Contemporary short- and long-term outcomes in patients with unremitting constipation and fecal incontinence treated with an antegrade continence enema

Scott C. Dolejs, John K. Smith, Justin Sheplock, Joseph M. Croffie, Frederick J. Rescorla

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Scopus citations


Purpose The primary aim of this study is to determine the natural history of patients who undergo an antegrade continence enema (ACE) procedure including complications, functional results, and long-term outcomes. Methods Patients aged 3–18 years who underwent an ACE procedure from 2008 to 2015 for unremitting constipation and fecal incontinence with at least thirty day follow-up were included. Patients with congenital anatomic disorders of the spine, rectum, and anus were excluded. Results A total of 93 patients were included in the analysis with an average age of 10 +/−4 years and follow-up of 26 +/−41 months. The ACE procedure was rapidly effective, with 99% of patients experiencing improvement at 1 month. At the end of follow-up, 83% of patients had normal bowel function, and 95% of patients noted improvement. Amongst patients with at least 24 months of follow-up (n = 51), 43% successfully stopped using their ACE at an average of 40 +/−27 months. Overall morbidity was 55%, mostly related to minor complications. However, 13% of patients required an additional operation. Conclusion The ACE procedure is very successful in the treatment of unremitting constipation with fecal incontinence in appropriately selected patients. Level of evidence Level IV.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)79-83
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of pediatric surgery
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017



  • Ace
  • Antegrade continence enema
  • Constipation
  • Fecal incontinence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

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