Constipation occurs when bowel movements become difficult or less frequent. Constipation is not a disease, but a symptom related to a family of diseases generally classified as 'defecation disorders'.

How do you know if you suffer from Chronic Constipation?

Often people don’t realize they are constipated. In one study, 37 percent of women who met symptom criteria for constipation did not regard themselves as constipated. The following self-assessment can help you determine whether or not you may suffer from chronic constipation.

  • Fewer than three bowel movements this week
  • The need to strain at least 25 percent of the time during bowel movements.
  • A feeling of not being able to complete your bowel movement at least 25 percent of the time.
  • Hard or lumpy stools at least 25 percent of the time.

Constipation is one of those topics few people like to discuss. But if you suffer from constipation you know it can be painful and frustrating and interferes greatly with your daily life. Almost everyone suffers from constipation at some time. Studies show that up to 16 percent of women in the India meet symptom criteria for chronic constipation. Moreover, people tend to suffer with the condition for a long time. Research shows up to 45 percent of individuals with constipation report having the condition for five years or more. Now there is a good reason to talk about chronic constipation. There is a surgical alternative that may be able to help women who have been unable to find solutions in the past for a type of chronic constipation called Obstructed Defecation Syndrome (ODS). Before you can understand whether you may have ODS, you need to understand more about chronic constipation. 

ODS

ODS is a form of chronic constipation that affects thousands of people in the India – primarily women. In many cases, it is part of a more generalized weakness of pelvic support structures. Women with ODS commonly plan their daily activities around their bowel habits.

If you have chronic constipation and also have one or more of the following symptoms at least 25 percent of the time during bowel movements, you may have ODS Constipation:

  • Multiple trips to the bathroom.
  • Prolonged straining.
  • Incomplete elimination, and/or prolonged time to have a bowel movement.
  • Routine use of laxatives or enemas.
  • The need to press around your genitals or anus to have a bowel movement.

Systematic approach to Constipation

Defecography (Scanning of evacuation) is a MAGNETIC RESONANCE IMAGING (MRI) study of defecation, a diagnostic test that shows the rectal & anal canal as they change during defecation (having a bowel movement). This test is used to evaluate disorders of the lower bowel that are not evident by tests such as colonoscopy or sigmoidoscopy.

Who may have to go for this diagnostic test?

  • Chronic constipation.
  • Incomplete evacuation.
  • Obstruction & straining during defecation.
  • Fingering during defecation
  • Patient goes number of times for defecation but does not feel complete satisfaction of evacuation.
  • Daily or alternate day hard stools.
  • Patient has only 2 to 3 evacuations in a week and defecation is a long and time consuming process.
  • Rectal Prolapse (something coming out from anus)
  • Pelvic Prolapse (Bladder & Vagina)

STARR Surgery

STARR is a surgical procedure that is performed through the anus, requires no external incisions and leaves no visible scars. Using a surgical stapler, the procedure removes excess tissue in the rectum and reduces the deformities that can cause ODS. Patients undergoing STARR are typically hospitalized for one to three days and have minimal recovery time after leaving the hospital. 

Is STARR Effective?

Yes. In a recent clinical study, chronic constipation symptoms significantly improved in most patients undergoing the STARR procedure. Overall patient satisfaction with the STARR procedure was high, with 90 percent of patients rating the results as either good or excellent.