Dyssynergic Defecation and Other Evacuation Disorders

Gastroenterol Clin North Am. 2022 Mar;51(1):55-69. doi: 10.1016/j.gtc.2021.10.004. Epub 2022 Jan 7.


Constipated patients are frequently referred to gastroenterologists for symptoms refractory to lifestyle modifications and laxatives. Dyssynergic defecation, the dyscoordination of rectoanal, abdominal, and pelvic floor muscles to facilitate defecation, is a major cause of refractory primary constipation. Understanding of the diagnosis, evaluation, and management of dyssynergic defecation and other evacuation disorders will allow providers to effectively manage these patients. This review focuses on the definition, pathophysiology, evaluation, and treatment of dyssynergic defecation and other evacuation disorders. Emerging treatments for these disorders include home biofeedback therapy for dyssynergic defecation and translumbosacral neuromodulation therapy for levator ani syndrome.

Keywords: Biofeedback therapy; Constipation; Dyssynergic defecation; Levator ani syndrome; Rectocele.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Ataxia / diagnosis
  • Ataxia / etiology
  • Ataxia / therapy
  • Biofeedback, Psychology
  • Constipation* / diagnosis
  • Constipation* / etiology
  • Constipation* / therapy
  • Defecation* / physiology
  • Humans
  • Laxatives


  • Laxatives