Encopresis, or fecal incontinence, is the soiling of the underwear or other articles of clothing with stool by children who are past the age of toilet training. It may be voluntary or involuntary. Encopresis is a common problem encountered in the pediatric patient population, particularly among patients with developmental and intellectual disorders who have difficulty remaining continent. It can lead to significant embarrassment for the patient and increased stress on the family unit. This entry describes the current understanding of encopresis, including its association with constipation, followed by an outline of the appropriate evaluation of patients with this presentation and various interventions available.

Encopresis is defined according to the ROME III criteria (a classification that is used for the diagnosis of functional gastrointestinal disorders) as defecation ...

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