a procedure for removing fecalith?

l 100+ pointsm 1+ points - Newb

Brandon asks:

What are the different medical processes of removing fecalith? (Definition: "A hard stony mass of feces. A fecalith can obstruct the appendix, leading to appendicitis. Fecaliths also can obstruct diverticuli.")

Due to old age and certain medical conditions, fecal matter can harden and become lodged in the lower intestine and colon. I am wondering if you could help me with finding information on the topic of removing such fecalith. Thank you.

Dear Brandon,

Do you think you may have a case of fecalith or something? That's gotta suck.

First off, I suggest preventative measures: diet, exercise, and water. Eat a high fiber, well-balanced diet. Fiber acts like a toothbrush along the digestive tract. Exercise helps your muscles with peristalsis (the rhythmic movements in your digestive tract). Water helps hydrate your body, including your poop, to make it less dried out and easier to pass along. All this together helps your poop not get stuck to the intestinal wall.

I don't think a fecalith is generally detected until someone has signs and symptoms (such as fever, lower right abdominal pain, and chills), which is then known as appendicitis. But there are different types of appendicitis and consequently, different treatments.

Confined appendicitis refers to inflammation of the appendix. Treatment for this is usually a course of antibiotics and usually resolves on its own. Sometimes your doctor may want to remove the appendix to prevent any chance of future problems.

Perforated appendix is when the appendix gets inflamed, infected, and then ruptures, often causing an abscess and/or infection inside the abdomen. The abscess generally needs to be drained from the body and a treatment of antibiotics is usually prescribed. From my experience with people having perforated appendixes, they then have the appendix removed.

Now, there are different ways of removing the appendix. An open appendectomy is when the surgeon slices through the layers of the abdomen on the lower right quarter, kinda near the hip bone. The colon is then brought out of the skin a bit and the appendix is chopped out. The surgeon then sutures the hole where the appendix once was, tucks everything neatly back into the abdomen, then sutures up the skin. Voila!

A laprascopic appendectomy is when the surgeon uses a small camera and tiny tools to view and remove the appendix. The appendix can be removed with the instruments, leaving only a few puncture wounds. Sounds kind of sci-fi, eh? People who have lapracsopic appendectomies generally have faster recoveries and less pain versus people who have open appendectomies.

I hope this long-winded answer answered your question!



Snapper is a general medical-surgical Registered Nurse. And a Canadian one at that. She is not a doctor. She has never claimed to be one. She doesn't plan on ever being one. But, dang! She sure is smart, wonderful, and hot. She does not intend to give definitive medical advice on PoopReport.com, and the information provided here is not a substitute for readers seeking medical advice. All concerns should be followed up by your doctor.

6 Comments on "a procedure for removing fecalith?"

Dave's picture
PoopReport of the Year AwardComment Content Moderatora 10000+ points - Super Pooper

Good news, PoopReporters: Snapper has volunteered to help Motherload with our backlog of poop questions!

HowleyKook's picture
l 100+ points

Good day Snapper,

After reading this post I was drawn back to points regarding prevention. Maybe a little rewrite would get people to take better care of their bowels…

“First off, I suggest preventative measures: diet, exercise, and FLUID. TAKE A LIBERAL AMOUNT OF METAMUCIL BEFORE BED, IT TASTES GOOD. Fiber acts like a toothbrush along the digestive tract. MOVE DURING SEX IT helps your muscles with peristalsis (the rhythmic movements in your digestive tract). DRINK MORE BEER it helps hydrate your body, including your poop, to make it less dried out and easier to pass along. All this together helps your poop not get stuck to the intestinal wall.”

Happy Crappin'

Happy Crappin'
Homegrown Media Network

wonderpance's picture
Comment Quality Moderatork 500+ points

that's awesome! i think the Ask Poonurse (and Dr. Adams) was one of the most important parts of the site, so i think it's great that Snapper and Motherload have taken over.

and i love the disclaimer at the bottom.
i love poop.

i love poop.

Mary Queen of Scats's picture
l 100+ points

Thanks for stepping up Snapper! Can't wait to read more of your advice.

Merry feeking Christmas and a crappy New Year to all!

Bad kitty! Bathtubs are NOT litterboxes!

Snapper's picture
l 100+ pointsm 1+ points - Newb

Howley - And take lots of water with Metamucil or else it can act like a big stopper in the intestines!

Thanks for the encouragement, pance and Scats! :)

Captain Craptastic's picture
l 100+ points

Fecaliths (stone poop, I love it, sounds like a monument to great poops of history!) in the large intestine can block off outpouches of intestinal endothelia (cells of the intestinal lining) and cause painful infections known as diverticulitis. If left untreated, diverticulitis can result in nausea, vomiting, constipation, intestinal bleeding, abdominal pain in the lower left quadrant, abscess, perforation, peritonitis, fistula formation, intestinal obstructions, etc. At this point, high fiber diets are NOT recommended since the bowel is easily irritated and requires time to heal. Antibiotics are given after bio-cultures determine the pathogen responsible for the infection along with a liquid diet for a while. Surgical repair of damaged bowel structures is reserved for advanced cases with life-threatening complications. Compared with a quickie laparoscopic appendectomy ("lap-appy") where you are back in action in a few days, this is a lot more serious problem. Most people develop harmless diverticula in middle years and can use high fiber diets to keep the poop moving through so it does not get stuck in these diverticula. Once infection sets in, it's a whole new ball game! It's a good idea to differentiate any pain that occurs by location: right/lower can be appendicitis; left/lower can be diverticulitis or fecal obstructions of descending/sigmoid colon (among other things). I hope this clarifies a few things. I wish you all a Merry Christmas with many high-fiber, fluffy, low-density poops that fly out smoothly and effortlessly. Straining (Valsalva maneuver) is contraindicated for those with hypertension and/or heart disease.----Captain Craptastic!!!

----Captain Craptastic!!!

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