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Clinical and cost effectiveness of sacral nerve stimulation for faecal incontinence. BJS 2008; 95: 1037-1043.

Published: 23rd June 2008

Authors: A. Muñoz‐Duyos, A. Navarro‐Luna, M. Brosa, J. A. Pando, A. Sitges‐Serra, C. Marco‐Molina et al.

Background

Sacral nerve stimulation (SNS) has better results and safety than other surgical procedures for faecal incontinence. This prospective study assessed the clinical effectiveness and costs of SNS at a single centre.

Method

Patients who had experienced one or more episodes of faecal incontinence were studied for up to 5 years by continence diary, anorectal manometry and quality of life questionnaires. Direct medical costs were calculated and the cost‐effectiveness of the treatment was analysed.

Results

Fifty‐seven percutaneous nerve evaluations were performed in 47 patients between June 1999 and February 2006; 29 patients underwent permanent implantation. After a median follow‐up of 34·7 (range 2·3–81·2) months, 25 of the 29 patients had a significant reduction in incontinence episodes; 14 patients were in complete remission. At 3‐year follow‐up, the mean reduction in incontinence episodes was 89 per cent. No change was observed in anal manometric values. Patients reported a significant improvement in quality of life. The introduction of SNS has an incremental cost‐effectiveness ratio, below the accepted Spanish threshold.

Conclusion

The introduction of SNS to the management of faecal incontinence within the Spanish setting is both effective and efficient. Copyright © 2008 British Journal of Surgery Society Ltd. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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