Which procedures are indicated in the workup of acute constipation?

Updated: Mar 30, 2020
  • Author: Marc D Basson, MD, PhD, MBA, FACS; Chief Editor: BS Anand, MD  more...
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In the acute situation with a patient at low risk who usually is not constipated, no further evaluation is necessary. Consider sigmoidoscopy, colonoscopy, or barium enema for colorectal cancer screening in patients older than 50 years. Colonoscopy represents the current criterion standard. The role of computed tomography (CT) colography awaits further definition.

In children with refractory constipation, colonic and anorectal manometry may help in identifying a disorder of rectal evacuation or colonic motility. [19]  Those with rectal evacuation disorder may potentially benefit from biofeedback therapy or sphincter botulinum toxin. [19]

Regional colonic transit pattern does not conclusively identify evacuation disorders in constipated patients with delayed colonic transit. [20]


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