A sphincteroplasty is a rectal sphincter repair to correct a defect in the muscles. There are two
anal muscles that control bowel movements, similar to two round doughnuts, one inside the
other. If a defect exists in the complete circle of muscle, the problem can be corrected with this
surgery. The two ends of the muscle are cut and overlapped onto one another, then sewn in place
to restore the complete circle of muscle.
Getting Ready for Surgery
If you smoke, it is important that you quit. This is very important for proper healing to
occur. We can help you quit.
The two days before surgery, you will start the full bowel prep to prepare for surgery. We
will discuss the details with you. The information can be found in Health Facts for You
#6113-Full Bowel Prep using Bisacodyl® and GoLYTELY®. You will not be taking the
Expect to be in the hospital about 3 days.
It is okay to shower, but no baths, hot tubs, or soaking the wound in water.
Keep the entire area dry to promote healing. You may find it helpful to use a hair dryer
on the cool setting.
Avoid using toilet paper for the first few days. Instead clean the area after a bowel
movement by spraying the area with warm water. We will give you a spray bottle.
Gently wipe with an alcohol-free baby wipe. Dry the area well as noted above.
You may have some clear drainage; wear a pad to keep moisture away from your skin.
You can expect to have pain after surgery. You may have more pain with bowel movements.
Your doctor will order pain pills for you.
You will be on a full liquid or pureed diet until your follow-up doctor visit,
You may be able to avoid this while on the full liquid or pureed diet. Your doctor may have you
take a stool softener (docusate sodium) or a bulk fiber laxative once you are on a regular diet.
Plan rest periods during the day. Plan also to be up and around doing light duties each
day to maintain your strength.
Avoid sitting or standing for longer than 1 hour at a time for the first few days.
Do not lift more than 10 pounds for 6 weeks.
For safety reasons, do not drive as long as you are taking narcotic pain pills.
Sex may be resumed when it is okayed by your doctor.
Check with your doctor before you return to work. Your recovery time may be longer if
your job involves heavy labor or sitting for long periods of time.
Avoid all tobacco including second hand smoke.
When to Call the Doctor
Skin problems around the wound or a rash
Large amounts of bright red blood that will not stop with firm pressure to the wound area
for 10 minutes
Temperature greater than 100.4 θ F. by mouth
Breaking open of suture line
Problems passing urine
Pain not controlled with pain pills
Digestive Health Center: (608) 890-5000 Monday – Friday, 8am – 5pm
After hours, weekends or holidays this number will be answered by the paging operator.
Ask for the doctor on call for Dr. ________________. Leave your name and phone number with
area code. The doctor will call you back.
If you live out of the area, call (855) 342-9900.
Your health care team may have given you this information as part of your care. If so, please use it and call if you have
any questions. If this information was not given to you as part of your care, please check with your doctor. This is not
medical advice. This is not to be used for diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. Because each person’s health
needs are different, you should talk with your doctor or others on your health care team when using this information. If
you have an emergency, please call 911. Copyright © 6/2015 University of Wisconsin Hospitals & Clinics Authority. All
rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#7088