Fecaloma

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Fecaloma
Classification and external resources
X-ray showing fecalith which has caused appendicitis.jpg
A fecalith marked by the arrow which has resulted in acute appendicitis.
ICD-10 K38.1
ICD-9 560.39

A fecaloma (pronounced /fkəˈlmə/, "FEE-kə-LOH-mə"), also called fecalith, fecolith and coprolith, i.e., a "stone" made of feces, is a hardening of feces into lumps of varying size inside the colon, which may appear whenever chronic obstruction of transit occurs, such as in megacolon and chronic constipation. Some diseases, such as Chagas disease, Hirschsprung's disease and others damage the autonomic nervous system in the colon's mucosa (Auerbach's plexus) and may cause extremely large or "giant" fecalomas, which must be surgically removed (disimpaction). Rarely, a fecalith will form around a hairball (Trichobezoar), or other hygroscopic or desiccant nucleus. Distal or sigmoid, fecalomas can often be disimpacted digitally or by a catheter which carries a flow of disimpaction fluid (water or other solvent or lubricant).

Fecal impaction and attempts at removal can have severe and even lethal effects, such as the rupture of the colon wall by catheter or an acute angle of the fecaloma (stercoral perforation), followed by septicemia. A small fecalith is one cause of both appendicitis and acute diverticulitis.

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