Medical Solutions for Bowel Control

It’s a very uncomfortable subject to talk about – and even more uncomfortable when you experience it. But for some time now you’ve noticed a change to your bowels - leakage, frequent gas, and uncontrollable seepage when you have to go. Sometimes you don’t even realize it’s happening. But if you have these symptoms you most likely have a condition that doctors refer to as bowel incontinence.  

Our specialists can help. 

Maybe you’ve been avoiding social situations or planning outings around bathroom stops just so you won’t be embarrassed.  It’s become frustrating because it’s disrupting and controlling your life.  You don’t want to stop your activities.  Maybe you love traveling, golfing, spending time with your kids and grandkids, gardening, and working – and you shouldn’t have to slow down.

The good news is that if treated early bowel incontinence is combatable. Recognizing your symptoms and getting treatment is important to resolving this problem.


You’re Not Alone

Rest assured, you’re not alone and your problem is treatable, as long as you don’t wait too long to get help. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services estimates that nearly18 million people have the same symptoms that you’re experiencing. Like you, they may be uneasy about sharing their concerns because it’s a very delicate subject. They may even be hesitant to tell their doctor. Sound familiar?

We’re here to help you get your life back. Our physicians are experts in their field and can explain treatments available to you so that you can get back to your life. In fact, our doctors have years of experience with treating bowel incontinence and they understand what you’re going through. So even though you may be hesitant to discuss your concerns with your spouse or a friend, your symptoms are something that our doctors talk about every day. Let’s start the conversation and get you on the road to better health.

What Causes It?

Bowel incontinence typically affects older adults and women who had difficulty during childbirth which led to injuries to their pelvic area. People with Crohn’s disease, IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), complications with diabetes, or men who have had radiation for prostate cancer are often affected, too. But there’s not always a clear cause. Regardless of what may have brought on your symptoms, it’s important to know that there’s a solution and our experienced, caring physicians are here to help you. Don’t let embarrassment stop you from getting the relief you deserve.   

Our Physicians

Mark Blankenship, MD

Dr. Blankenship received his medical degree at the Medical College of Georgia. He completed his General Surgery residency at Memorial Health University . He completed a fellowship in Colon and Rectal Surgery at the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston Texas.

He is board certified in General Surgery and is also board certified in the subspecialty of Colon and Rectal Surgery.

Dr. Blankenship is trained in the da Vinci Si Robotic Surgical System and performs minimally invasive procedures for malignant and benign disease. He is a fellow of the American College of Surgeons and the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons. 

Bowel Control FAQs

When is it time to see a doctor?

If you’re having bowel problems such as leakage that occurs without you even realizing it or not making it to the bathroom in time, you’ll be relieved to know that our specialists are trained to treat this very issue. Even though you may feel uncomfortable talking about bowel control, addressing it as early as possible is important to finding the right solution. Simply put, if you wait too long this treatable problem may no longer be correctable. So let’s get started today.

What could be causing it?

Frequent constipation, IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), diarrhea, and problems during childbirth can contribute to bowel incontinence. And sometimes there’s no obvious reason. But the important thing is that you don’t ignore your symptoms and hope they will go away. Live smart and get the help you need so that you can get back to living the life you love.

It’s a touchy subject …how can I talk about it?

It helps to remember that bowel movements are a normal bodily function and that everyone has them. So even the most famous athlete in the world to the most notorious rock star – they’re all doing it. At least once or twice a day, in fact. Your doctor won’t be shocked to find out that you’re doing it, too! But you may be surprised – and greatly relieved – to discover that your bowel problem is a very common one and your doctor is very comfortable talking about it with you.

Start with the beginning and be specific.

If you’re experiencing diarrhea, tell your doctor and make sure you include frequency, if there’s leakage and if you can’t make it to the bathroom.

If chronic constipation is a problem, let your doctor know if there’s surprising seepage that you don’t detect until you see it on your underwear.

Is there pain in your bowel area? Mention that! It may be that you’re squeezing down there out of fear of leakage and it’s causing your muscles to cramp.

Giving your doctor as much information as possible is the key to a correct diagnosis and finding the right treatment plan.

Take a walk down memory lane …

Tell your doctor about other health problems you’ve had along with any past surgeries you experienced. If you had a difficult vaginal childbirth, mention that, also.

Your exercise routine is important to discuss along with any vitamins, medicines or herbal supplements that you take routinely. It may take many years for your bowel incontinence to develop so your medical history is helpful in helping your doctor diagnose your problem.

How do I find the right physician?

Look no further. Our specialists at St. Joseph’s/Candler are board certified physicians who are specially trained in the treatment of bowel incontinence. They’ve helped countless patients for more than twenty years with this same issue. 

  • St. Joseph's Hospital Campus: 11705 Mercy Blvd., Savannah, GA 31419, (p) 912-819-4100
  • Candler Hospital Campus: 5353 Reynolds St., Savannah, GA 31405, (p) 912-819-6000
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St.Joseph's Hospital Campus: 912-819-4100

Candler Hospital Campus: 912-819-6000