fecal impaction

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pertaining to or of the nature of feces.
fecal impaction accumulation of putty-like or hardened feces in the rectum or sigmoid. The condition often occurs in patients with long-standing bowel problems and chronic constipation. It also may develop when barium is introduced into the intestinal tract and not completely removed.

Symptoms include painful defecation, feeling of fullness in the rectum, and constipation or a diarrheic stool. Rectal examination reveals a hard or putty-like mass. The condition can be prevented in most cases by adequate removal of barium after radiologic studies, and by careful monitoring of the bowel movements of patients with problems of bowel elimination.

Fecal impaction usually requires digital removal with a gloved finger to break up the mass. Prior to removal the patient may be given an oil retention enema to help soften the mass.


the condition of being wedged in firmly.
bony impaction a dental impaction in which the blockage consists of both bone and soft tissue.
dental impaction the blocking of a tooth by a physical barrier, such as a neighboring tooth, so that it cannot erupt; see also impacted tooth.
Impaction of the third molar. From Dorland's, 2000.
fecal impaction see fecal impaction.
soft tissue impaction a dental impaction in which the blockage consists of soft tissue only.
Miller-Keane Encyclopedia and Dictionary of Medicine, Nursing, and Allied Health, Seventh Edition. © 2003 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier, Inc. All rights reserved.

fe·cal im·pac·tion

an immovable collection of compressed or hardened feces in the colon or rectum.
Farlex Partner Medical Dictionary © Farlex 2012

fecal impaction

Medtalk The presence of an indurated bolus of feces in the rectum, which is difficult to pass and which may, with time, cause ulceration of the rectal mucosa. See Fecalith.
McGraw-Hill Concise Dictionary of Modern Medicine. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

fe·cal im·pac·tion

(fēkăl im-pakshŭn)
Immovable collection of compressed or hardened feces in the colon or rectum.
Medical Dictionary for the Health Professions and Nursing © Farlex 2012

Fecal impaction

Obstruction of the rectum by a large mass of feces (stool).
Mentioned in: Bowel Training
Gale Encyclopedia of Medicine. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Description of CT features in stercoral colitis CT findings Description Fecal impaction Colon lumen filled with hard stool material Colon dilatation Colon segment with increased cross-sectional diameter (>6 cm) secondary to stool impaction Colon wall thickening Wall thickness >3 mm at the impacted site Mucosal discontinuity Lack of mucosal enhancement due to pressure Pericolonic fat stranding Increased density and streaks of fat caused by the inflammation Extraluminal free air Air migrating from colon lumen into (pneumatosis coli) or beyond (pneumoperitoneum or air in veins) the wall of the colon Table 2.
* Causes of constipation and fecal impaction are similar and include low intake of dietary fiber, dehydration, immobility, alcohol ingestion, laxative abuse, medication adverse effects, depression, dementia, spinal cord dysfunction, diabetes, metabolic imbalances, and hypothyroidism.
Several general interventions assist in prevention of UI: preventing urinary tract infections and fecal impaction, controlling diabetes mellitus and heart failure, correcting hypercalemia, reducing diuretic fluids, avoiding physical or chemical restraints and managing medications that can cause UI (ACE inhibitors, calcium channel blockers, beta- and alpha-adrenergic agonists, alpha-adrenergic blockers, diuretics, cholinesterase inhibitors, psychotropics, narcotic analgesics and anticholinergics).
Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders--IV (DSM-IV) Criteria for Diagnosis of Encopresis 1--Encopresis is frequently associated with constipation and fecal impaction. 2--Other causes may be related to a lack of toilet training or training at too early an age or an emotional disturbance, such as oppositional defiant disorder or a conduct disorder.
The patients' mean age was 11 years, 65% were boys, 72% had large-diameter stools, and 47% had fecal impaction. Defecation frequency averaged 1.5 per week, and fecal incontinence occurred an average of seven times per week.
There was a significant difference in rectal compliance between children who had severe fecal impaction at baseline and those with no impaction.
If untreated, the condition can proceed to obstipation, a more stubborn fecal impaction that may require prolonged hospitalization and more elaborate therapy--for example, manual removal of hardened fecal matter from an anesthetized cat's colon.
As staff at most nursing facilities are aware, the occurrence of a resident having a fecal impaction is considered a sentinel event by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.
In men, look at prostate consistency and symmetry, and be sure not to miss a fecal impaction in either gender, she advised.
-BOB Monkhouse discussing his illness: "I was originally diagnosed as having fecal impaction. I thought that was a movie with Glenn Close."
Children with chronic constipation suffer from abdominal cramps, painful bowel movements, and sometimes fecal impaction (total blockage).
Smith has written two articles: Smith and others, "A behavioral approach to retraining bowel function after long-standing constipation and fecal impaction in people with learning disabilities," Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology 36 (1994):41-49; and Smith, "A behavioral approach to the treatment of non-retentive encopresis in adults with learning disabilities," Journal of Intellectual Disability Research 40 (April 1996): 130-139.