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Dr. Andrew Rynne
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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What causes bowel incontinence after a back surgery?

I had back surgery a year and 1\2 ago, it was a 2 part surgery. They went in through my stomach moved organs out of the way. 2weeks later when in though my back. Fused L3 thru L5 .I started having no control of my bowels. Since I have asked the surgeon who did my surgery and he said it would be about a year till everything moves back to the way it was. I to this day have no control of my bowels.Anything I eat or drink even water goes right thru me. Could it be do to a nerve?
Mon, 11 Jun 2018
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General & Family Physician 's  Response
Hello and Welcome to ‘Ask A Doctor’ service.
I have reviewed your query and here is my advice.

Rectal incontinence following lumbar spinal fusion surgery is known to cause the problem due to secondary ischemia of nerves supplying the rectal sphincter (cauda equina syndrome). Mostly the symptoms are regulated after a time lag of 7 months. Still I would advise to be in touch with the surgeon.

Hope I have answered your query. Let me know if I can assist you further.
Dr. Vasudha Jayant Athavale
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