Originally published on: April 6th, 2017. Last modified on August 12th, 2021

The treatment for faecal impaction aims to clear the impacted faeces out by oral or rectal medicines or by administering an enema. Once cleared out, you should monitor your bowel movements carefully to ensure you don’t get constipated and possibly re-impact again.

What is an Enema?

An enema is a procedure used for clearing the bowel and colon of faecal matter. The enema introduces liquid, usually water and sodium bicarbonate or sodium phosphate, by means of a bulb or enema bag, into the anus and thus to the bowel and colon. This tends to stimulate the bowel to release faecal matter.

Most enemas come in special pouches with a nozzle which is inserted into the rectum and the contents are squeezed in. They can be used to clear out the bowel before a medical procedure, to treat occasional severe constipation (faecal impaction) or used as a part of a regular bowel management programme.

Therapeutic Enema

A theraputic treatment for Bowel Obstruction, a barium or enema may be used to diagnose and treat an intussusception. During the procedure air or a liquid containing contrast is injected through the rectum into the bowel. The air or liquid will create pressure in the large bowel which will hopefully push out the folded piece of bowel. This is not always successful though and further surgery may be required.

Further Information

If you have been constipated for some time and have tried other treatments without success please speak to your GP who can discuss options with you.