Rectal Prolapse


You can seek treatment for a rectal prolapse by learning what this condition is and how it can be repaired.

The rectum is one of the most important parts of the digestive system. When it prolapses, you might suffer from a variety of symptoms that can disrupt your life and warrant immediate medical attention.

A rectal prolapse is a condition where either a portion of or the entire rectum wall falls out of position and goes outside of the body.


What Causes a Rectal Prolapse?

A rectal prolapse can be partial, in which the lining of the rectum falls out of place and goes below the anus. Partial rectal prolapses are common in children under the age of two and occur most often when children strain while having a bowel movement.

A rectal prolapse can also occur where the entire wall of the rectum slides out of place and hangs out of the anus. Like a partial prolapse, this can be the result of straining during a bowel movement. However, it can also occur when the patient stands up or walks. The rectal tissue remains outside of the body permanently until it is surgically repaired.

Another version of a rectal prolapse is the internal prolapse. This version involves the colon and rectum sliding into or over one another. Again, this type of rectal prolapse is most often found in children and typically occurs in conjunction with another illnesses, like polyps or tumors in the intestines.

Rectal Prolapse Symptoms

A rectal prolapse can be easy to diagnose given the symptoms that come with this condition. Primarily, people with a rectal prolapse will be able to tell that they have a bulge in the anus. It may feel like they are sitting on a ball when they try to sit down.

Some people also experience bleeding and itching from a rectal prolapse. These symptoms also appear with hemorrhoids. Finally, many sufferers experience leakage of feces, incontinence, and excessive gas with a rectal prolapse. These symptoms can be distressful and embarrassing, which may help people seek prompt treatment for this condition.

Rectal Prolapse Treatment

A rectal prolapse can be repaired surgically. The surgery takes place in a hospital under general sedation. During the surgery, your physician will make an incision in your lower abdomen. He will then use a laparoscopic device to locate the rectum and pull it back up into the body. The surgeon may then attach the rectum to the wall of the pelvis. He may also use sutures or a mesh implant to keep the rectum in place.