Constipation is commonly seen in pediatric patients. It is a frequent complaint seen by pediatric gastroenterologists as well as primary care providers. Constipation is very relevant to pediatric urology patients as it is seen frequently in patients presenting with urinary tract infections and/or voiding dysfunction. Dysfunctional elimination is the combination of bowel and bladder dysfunction that was initially described in patients with recurrent urinary tract infections and vesicoureteral reflux. It is important to seek out symptoms of bowel dysfunction in patients seen with urinary complaints and vice versa. The treatment of constipation is an integral part of the treatment regimen in children with voiding dysfunction. Encopresis, or fecal incontinence associated with constipation and chronic fecal impaction may also be present in patients with voiding dysfunction and recurrent urinary tract infections. In children with constipation an organic cause should be sought out during the evaluation including neurologic, endocrine, or anatomic causes. In 95% of patients no etiology is found and they are classified as having functional constipation.
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