HomeHealthFecal Impaction - What is it and How is it Treated?

Fecal Impaction – What is it and How is it Treated?

Fecal impaction is a condition where the majority of your stool, or stool mass, remains in your colon. It prevents the colon from contracting and moving more digested material out of the body. Healthy stools pass cleanly from your anus.


Fecal impaction is the formation of a large mass of compacted stool in the colon. It can be caused by medical conditions or lifestyle factors, including chronic constipation. The fecal mass cannot be evacuated by normal peristaltic activity. People who have fecal impaction often experience progressive abdominal distension and discomfort. Patients may also experience a feeling of nausea or vomiting.

If you notice abdominal pain, a mass in the abdominal area, and fever, you may have fecal impaction. If you experience these symptoms, contact your doctor right away. They can help you diagnose fecal impaction and recommend the appropriate treatment. Depending on the location and severity of the blockage, you may need a CT scan or a colonoscopy.

Your healthcare provider will perform a physical examination and take a stool sample. During a physical exam, the healthcare provider may notice a distended or hard abdomen. They may also perform a digital rectal examination to confirm the diagnosis. In addition, the health provider may order an abdominal x-ray to confirm if a large mass of stool is clogging the colon.


There are a variety of treatment options for fecal impaction, and each one is aimed at relieving symptoms and preventing further impaction. Some treatment options include using a stool softener and enema to break up the fecal mass and promote evacuation. Other treatments include the use of oral laxatives to increase gastrointestinal motility and draw water into the colon.

While fecal impaction can occur due to mechanical obstruction, it can also be caused by other causes, including certain medications, neurologic conditions, or metabolic disorders. In the latter case, the symptoms are more severe than those of functional constipation. A gastrointestinal transit time test can be used to confirm if the underlying cause is fecal impaction.

Symptoms of fecal impaction can include lower abdominal pain, inability to pass bowel movements, and rectal fullness or discomfort. If the fecal impaction is large enough, it can also lead to urethral obstruction and cause an uncontrollable leak of stool.


Fecal impaction is a digestive disease that causes dry, hard stools. In most cases, it can be treated conservatively. However, in certain cases, the condition can be complicated and require surgical evaluation. A number of dietary and lifestyle changes can help prevent the condition or reduce its frequency.

The first step in faecal impaction treatment is to identify the root cause. The condition can be the result of a bowel disorder or an underlying condition. Certain types of bowel conditions, such as inflammatory bowel disease, can cause faecal impaction. A thorough medical examination is the best way to identify if fecal impaction is the source of the problem. For this, a complete history must be obtained. Besides a digital rectal examination, radiologic imaging may be used to confirm the diagnosis. In most cases, faecal impaction can be treated through a bowel regimen or colon evacuation.

Prevention of fecal impaction is important because the condition can lead to a bowel obstruction. It can also lead to overflow diarrhea and is very uncomfortable. Symptoms of fecal impaction can range from mild discomfort to painful rectal discomfort.


The primary treatment for fecal impaction involves hydrating the stool and softening it. Enemas are commonly used in this case, and they work by lubricating the bowel. Excess enemas, however, may cause the bowel to perforate. In extreme cases, the patient may also experience abdominal pain, fever, and diaphoresis. This condition is potentially life threatening and should be treated as soon as possible.

A thorough physical examination is necessary to make a proper diagnosis. Physical examination may reveal a distended abdomen and a hard fecal mass, and a digital rectal exam can help determine if a mass has formed. Treatment may include removal of the impacted stool, and steps are taken to prevent further fecal impaction.

The most common symptom of fecal impaction is abdominal pain. The condition is a complication of chronic constipation. It occurs when hardened fecal matter in the large bowel cannot be passed through regular peristaltic activity. Patients often report symptoms such as abdominal discomfort and difficulty passing stools for several days. Other symptoms of fecal impaction include abdominal distension, rectal pain, and urinary leakage.



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