A fecaloma is a mass of feces most frequently noted in the rectum and sigmoid colon, that is much harder than a fecal impaction due to coprostasis.
Usually, the fecal matter accumulates in the intestine, then stagnates and increases in volume until the intestine becomes deformed and acquires characteristics similar to those of a tumor.
There are several causes of chronic constipation and fecaloma, for example:
- immobility (e.g. post-operatively, stroke, psychiatric illness)
- medication related (e.g. opioids)
- neurological conditions (e.g. Parkinson disease, Hirschsprung disease)
- neoplastic conditions (e.g. colorectal cancer)
- inflammatory conditions (e.g. inflammatory bowel disease)
- infective conditions (e.g. Chagas disease)
- functional conditions (e.g. irritable bowel syndrome)
A fecaloma should be considered when there is evidence of focal fecal material of equal or greater diameter than the colon.
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