Chronic constipation care at Mayo Clinic

  • Teamwork. Doctors in gastroenterology, along with specialists in colon and rectal surgery, gynecology, and physical medicine and rehabilitation, work together to make an accurate diagnosis and to 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, including tests to assess movement of material through your gastrointestinal tract (scintigraphy), muscle contractions in your colon (motility tests), and function of your rectal and pelvic floor muscles.
  • A full range of treatment options to consider. 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 range of treatments offered to people with chronic constipation includes counseling in nutrition and lifestyle changes, medications, surgery, and biofeedback training.
  • Experimental treatments. Mayo Clinic is actively involved in research on new therapies for chronic constipation, and you may have access to experimental treatments not available elsewhere.

Advanced diagnosis and treatment

Specialists in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., provide a treatment program for chronic constipation caused by tension or poor coordination of the pelvic floor muscles (pelvic floor dysfunction). This type of chronic constipation is 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 a bowel movement.

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 who participate 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. For more information about Mayo Clinic's Bowel Evacuation Disorders Program, call 507-538-3836.

Expertise and rankings

  • Experience. Mayo Clinic doctors have extensive experience diagnosing and treating chronic constipation, treating approximately 6,000 people each year.
  • Teamwork. Doctors in gastroenterology work together with specialists in colon and rectal surgery, gynecology, and physical medicine and rehabilitation to make an accurate diagnosis and to develop a treatment plan for your needs.

Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., ranks No. 1 for digestive disorders in the U.S. News & World Report Best Hospitals rankings. Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Ariz., and Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Fla., are ranked among the Best Hospitals for digestive disorders by U.S. News & World Report. Mayo Clinic also ranks among the Best Children's Hospitals for digestive disorders.

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.

For more information on visiting Mayo Clinic, choose your location below:

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.

Oct. 19, 2016