Fecal incontinence is a physically and psychologically debilitating disease affecting an estimated 1-2% of the general population living independently and nearly 40-50% of those living in long term care facilities. While the condition affects men and women alike, it is more prevalent in women, in the elderly, and in nursing home patients. Whether living independently or institutionalized, the effects of fecal incontinence can cause significant psychological damage as well as consume significant health care resources.
People living with fecal incontinence are often embarrassed due to the social stigma attached to the affliction. This not only leads to delayed treatment, but not surprisingly, to damaging psychological issues which may include self-imposed social isolation, severe depression, personal and family strains, and increased anxiety. The very real problem of social isolation can have a significant effect on persons suffering from fecal incontinence resulting in a detrimental impact on their quality of life. For example, many people with this condition will refrain from going out in public, or interacting with friends and loved ones, leading to a sedentary lifestyle and loss of meaningful relationships and/or intimacy.
Minnesota Medical strongly believes that current products and treatment methods are inadequate and do not fully address the negative impact on a person's quality of life.
Anthony J. Conway, President of Minnesota Medical Technologies, said, "We are very optimistic that this new device concept will bring relief to millions of sufferers from fecal incontinence. We are deeply pleased that Mayo Clinic is working with us to provide the medical expertise needed to ensure that the final product is as effective and patient friendly as possible."