Difficult defecation: difficult problem assessment and management; what really helps?

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Gastroenterology clinics of North America, Volume 40, Issue 4, p.837-44 (2011)


Chronic Diseasedigestive disease, digestive deseases Constipationdigestive disease, digestive deseases Defecationdigestive disease, digestive deseases Humans


Difficult defecation is a common and perhaps underrecognized cause of chronic constipation. While the history and a careful digital rectal examination are very useful for diagnosing defecatory disorders, the diagnosis needs to be confirmed by anorectal tests. Anorectal manometry and a rectal balloon expulsion test generally suffice to diagnose defecatory disorders; barium or MR defecography may necessary in selected cases. Colonic transit is normal or slow in patients with defecatory disorders. Pelvic floor retraining by biofeedback therapy is superior to laxatives for managing defecatory disorders.