise Sacral Neuromodulation Therapy for Faecal Incontinence

Project Team Leader
Dr Peng Du (UoA)

Project Team
A/Prof Andrew Lowe (UoA)
A/Prof Gregory O’Grady (AUT)
Prof Leo K Cheng (UoA)

Project Summary
Faecal Incontinence is the inability to control bowel movements which cause stool to leak unexpectedly from the rectum. It is a silent epidemic with the NZ prevalence at 12.6%, often resulting in profound humiliation and social isolation for affected individuals. Common causes of incontinence include obstetric sphincter injury and ageing; and symptomatic therapies are often ineffective, particularly in severe cases. In recent years a novel successful therapy (sacral neuromodulation) has emerged whereby leads are implanted at the sacrum to deliver impulses to the sacral nerves (which control the bladder and bowel). The procedure costs 30,000 NZD and achieves dramatic improvements for >85% of patients at Auckland City Hospital for >100 recent cases.