Skip to main content


put an end to Obstructed Defecation

Do you have difficulty emptying your bowels frequently? Does it feel like you can’t have a proper bowel movement? Do you strain frequently? Do you need to rock into a different position or position your hands around your anus to help evacuate stool? Are your stools fragmented? These may all be signs of obstructed defecation syndrome.

With the right medical or surgical treatment, you may restore proper bowel movements. At Huntington Colorectal Surgeons, Dr. Howard Kaufman, Dr, Gabriel Akopian and Dr. Juliane Golan have been working with hundreds of patients who suffer from defecation disorders. We can identify the reason for your condition and provide the right treatment that can give you relief.

Visit our Pasadena, California, medical facility for diagnosis.

Why do you find it hard to defecate?

Obstructed defecation can occur due to a multitude of reasons. However, it is usually linked to some form of bowel disorder, such as:

  • Loose connections of the rectum to surrounding structures resulting in internal rectal prolapse
  • Rectocele – outpouching of the rectal wall into the vagina or through pelvic floor muscles
  • Failure of the pelvic floor to relax during defecation
  • Failure of the anal canal to relax during defecation
  • Colon or rectal cancer
  • Prior radiation for pelvic malignancies
  • Certain neurological conditions

At Huntington Colorectal Surgeons, our Pasadena colorectal doctors will be able to develop a diagnostic plan to determine the cause of the obstructed defecation and will then be able to design customized treatments that suit your medical requirements.

Complications associated with obstructed defecation

An obstruction in the bowel happens when either your small or large intestine is partly or completely blocked. The symptoms are:

  • Unable to pass gas.
  • Being unable to have a regular bowel movement.
  • Vomit (obstruction in the bowel can cause feelings of nausea).
  • Not being able to eat a full meal (loss of appetite is another symptom of bowel obstruction).

You may even have a distended belly, as the gas and the excrement clog-up your bowel. This type of obstructed defecation can cause discomfort in the form of:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Pain and burning in the anal region (with fissures forming if you exert stress while trying to stimulate bowel movement)
  • Hemorrhoids
  • Fecal impaction
  • Hernia (if there’s an inflammation in the bowel and the clogged excrement can exert excessive pressure on your colorectal tissues)

Timely medical intervention can prevent all of these complications and help pass stools comfortably.

Schedule a


Diagnostic tests for obstructed defecation

Dr. Howard Kaufman and his team first diagnose your condition through:

  • A thorough history and physical examination.Anoscopy in the office to look for low cancers or large hemorrhoids.
  • Consideration of 3-D High-Resolution Anorectal Manometry and tests of rectal sensation.
  • Consideration of MR defecography – specialized MRI to look for internal rectal prolapse and other associated prolapsing pelvic organs.
  • Consideration of colonoscopy or flexible sigmoidoscopy to look for a mass lesion.
logo for colorectal surgeons in Pasadena

Restoring your bowel movement with customized treatments

Depending on the cause(s) of your obstructed defecation and the consistency of your stools, our doctors may start by prescribing specially-formulated bowel habit regimens and pelvic floor exercises taught by a trained pelvic floor physical therapist. If these modalities are not effective, or if testing suggests muscle spasms, botox injections might be indicated. If the MR imaging suggests internal rectal prolapse, robotic surgery to correct the prolapse and stabilize the rectum may be curative.

Top-of-the-line procedures

At Huntington Colorectal Surgeons, we are a premier surgical center specializing in robotic surgery.

For more information about the treatments we offer, please contact our Pasadena colorectal surgical facility.


Schedule a Consultation

Contact Us (626) 397-5896