Functional disorders of defecation are common and often overlap with slow-transit constipation. They are comprised of functional obstructive conditions such as dyssynergic defecation, as well as structural obstructive conditions such as rectal prolapse, excessive perineal descent, and rectocele. Evaluation includes detailed history and rectal and pelvic exam together with physiologic tests such as anorectal manometry, balloon expulsion test, defecography, and MRI. Treatment involves several medical, behavioral, and surgical approaches. Recently, randomized controlled trials have shown that biofeedback therapy is an effective treatment for dyssynergic defecation. Stapled transanal rectal resection appears to be a promising technique for treating defecation disorders associated with rectocele, excessive perineal descent, and mucosal intussusception, but controlled trials are lacking.
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