tients with defecation disorders through systematic
evaluations and physiologic and imaging studies.
Diagnosis in turn can pave the way for appropriate medical, behavioral, or surgical treatment. If
facilities for appropriate testing are unavailable,
it is important to refer these patients to appropriate specialists instead of embarking on empirical
therapies which may prove futile. Treatment is
often possible, and in a majority of patients their
symptoms can be ameliorated.
Acknowledgment: Portions of this work were
supported by National Institutes of Health grant
RO1 DK 57100-05 awarded to Satish S.C. Rao,
MD, PhD, FRCP (LON).
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