Fecal incontinence is an inability of the anus to control solid or liquid fecal material or flatus. This disorder is a common condition, prevalent in approximately 1% to 11% of the community-dwelling population, which includes 1.5% of children; approximately 50% of assisted living and nursing home residents also suffer from fecal incontinence. The actual prevalence of fecal incontinence may be higher than these estimates since patients are often embarrassed to discuss this condition with a doctor. Although fecal incontinence is not life threatening, it can require constant personal care and lead to social isolation. Mild cases of fecal incontinence can often be managed with antidiarrheal medication or fiber products that increase the consistency of stool. More serious cases may require regular use of absorbent pads and diapers. In patients who do not respond adequately to conservative treatments, surgical treatment of the anal sphincter may be needed.