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Fecal Impaction

What is a Fecal Impaction?

Fecal impaction is a mass of dry, hard stool that can't be eliminated by a normal bowel movement. Fecal impaction often follows an extended period of constipation.

Fecal impaction is very common and is also called bowel obstruction

Symptoms of Fecal Impaction?

The most common symptoms of fecal impaction are:

  • intense urge to have a bowel movement
  • inability to have a bowel movement
  • rectal pain
  • abdominal cramping
  • nausea

Cause of Fecal Impaction?

There are many different causes of fecal impaction. Some of the most common causes are:

Can Fecal Impaction be Treated?

Yes. Fecal Impaction can be removed manually by a doctor. Medications can be used to prevent reoccurrences. In rare cases, surgery may be required to remove the impaction and/or part of the bowel. Other ways to prevent fecal impaction from reoccurring are:

  • drink plenty of water
  • eat a diet with plenty of fiber
  • don't use laxatives on a regular basis
  • avoid prolonged bed rest
  • avoid medications that cause fecal impaction (antidepressants and excessive use of pain relievers)
  • exercise on a regular basis

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