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Case Reports in Surgery
Volume 2013, Article ID 608505, 2 pages
Case Report

Chronic Constipation in the Elderly: An Unusual Presentation of Colonic Dysmotility in an Elderly Patient

1Department of Colorectal Surgery, West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust, UK
2BICMS Pathology Group, Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, University of London, UK

Received 19 May 2013; Accepted 23 June 2013

Academic Editors: C. Foroulis and G. La Greca

Copyright © 2013 R. Peravali et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Introduction. Chronic constipation is common in the elderly, and often no underlying pathology is found. Primary colonic dysmotility has been described in children but is rare in the elderly. Case report. We present an 82-year-old female with long standing constipation presenting acutely with large bowel obstruction. Laparotomy and Hartman’s procedure was performed, and a grossly distended sigmoid colon was resected. Histology revealed a primary myopathic process. Conclusion. Primary colonic myopathy should be considered in elderly patients presenting with large bowel obstruction and a long preceding history of constipation, particularly when previous endoscopic examinations were normal.