How common is constipation?

Updated: Jul 04, 2019
  • Author: Marc D Basson, MD, PhD, MBA, FACS; Chief Editor: BS Anand, MD  more...
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Constipation is a symptom rather than a disease, generally defined as when bowel movements occur three or fewer times a week and are difficult to pass. [1] It is the one of the most common digestive complaints in the United States [2] in ambulatory centers and a common cause for referral to gastroenterologists and colorectal surgeons. [3] Despite its frequency, it often remains unrecognized until the patient develops sequelae, such as anorectal disorders. (See the image below.)

Constipation. Note the large amount of stool throu Constipation. Note the large amount of stool throughout the colon on this radiograph.

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