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.
- Antegrade continence enema
- Fecal incontinence
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health