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Anal Sphincter


Updated October 21, 2012

Definition: The anal sphincter is a group of muscles that surround the anus and control the release of stool from the rectum, thereby maintaining continence. The sphincter muscle is both internal and external to the anus. This muscle helps maintain continence and keep stool in the rectum. If there is a loss of muscle control in the sphincter, incontinence may occur.
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