Send to

Choose Destination
Rozhl Chir. 2015 Sep;94(9):349-61.

Surgical options to treat constipation: A brief overview.


Patients with intractable chronic constipation should be evaluated with physiological tests after structural disorders and extracolonic causes have been excluded. Conservative treatment options should be tried unstintingly. It should be pointed out that especially new drugs such as prucalopride and linaclotide seem to be a big step forward in treating patients with chronic constipation. If surgery is indicated, for many years subtotal colectomy with IRA was the treatment of choice, although segmental resections were also a good option for isolated megasigmoid, sigmoidocele or recurrent sigmoid volvulus. Nowadays, less invasive procedures like sacral nerve modulation (SNM) should be tried first. If unsuccessful, colectomy can still be considered. In general, patients with a gastrointestinal dysmotility syndrome (GID) should not be offered any surgical options because of their anticipated poor results. Moreover, patients with psychiatric disorders should be actively discouraged from resection, as they tend to have a poorer prognosis. Patients must be counseled that pain and/or bloating will likely persist even if surgery normalizes bowel frequency. Patients with associated problems may be better served by having a stoma without resection as both a therapeutic maneuver and a diagnostic trial. Colectomy is not an option for the treatment of pain and/or abdominal bloating. In most cases outlet obstruction can be treated successfully with a conservative approach. However, nowadays there are also a variety of surgical options on the market. Each technique has its special place in the armamentarium of a colorectal surgeon but its exact role is not defined yet.The aim of this article is to give a brief overview, how to diagnose and treat chronic constipation from the standpoint of a colorectal surgeon.Surgical treatment of chronic constipation is not routine and is performed only in exceptional cases. But one thing first: a "too long gut" (dolichocolon) per se is never an indication for surgery. The aim of this manuscript is to give a brief overview about possible mechanisms of constipation, diagnostic methods and tools and the various conservative and operative treatment options. Moreover, please always keep in mind that constipation may not only be a symptom, but even a distinct disease!

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for
Loading ...
Support Center