Fecal impaction is a severe bowel condition where a dense, large mass of stool is stuck in the colon leading to serious discomfort and pain. The likelihood of fecal impaction increases with age, spinal injury, and neuropsychiatric disorders, so most cases are seen in patients with dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, stroke, spina bifida, and paralysis.
Fecal Impaction Complications:
Research shows that if fecal impaction is not addressed quickly, then it can have grave consequences. This includes but is not limited to:
- compressed nerves
- stercoral ulcers
- stercoral perforation
The list above is frightening and does not highlight the most common causes. Research shows that the most common complications of fecal impaction are: intestinal perforation, intestinal obstruction, stercoraceous ulcer, and obstructive uropathy. See referenced research.
Fecal Impaction Treatment:
Patients typically attempt to treat fecal impaction with laxatives, enema, or with our Pulsed Irrigation Evacuation machine.
Treating Fecal Impaction with Laxatives
Despite the large laxative industry, laxatives are often ineffective and many times harmful for patients with fecal impaction. Laxatives often create dependencies where patients are unable to respond normally and need higher and higher doses of laxatives for any bowel movement.
Treating Fecal Impaction with Enema
During an enema, a laxative and saline solution are mixed and injected into the colon to help disrupt the mass of stool. Upon injection and time for the stool to soften, the patient will have to sit on a commode and attempt to produce a normal bowel movement. An enema may be an effective solution for some patients but oftentimes leaves out many who are bedridden, lack mobility, or find it too strenuous to go through this whole process.
Treating Fecal Impaction with Pulsed Irrigation Evacuation
Studies in the most prestigious of research journals like Nature have shown that pulsed irrigation evacuation through our PIE MED device is an effective, safe way to clear fecal impactions without disrupting patient rehabilitation. Studies have shown that the PIE machine has even treated patients with fecal impaction that have attempted all other alternatives and were likely to receive a surgical colostomy to remove the mass from their colon. See referenced research.
How does the pulsed irrigation evacuation machine work?
The PIE machine is easily customized per patient and safely pulses water into the colon to disrupt the impaction. Rather than sitting on a commode to collect the debris and water, the waste is automatically collected in a separate PIE-Pak, which is placed in a collection tub. Once all of the waste is collected, caregivers, nurses or aides can easily lift the handle to effortlessly dump the waste into a commode and flush.