What is Fecalysis
Fecalysis, or a stool exam, is a series of tests conducted on a stool sample. This procedure detects bacteria and parasites that are causative agents of diseases.
Aside from detecting living organisms, a fecalysis test can also detect substances such as blood, bile, or sugar, which are not normally found in the stool.
With a fecalysis, results can also indicate and detect Colon Cancer. Thus, the results of the fecalysis is a great help to doctors in the diagnosis of the disease of a patient.
Sometimes, 1 fecalysis test is not enough to detect the presence of parasites. For this reason, the doctor may order a routine fecalysis.
In a routine fecalysis, the patient must pass 3 stool samples collected at 2-day intervals. This increases the chances of the detection of hard-to-find parasites such as Giardia lamblia.
A doctor may also order a routine fecalysis during the treatment of certain parasites such as tapeworms. For parasitic infection, the physician will give treatment until the fecalysis results show that the patient’s stool shows parts of the parasite. This means that the parasite has been removed and the patient is cured.
To have a reliable fecalysis result, the patient must collect the stool sample properly. Here is a guide on how to properly collect a stool sample.
Make sure that the patient will not be taking any alcohol, vitamin C, aspirin, or ibuprofen before the fecalysis test or during the routine fecalysis test. These substances may alter the results of the test.
The patient must also urinate before collecting the stool sample to prevent urine from mixing with the collected sample.
Before you begin the specimen collection, you will need a few things: a stool sample container from the laboratory, a pair of gloves, and a clean bedpan or plastic container.
- To prevent toilet water from contaminating the stool sample, it is important to defecate on a clean, dry bedpan or plastic container.
- Collect parts of the stool that contain blood or mucus and put it in the small container provided. The sample should at least be peanut size or the size of your thumbnail at most.
- Label the container with the patient’s full name, as well as the date and time of collection.
After collection, it is important to submit the stool sample to the laboratory as soon as possible. This urgency is because some parasites; especially those found in watery stool samples may be difficult to find after 30 minutes has passed.
The fecalysis test contains 2 parts: macroscopic examination and microscopic examination.
Macroscopic examination starts with the medical technologist observing the stool’s characteristics using the naked eye.
The medical technologist records the color and consistency of the stool , whether or not it contains mucus and if the color is either brown, green, black, or red. The medical technologist further notes the consistency as either formed, hard, soft, or watery.
This examination uses a portion of the stool mixed with normal saline solution, or NSS, and spread onto a glass slide. A coverslip is placed on top of the slide and is then ready to be viewed under the microscope.
The medical technologist then looks for the following:
- Cells such as RBC, WBC, or Fat
- Harmful Bacteria
- Mucus threads
A normal fecalysis result does not contain any parasites, RBC, WBC, or any bacteria not normally found in the intestines. The results, both normal and abnormal, will help the physician in the diagnosis.