Faecal impaction

A condition in which a large mass of hard faeces cannot be evacuated from the rectum. It is usually associated with long-standing constipation. Faecal impaction is most common in very young children and in the elderly, especially those who are bedridden. The main symptoms are an intense desire to pass a bowel movement; pain in the rectum, anus, and centre of the abdomen; and, in some cases, watery faeces that are passed around the mass. Treatment is with enemas or by manual removal of the faecal mass.


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