How does the system work?

  • A soft, inflatable ring of silicone (Anal Band), which is implanted around the anal canal and can be adjusted in size
  • A mechanism for closing the silicone ring – the activator

  • A valve to open the band and the valve are typically implanted under skin in the region of the pubic bone, sternum or abdominal wall.
  • An access port, which is used to adjust the amount of liquid in the system and thereby the necessary pressure to close the spincter
  • Tubing, which is radiopaque and connects all the system’s components – band, port, activator and valve – lying under the skin

The procedure

The operation is carried out under general anaesthetic and takes approximately 1.5 hours. The activator, the valve and the access port can be implanted in the position most comfortable for the patient.

After surgery, the patient is required to stay in hospital for a few days to ensure no complications arise. However, due to the fact that all components lie under the skin and it is not necessary to open the abdominal cavity, the procedure can be considered low-risk with very little blood. Therefore, no blood conserves are necessary and immediate postoperative complications are seldom. Furthermore, no nerves of the sphincter muscle are severed and the system can therefore be explanted again at any time with no detriment to the patient.

After the procedure

Following the operation, the patient is asked to wait for six weeks before the band can be filled. During this time, the patient is advised to ensure regular, soft bowel movements, which prevent the wounds – in particular around the sphincter – from being subjected to additional strain. The wounds around the skin pockets in the lower abdomen where the valve and activator lie, should be fully healed beforehand to avoid pain when the system is activated. Once the six weeks have passed, the patient comes back into the hospital and the anal band is filled. Then a sphincter manometry is carried out, and the level of continence is assessed using stress tests.

This filling and subsequent testing ensure the band provides the patient with a closing pressure very close to that of a healthy sphincter muscle.