Constipation means different things to different people. For many people, it simply means infrequent passage of feces. For others, however, it means hard stools, difficulty passing them (straining), or a sense of incomplete emptying after a bowel movement. The cause of each of these symptoms of constipation vary, so the approach to each should be tailored to each specific patient.Constipation also can alternate with diarrhea. This pattern commonly occurs as part of the irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). At the extreme end of the spectrum for it is fecal impaction, which is when the stool hardens in the rectum and prevents the passage of it (although occasionally diarrhea may occur even with obstruction due to colonic fluid leaking around the impacted stool).
It is important to distinguish acute (recent onset) constipation from chronic (long duration) constipation. Acute constipation requires urgent assessment because a serious medical illness may be the underlying cause (for example, tumors of the colon). It also requires an immediate assessment if it is accompanied by symptoms such as rectal bleeding, abdominal pain and cramps, nausea and vomiting, and involuntary loss of weight. The evaluation of chronic constipation may not be urgent, particularly if simple measures bring relief.
It’s like taking a small nap! All you will feel is a small needle prick during your preparation for the procedure. The entire surgery takes about 30 minutes.
You will normally be able to start drinking water shortly after the procedure and can start eating as soon as you are hungry. You will be able to get out of bed a few hours after surgery. You are likely to have some pain after the procedure that is easily controlled with painkillers. You can expect a small amount of bleeding and wearing a pad will protect your clothes from getting soiled.
If your operation is planned as a day care procedure you can go home as soon as the effect of the anaesthetic has worn off, you have passed urine and you are comfortable, eating and drinking. Since a general anaesthetic is used, it is advisable that a responsible adult take you home and stay with you for 24 hours.Before you are discharged you will be advised about post-operative care, painkillers and laxatives.
You will normally open your bowels within 2-3 days of your operation. This may be uncomfortable at first and there could be a sense of ‘urgency’ (need to rush to the toilet). You may notice mild blood loss after each bowel movement but this will gradually reduce over the next few days. Maintain hygiene, and wash and keep the operation site clean. It is important to maintain a regular bowel movement that should be well formed but soft. You may need to take prescribed laxatives for 2-4 weeks. Eating a high fibre diet and increasing water/fluid intake will help.