The study is the first to investigate the treatment of chronic refractory fecal incontinence using low-level laser therapy (LLLT), to enhance the continence mechanism non-invasively through stimulation of the sacral neuronal motility control centers inside the spinal cord.  The patients are monitored in Dr. Jihong Chen’s colonic motility clinic.


 What is low-level laser therapy?

Low-level laser therapy, also called photobiomodulation or neuromodulation, provides red and infrared light energy non-invasively to the sacral nerves and sacral neuronal center of the defecation reflex, to restore motility homeostasis. Low-level laser therapy has already been proven to be effective in treating back pain with a variety of neurological conditions. The same Health Canada-approved protocol for lower back pain is used in this study.


Eligibility Criteria:

  • Adults aged 18 - 95
  • Diagnosis of chronic refractory fecal incontinence
  • Without contraindications for low-level laser therapy.


What the study involves?

The LLLT therapy consists of a 3-week treatment with a total of 8 sessions. Treatment effects will be assessed using symptoms and quality of life questionnaires, as well as physiological anorectal motility tests and autonomic nervous system functioning assessments before, during and after the LLLT treatment.


Study Duration:

8 visits over 3 weeks



Parking reimbursement will be provided.


Contact us to know further information about the study:

Research Principal investigator: Dr. Jihong Chen MD PhD.
Research Coordinator: Lijun Liu, PhD Candidate. 


Sponsor Funding/Funding Disclosures:

This study is supported by the Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR)


Research Team:

Dr. Jihong Chen, Dr. Jan D. Huizinga, Ms Lijun Liu, Mr. Amer Hussain, Mr. Khawar Ali.

This study was approved by the Hamilton Integrated Research Ethics Board (#7019).

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