Faecal incontinence in adults: management

National Institute for Health and Care Excellence


Faecal incontinence is a sign or a symptom, not a diagnosis. It is estimated that 1%–10% of adults are affected with faecal incontinence, with 0.5%–1.0% of adults experiencing regular faecal incontinence that affects their quality of life.

Active case-finding will often be required, probably best targeted at high-risk groups. A detailed initial assessment and structured approach to management are needed, starting with addressing reversible factors and, if this fails to restore continence, progressing to specialised options and investigations.

This Guidelines summary provides a list of key priorities for implementation.


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