Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Fecal Impaction Overview

What is a fecal impaction?
A person with a fecal impaction has a large collection of hard, dry stool that will not pass through the anus. Fecal impaction is usually a result of constipation, which is common in the elderly. Many medications, such as antacids, antihistamines and antidepressants, can cause constipation. Most fecal impactions respond well to treatment, but reoccurrence is common without ongoing treatment.

What are the symptoms of fecal impaction?
Symptoms of fecal impaction include constipation, cramping abdominal pain, stool incontinence, nausea, rectal pain, and blood in the stool.

How does the doctor treat fecal impaction?
Treatment for fecal impaction includes enemas, rectal suppositories, and rectal disimpaction.

Continue to Fecal Impaction Incidence

Last Updated: Feb 8, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Fecal Impaction References
  1. Cooper ZR, Rose S. Fecal incontinence: a clinical approach. Mt Sinai J Med. 2000 Mar;67(2):96-105. [10747364]
  2. Creason N, Sparks D. Fecal impaction: a review. Nurs Diagn. 2000 Jan-Mar;11(1):15-23. [10847055]
  3. Gold DM, Levine J, Weinstein TA, Kessler BH, Pettei MJ. Frequency of digital rectal examination in children with chronic constipation. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 1999 Apr;153(4):377-9. [10201720]
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