Rectal Prolapse

Rectum is the last part of colon. It’s where stool forms before having a bowel movement. Rectal prolapse is when part of the rectum bulges out of the anus.

At first, a prolapse may happen only after a bowel movement. The prolapsed part of the rectum may then slip back through the anal canal on its own. Over time, the prolapse may become more severe and may need surgery.

Rectal prolapse is most often caused by weakening of the muscles that support the rectum. This can happen from constipation, damage from giving birth, or defects in the pelvis or lower gastrointestinal tract.

Rectal prolapse is more common in people age 50 and older. Women are more likely to have the condition than men. Younger people with the condition often have chronic health conditions and take several medicines.

A person is more at Risk for rectal prolapse if they have any of the below:

  • A long history of constipation
  • Straining to have bowel movements
  • Long-term (chronic) diarrhea
  • Laxative abuse
  • Childbirth
  • Spinal cord problems or previous stroke
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Dementia

Symptoms can occur a bit differently in each person. They can include:

  • Feeling a bulge from the anus after coughing, sneezing, or lifting
  • Having mucus in  stool
  • Straining to start or finish a bowel movement
  • Having incomplete bowel movements
  • Having belly (abdominal) discomfort or pain
  • Bleeding from the rectum
  • Trouble controlling bowel movements (fecal incontinence)
  • Having to push the prolapse back into the anus by hand
  • Feeling pressure in  rectum
  • Being constipated
  • Having anal pain, bleeding, or itching

The 2 main possible Complications are:

  • The rectal prolapse can’t be pushed back into the rectum. It can cause the blood supply to the prolapse to be cut off. This is called strangulation. It’s painful and needs emergency Treatment.
  • The rectal prolapse happens again. This is common lifestyle changes can help prevent it happening again. That means preventing constipation. Lifestyle changes may include eating a high-fiber diet and drinking enough water.

Not straining during a bowel movement can help prevent the condition.


How is it diagnosed?

By Symptoms and health history and physical exam by askingto squat and strain as if are having a bowel movement. Tests such as:
  • Defecogram. This test is a type of X-ray taken during a bowel movement.
  • Anorectal manometry. A pressure-measuring tube is placed in the rectum. This is done to measure how well the muscles that control bowel movements are working.
  • Colonoscopy. A flexible tube with a camera is placed inside the rectum to do a visual exam.
  • Barium enema. X-ray pictures are taken after a type of chalky contrast solution is placed in the rectum.
  • MRI. A special MRI can be done during simulated bowel movement.
  • Special urologic or gynecologic evaluations.  Assessment of pelvic floor. Weakness or signs of other organs prolapsing. These might be the bladder or uterus. This test is also done if a woman has both rectal prolapse and uterine prolapse.
Rectal Prolapse

How is it treated?

Treatment will depend on Symptoms, age, and general health. It will also depend on how severe the condition is. Treatment often begins with steps to prevent constipation and straining. If rectal prolapse is severe and interferes with quality of life, may require surgery.

Types of surgery include:

  • Repair through the abdomen. A cut is made through the lower belly. The rectum is attached to the lower part of the backbone to support it and keep it in place.
  • Repair through the rectum.  Removes the part of the rectum that has prolapsed and reconnects the remaining parts.
  • Repair with both these methods. These 2 methods may be combined to treat your prolapse.

Consult with experienced Doctors

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