What if laxatives don't work?
If laxatives have not worked to move impacted (built-up) stools, your doctor may suggest physically removing these in a non-surgical treatment. This involves inserting a gloved finger into the anal passage to break up impacted faeces. An enema (liquid) will then be used to clear the remainder of the impacted stools and help clear the bowels. These measures are usually effective; if they don't work, your doctor may suggest surgery.