Impaction of the bowels
A fecal impaction is a large lump of dry, hard stool that remains stuck in the rectum. It is most often seen in patients with long-term constipation.
Constipation is when you are not passing stool as often as you normally do. Your stool becomes hard and dry, and it is difficult to pass.
Fecal impaction is often seen in people who have had constipation for a long time and have been using laxatives. Impaction is even more likely when the laxatives are stopped suddenly. The muscles of the intestines forget how to move stool or feces on their own.
Persons at risk for chronic constipation and fecal impaction include those who:
Certain drugs slow the passage of stool through the bowels:
Lembo AJ, Ullman SP. Constipation. In: Feldman M, Friedman LS, Brandt LJ, eds. Sleisenger and Fordtran's Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease. 9th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier;2010:chap 18.
Nelson H. Diseases of the rectum and anus. In: Goldman L, Ausiello D, eds. Cecil Medicine. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007: chap 148.
© 2011 University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC). All rights reserved.
UMMC is a member of the University of Maryland Medical System,
22 S. Greene Street, Baltimore, MD 21201. TDD: 1-800-735-2258 or 1.866.408.6885