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Rectal Prolapse

Rectal Prolapse occurs when the rectum, while passing a bowel motion, turns itself inside out and slips out of the anus temporarily. Then, it goes back up the anus by itself. The risk of this occurrence is six times greater in women when compared to men. Children under the age of 3 years may be at risk of rectal prolapse. There are certain categories identified with rectal prolapse, including:

  • Mucosal Prolapse: The internal lining of the rectum protrudes out of the anus.
  • External Prolapse: This is a full rectal prolapse in which the whole thickness of the rectum comes out.
  • Internal Prolapse: This is an incomplete form of prolapse in which the rectum slips but does not slip out of the anus.

Rectal Prolapse Symptoms

Rectal Prolapse is often associated with significant pain and may be accompanied by the following

  • Red thickened mass sticks out of the anus.
  • Blood and mucus comes out of the anus.
  • Pain and discomfort in the lower abdomen.
  • Fecal incontinence can also occur.
  • Rectum itself protrudes out of the anus.
  • A constant feeling of constipation.
  • Liquefied feces may start leaking out of the anus.

Rectal Prolapse Diagnosis

Since the rectum usually disappears back into the anus after the prolapse, the person with the prolapse may be diagnosed by bending over at the time of the prolapse. Otherwise, an internal prolapse may be detected by X-rays, ultrasounds and anorectal manometry. Your physician may also advise a screening for bowel cancer. In children, sometimes cystic fibrosis accompanies rectal prolapse. For this reason, a  child may undergo  testing for cystic fibrosis.  

Conditions Associated With Rectal Prolapse

If rectal prolapse occurs during bowel movement over time, long term damage to the rectum may result, including:

  • Ulceration and bleeding of the rectum might occur.
  • Dislodged permanently with the loss of manual restoration.
  • Shape of the rectum might become damaged and may lead to a restricted blood supply in the region.
  • Long-term prolapses may result in death of that particular part of the rectum, also called gangrene.

Rectal Prolapse Treatment

Treatment depends upon numerous factors, including: the type of prolapse and age of the individual. Rectal prolapse is an outcome of chronic constipation. So, a fibrous diet diets with lots of vegetables and fluids is important. Regular exercise may also greatly assist. Other treatment options include:

  • Surgical rubber bands may reposition the organs in the right place in case of mucosal prolapse.
  • Surgery may be another option to restore the rectum in its actual place by anal and abdominal operation.

Rectal Prolapse Outcome

In children, the prognosis is very good via a better diet and use of laxatives when necessary. In adults that have not responded to non-surgical treatment, surgery often offers positive results. Following surgery, people may need to cope with loss of bowel control or constipation.

Next Visit, Q and A for Your Doctor

It is important to recognize that medications and medical procedures are associated with benefits and risks that should be discussed with your physician. It is important to recognize that all information contained on this website cannot be considered to be specific medical diagnosis, medical treatment, or medical advice. As always, you should consult with a physician regarding any medical condition.