Constipation

Fecal Impaction

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Fecal Impaction

  • See Also
  • Definition
  1. Firm, hard, dry immovable stool in Rectum or distal colon creating a partial or complete blockage
  • Risk factors
  1. Elderly
  2. Immobile patients
    1. Incidence 1% in hospitalized patients
  3. Spinal cord injury patients
    1. Incidence: 13%
  4. Chronic Opioid use
  5. Hypothyroidism
  6. Low fiber diet
  • Symptoms
  1. Constipation
  2. Diarrhea
    1. Frequent passage of small loose or liquid stools
    2. Results from leakage of stool around the impaction
    3. May result in overflow Fecal Incontinence
  • Signs
  1. Firm, immovable mass of stool on rectal exam
  • Imaging
  • Abdominal XRay
  1. Large stool collection in Rectum and sigmoid colon
  • Differential Diagnosis
  • Precautions
  • Red Flags suggesting other diagnosis
  • Management
  1. Disimpaction with rectal exam
  2. Warm water or saline lavage
    1. Instill by rectal tube or Flexible Sigmoidoscopy
  3. Mineral Oil enema (or oral if no risk of aspiration)
  4. Dilatation of anus under general anesthesia
  5. Oral Polyethylene glycol (Miralax)
    1. Effective in 89% of cases
    2. Chen (2005) 21(10): 1595-602 [PubMed]