Long Term Outcomes of Transanal Irrigation for Bowel Dysfunction: Panos Tamvakeras et al

Long Term Outcomes of Transanal Irrigation for Bowel Dysfunction: Panos Tamvakeras et al  

Poster Presentation at ACPGBI Conference (2023) 

This poster described an evaluation of the long-term efficacy of transanal irrigation (TAI). Panos and his colleagues conducted a retrospective analysis of 5-year data to examine compliance and patient outcomes in 18 patients who were using TAI for bowel dysfunction. Several factors were considered, including adverse events and patient-reported bother scores.  

Patients had a mean age of 61 years (range 23 – 91 years). Most participants were female (83.5%). Primary reported symptoms were constipation (9 patients), faecal incontinence (7 patients), and mixed symptoms (2 patients). Both low and high- volume TAI was used, with 6 patients employing a catheter-based system and 12 using a cone-based system. 

Only 4 patients (22%) discontinued TAI, at a median of 4.8 months. Three due to ineffectiveness, while 1 patient experienced spontaneous resolution of symptoms following cauda equina decompression.  

Fourteen patients (78%) continued TAI, with a median follow-up of 27.7 months. Among those who continued TAI, there was a significant improvement in bowel symptom scores (p=0.003). No major adverse events, such as rectal bleeding or perforation, were reported. 

In this small mixed cohort, TAI was found to be safe and effective for long-term use, significantly improving bowel symptom scores for different types of bowel dysfunction. These findings align with other studies, for example, Etherson et al (2017) and Henderson et al (2022). 


Tamvakeras P, Horrobin C, Chang J, et al. (July 26, 2023) Long-Term Outcomes of Transanal Irrigation for Bowel Dysfunction. Cureus 15(7):e42507. DOI 10.7759/cureus.42507

Henderson M, Chow J, Ling J, Ng CE, Embleton R, et al. (2022) Transanal Irrigation for the Management of Functional Bowel Disorders: An Observational Study. Int J Nurs Health Care Res 5: 1360. DOI: https://doi.org/10.29011/2688-9501.101360 

Etherson KJ, Minty I, Bain IM, Cundall J, Yiannakou Y. Transanal Irrigation for Refractory Chronic Idiopathic Constipation: Patients Perceive a Safe and Effective Therapy. Gastroenterol Res Pract. 2017; 2017:3826087. doi: 10.1155/2017/3826087. Epub 2017 Jan 1. PMID: 28115930; PMCID: PMC5237460. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28115930/