The 4th International Consultation on Incontinence defined anal incontinence as "any involuntary loss of fecal material and/or flatus"1 that can be sub-divided into (i) fecal incontinence (FI), any involuntary loss of fecal material or (ii) flatus incontinence, any involuntary loss of gas. Although there have been some attempts to categorize FI into groups such as major and minor incontinence and passive vs. urge related fecal incontinence, there are no universally accepted FI subdivisions. The average flow of fecal material through the colon is 1.5-2.0 liters a day, with approximately 100-150ml excreted after water reabsorption. Fecal material is transferred from colon to rectum with peristaltic contractions via the parasympathetic nervous system. The average colon transit time is 36-72 hours. Fecal continence is dependent upon compliant storage, the ability to sense material in the rectum, and an intact sphincter mechanism that is able to relax and contract at appropriate times.
You must be a logged in to th AUAUniversity to access full core content.