Midlands Bowel Centre

Spire Parkway Hospital

1 Damson Parkway, Solihull, West Midlands, B91 2PP

Obstructed Defecation

  • What is Obstructed Defecation?

    Obstructed defecation syndrome (ODS) is the medical name given to number of medical conditions in which there is a normal desire to defecate, but the ability to evacuate the rectum is impaired. Often, multiple conditions co-exist and contribute to the overall syndrome of obstructed defecation.

    Symptoms of obstructed defecation syndrome

    ODS is defined by difficulty passing bowel motions, with multiple (often unsuccessful) visits to the toilet, a sensation of a blockage and a feeling of inadequate or incomplete emptying. Patients with ODS may need to use their finger to help them to empty, pushing on the perineum (the skin in front of the anal canal), on the back wall of the vagina or in the anal canal itself. Paradoxically for patients who struggle to empty their rectum, patients often describe symptoms of anal incontinence.

    Treatment for ODS
    Because the causes of ODS vary from patient to patient, the treatment is individualised and a full assessment of bowel health and pelvic floor function is usually required.

    Sometimes, simple changes in diet or the addition of stool softeners can be helpful. Supervised pelvic floor retraining can greatly improve symptoms without the need for surgery. For some patients with structural abnormality of the rectum, surgical treatment, such as
    STARR may be helpful.

    Treatment for ODS

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