Which processes are involved in constipation originating from the colon or rectum?

Updated: Jul 05, 2019
  • Author: Marc D Basson, MD, PhD, MBA, FACS; Chief Editor: BS Anand, MD  more...
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Answer

Constipation may originate primarily from within the colon and rectum or may originate externally. Processes involved in constipation originating from the colon or rectum include the following:

  • Colon obstruction (neoplasm, volvulus, stricture)

  • Slow colonic motility, particularly in patients with a history of chronic laxative abuse

  • Outlet obstruction (anatomic or functional) - Anatomic outlet obstruction may derive from intussusception of the anterior wall of the rectum on straining, rectal prolapse, and rectocele; functional outlet obstruction may derive from puborectalis or external sphincter spasm when bearing down, short-segment Hirschsprung disease, and damage to the pudendal nerve, typically related to chronic straining or vaginal delivery

  • Hirschsprung disease in children


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