Long-term functional assessment of antegrade colonic enema for combined incontinence and constipation using a modified Marsh and Fiff technique

Donato F. Altomare, Marcella Rinaldi, Domenico Rubini, Giuseppe Rubini, Piero Portincasa, Michele Vacca, Niccoli Asabella Artor, Giovanni Romano, Vincenzo Memeo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


PURPOSE: Constipation and fecal incontinence can severely affect quality of life for patients, particularly when simultaneously present. Malone antegrade colonic enema enables periodic colonic emptying, thus preventing uncontrolled passage of feces and constipation. METHODS: Eleven patients with fecal incontinence and severe constipation or perineal colostomy after Miles' operation underwent a modified Marsh and Kiff ileostomy for antegrade colonic enema. Before and after surgery, the patients were fully evaluated for gastrointestinal functions, including gallbladder and stomach emptying time, H2-breath test, colonic transit time, dynamic defecography, and anorectal manometry. The severity of incontinence and constipation was scored preoperatively and postoperatively by using the American Medical System score and Cleveland Clinic Constipation scale, respectively, whereas the quality of life was measured by the Gastrointestinal Quality of Life Index. The surgical technique involved division of the terminal ileum 10 to 15 cm from the ileocecal valve, anastomosis and intussusception of the ileum with the cecum, narrowing of the ileal conduit with a linear stapler, and a small, introflexed ileostomy with an advanced skin flap. RESULTS: During the postoperative period, the mean American Medical System score decreased significantly from 77 to 11 (P <0.01) and the mean Cleveland Clinic Constipation score from 23 to 8.5 (P <0.01) with a significant improvement of quality of life. Antegrade colonic enema did not affect gallbladder, gastric, or orocecal transit time, which remained comparable with baseline. Colonic scintigraphy showed that antegrade colonic enema was efficient to clean the whole colon and rectum, leaving only 24 (range, 6-40) percent of the initial radioactivity after 30 minutes. Ileal manometry confirmed the presence of a high-pressure zone, preventing accidental reflux. CONCLUSIONS: Modified Marsh and Kiff technique is a safe and effective surgical option to treat patients with combined fecal incontinence and severe constipation and those with perineal colostomy after Miles. It should be recommended as a last option before colostomy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1023-1031
Number of pages9
JournalDiseases of the Colon and Rectum
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2007


  • Antegrade colonic enema
  • Constipation
  • Fecal incontinence
  • Malone
  • Quality of life

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology


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