Which features of constipation are assessed in an anorectal exam?

Updated: Mar 30, 2020
  • Author: Marc D Basson, MD, PhD, MBA, FACS; Chief Editor: BS Anand, MD  more...
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During the anorectal examination, the patient should be assessed for the following:

  • Perianal excoriation

  • Skin tags/hemorrhoids

  • Anal fissure

  • Anocutaneous reflex

  • Prolapse during straining

  • Stool amount and consistency - More stool is present within the rectal vault in pelvic outlet dysfunction than in colonic inertia or IBS, in which little or no stool remains in the rectum between defecations; pelvic floor dysfunction is manifested by failure of descent of the examining finger and contraction of the upper segment of the sphincter during straining

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