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Fecal impaction

  • Alternative Names

    Impaction of the bowels


    Common symptoms include:

    • Abdominal cramping and bloating
    • Leakage of liquid or sudden episodes of watery diarrhea in someone who has chronic constipation
    • Rectal bleeding
    • Small, semi-formed stools
    • Straining when trying to pass stools

    Other possible symptoms include:

    • Bladder pressure or loss of bladder control
    • Lower back pain
    • Rapid heartbeat or light-headedness from straining to pass stool

    Signs and tests

    The health care provider will examine your stomach area and rectum. The rectal exam will reveal a hard mass of stool in the rectum.

    If there has been a recent change in your bowel habits, your doctor may recommend a colonoscopy to evaluate for colon or rectal cancer.