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Constipation (cont.)

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Other treatments for constipation

Biofeedback

Most of the muscles of the pelvis surrounding the anus and rectum are under some degree of voluntary control. Thus, biofeedback training can teach patients with pelvic floor dysfunction how to make their muscles work more normally and improve their ability to defecate. During ano-rectal biofeedback training, a pressure-sensing catheter is placed through the anus and into the rectum. Each time a patient contracts the muscles, the muscles generate a pressure that is sensed by the catheter and recorded on a screen. By watching the pressures on the screen and attempting to modify them, patients learn how to relax and contract the muscles more normally.

Exercise

People who lead sedentary lives are more frequently constipated than people who are active. Nevertheless, limited studies of exercise on bowel habit have shown that exercise has minimal or no effect on the frequency of bowel movements. Thus, exercise can be recommended for its many other health benefits, but not for its effect on constipation.

Surgery

For individuals with problematic constipation that is due to diseases of the colon or laxative abuse, surgery is the ultimate treatment. During surgery, most of the colon, except for the rectum (or the rectum and part of the sigmoid colon), is removed. The cut end of the small intestine is attached to the remaining rectum or sigmoid colon. In patients with colonic inertia, surgery is reserved for those who do not respond to all other therapies. If the surgery is to be done, there must be no disease of the small intestinal muscles. Normal small intestinal muscles are evidenced by normal motility studies of the small intestine itself.

Electrical pacing

Electrical pacing is still in its experimental phases. Electrical pacing may be done using electrodes implanted into the muscular wall of the colon. The electrodes exit the colon and are attached to an electrical stimulator. Alternatively, stimulation of the sacral skin can be used to stimulate nerves going to the colon. These techniques are promising, but much more work lies ahead before their role in treating constipation, if any, has been defined.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 7/15/2014

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Source: MedicineNet.com
http://www.medicinenet.com/constipation/article.htm

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