Chronic constipation care at Mayo Clinic

  • Your Mayo Clinic care team. In addition to a gastroenterologist, the care team may include specialists in colon and rectal surgery, gynecology, and physical medicine and rehabilitation. The care team works together to make an accurate diagnosis and develop a treatment plan for your needs.
  • Advanced diagnostic resources. Specialists at Mayo Clinic can use a wide variety of tests to identify the cause of constipation. These include test to assess movement of stool through your colon, muscle contractions in your colon, and the function of your rectal and pelvic floor muscles.
  • A full range of treatment options. Mayo Clinic doctors will work with you to review all of your treatment options and choose the treatment that best suits your needs and goals. The treatments for chronic constipation include counseling in nutrition and lifestyle changes, medications, surgery, and biofeedback training.

Advanced diagnosis and treatment

Specialists in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, provide a treatment program for chronic constipation caused by tension or poor coordination of the pelvic floor muscles. This type of chronic constipation is common and nothing to be embarrassed about.

The two-week Bowel Evacuation Disorders Program focuses on retraining the pelvic floor muscles. These muscles control the outlets of the bowel and bladder. If your pelvic floor muscles don't work together properly, you may have difficulty passing stool.

During the program, participants use biofeedback to learn to relax specific muscles and practice training with a water-filled balloon. The program includes home follow-up. Most people in the retraining program experience improvement in the control and coordination of their pelvic floor muscles.

To participate in the Bowel Evacuation Disorders Program, you must be referred by a physician at Mayo Clinic's campus in Minnesota. You may require additional tests to confirm the diagnosis of pelvic floor dysfunction.

Expertise and rankings

Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, ranks No. 1 for digestive disorders in the U.S. News & World Report Best Hospitals rankings. Mayo Clinic in Phoenix/Scottsdale, Arizona, and Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida, are ranked among the Best Hospitals for digestive disorders by U.S. News & World Report. Mayo Clinic Children's Center in Rochester is ranked the No. 1 hospital in Minnesota, and the five-state region of Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin, according to U.S. News & World Report's 2023–2024 "Best Children's Hospitals" rankings.

Locations, travel and lodging

Mayo Clinic has major campuses in Phoenix and Scottsdale, Arizona; Jacksonville, Florida; and Rochester, Minnesota. The Mayo Clinic Health System has dozens of locations in several states.

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Costs and insurance

Mayo Clinic works with hundreds of insurance companies and is an in-network provider for millions of people.

In most cases, Mayo Clinic doesn't require a physician referral. Some insurers require referrals, or may have additional requirements for certain medical care. All appointments are prioritized on the basis of medical need.

Learn more about appointments at Mayo Clinic.

Please contact your insurance company to verify medical coverage and to obtain any needed authorization prior to your visit. Often, your insurer's customer service number is printed on the back of your insurance card.

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Sept. 26, 2023


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