What is Fecal Incontinence?
Fecal incontinence is the loss of normal control of the bowels. This leads to stool leaking from the rectum at unexpected times.
Many people, of all ages, suffer from fecal incontinence. It may be a result of spina bifida, operations on the anus or rectum, spinal injuries, or trauma.
Fecal incontinence is often treated by emptying the bowels with a rectal enema. This treatment is effective, but it can also be messy, time-consuming, inconvenient, and difficult (or impossible) for some patients to do by themselves.
What is a Cecostomy Catheter (C-Tube)?
The C-tube is a non-latex, flexible tube that is inserted into the patient's cecum through the skin in the lower right part of the abdomen. (Figures 1a, 1b)
The C-tube remains in the cecum and provides a comfortable, convenient way to cleanse the bowels with an irrigation of enema solution. The irrigation (enema) is given through the C-tube and exits the body through the anal opening.
Emptying the colon in this regular, predictable way can prevent unexpected soiling.
After C-tube insertion, some patients are able to give their own irrigations for the first time. Due to the location of the tube, even people who are wheelchair-dependent can perform the irrigation by themselves.