Fecaloma

Fecaloma

A fecaloma, also called fecalith and coprolith, i.e., stones made of feces, is a hardening of feces into stones of varying size inside the colon, which may appear whenever chronic obstruction of transit occurs, such as in megacolon and chronic constipation. Some diseases, such as Chagas disease, Hirschsprung's disease and others provoke the destruction of the autonomic nervous system inside the colon's mucosa (Auerbach's plexus) and may cause extremely large (giant) fecalomas, which must be surgically removed (disimpaction). Normally, however, fecalomas can be manually disimpacted or by passing colonic tubes (catheters which carry a flow of disimpaction fluid (solvent).

Fecal impaction may have severe and even lethal effects, such as the rupture of the colon's walls by acute angles of the fecalomas (stercoral perforation), followed by septicemia. A fecolith is also known to cause acute appendicitis.

See also

Coprolith is also used to mean fossilized feces.

References

Creason N, Sparks D. Fecal impaction: a review. Nurs Diagn. 2000 Jan-Mar;11(1):15-23. Review. PMID 10847055

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