How is pediatric constipation treated?

Updated: Dec 14, 2018
  • Author: Stephen M Borowitz, MD; Chief Editor: Carmen Cuffari, MD  more...
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Answer

Although constipation is an extremely common problem among children, few studies have systematically evaluated different management strategies. Childhood constipation is treated in many ways, and virtually any therapeutic regimen is likely to be effective as long as it is sufficiently aggressive and persistent. [17] Because of the medical profession's understanding of the pathophysiology of the problem, the basic tenets of therapy include evacuation of the colon, elimination of pain with defecation, and establishing regular bowel habits. [18]

A group of patients with severe constipation that does not respond to conservative medical therapy may require more aggressive treatments, including surgery. A discussion of these interventions is beyond the scope of this article. See Surgery for Pediatric Constipation and Bowel Management.

Also see Constipation.


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