Outcomes of graciloplasty in the treatment of fecal incontinence: a systematic review and meta-analysis of the literature

Z. Garoufalia, R. Gefen, S. H. Emile, E. Silva-Alvarenga, M. R. Freund, N. Horesh, S. D. Wexner

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: Patients with refractory fecal incontinence symptoms can be treated with several surgical procedures including graciloplasty. Reported outcomes and morbidity rates of this procedure are highly variable. The aim of this study was to assess continence rate and safety of dynamic and adynamic graciloplasty. Methods: PubMed and Google Scholar databases were systematically searched from inception until January 2022 according to preferred reporting items for systematic reviews and meta-analyses (PRISMA) guidelines. Reviews, animal studies, studies with patients < 18 years or < 10 patients, with no success rate reported or non-English text, were excluded. Main outcome measures were overall continence and morbidity rates of each technique. Results: Fourteen studies were identified, incorporating a total of 450 patients (337 females), published between 1980 and 2021. Most common etiology of incontinence (35.5%—n = 160) was obstetric trauma followed by anorectal trauma (20%—n = 90). The weighted mean rate of continence after dynamic graciloplasty was 69.1% (95% CI 0.53–0.84%, I2 = 90%) compared to 71% (95% CI 0.54–0.87, I2 = 82.5%) after adynamic. Although the weighted mean short-term complication rate was lower in the dynamic group (26% versus 40%), when focusing on complications requiring intervention under general anesthesia, there was a much higher incidence (43.4% versus 10.5%) in the dynamic group. The weighted mean rate of long-term complications was 59.4% (95% CI 0.13–1.04%, I2 = 97.7%) in the dynamic group, almost twice higher than in the adynamic group [30% (95% CI − 0.03 to 0.63), I2 = 95.8%]. Median follow-up ranged from 1 to 13 years. Conclusions: Our data suggest that graciloplasty may be considered for incontinent patients. Dynamic graciloplasty may harbor higher risk for reoperation and complications compared to adynamic. The fact that the functional results between adynamic and dynamic graciloplasty are equivalent and the morbidity rate of adynamic graciloplasty is significantly lower reinforce the graciloplasty as an option to treat appropriately selected patients with fecal incontinence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)429-441
Number of pages13
JournalTechniques in Coloproctology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • Adynamic graciloplasty
  • Dynamic graciloplasty
  • Fecal incontinence
  • Systematic review


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