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Rectal Prolapse

(Mucosal Prolapse; Partial Prolapse; Complete Prolapse; Internal Prolapse)

Definition

Rectal Prolapse
Rectal prolapse
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Causes

Rectal prolapse is caused by weak muscles and ligaments. These structures hold the rectum in place.

Risk Factors

Children aged 1-3 years and older adults are at higher risk.

Symptoms

Symptoms may include:

Diagnosis

You will be asked about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done. Your anus and rectum will be examined.
Images may be taken of your body structures. This can be done with:
An anorectal manometry may also be done to measure the strength of the anal sphincter muscles, sensation in the rectum, and the reflexes needed for normal bowel movement.

Treatment

Prolapse in children tends to go away on its own. In adults, gentle pressure to the rectum can sometimes push the rectum back into place. The sooner the condition is treated, the better the outcome. Talk with your doctor about the best plan for you.

Medications

Certain medications may help to reduce pain and straining during bowel movements. Your doctor may recommend stool softeners and bulk agents.

Surgery

In some cases, surgery may be needed. Surgeries used to treat rectal prolapse include:
  • Laparoscopic rectopexy—A laparoscope (a tiny camera) is placed through a small incision in the abdomen. The rectum is secured in place with stitches.
  • Perineal proctectomy—An incision will be made in the rectum. Tissue that is sticking out of the anus is removed.

Prevention

To help reduce your chance of rectal prolapse:

RESOURCES

American Gastroenterological Association http://www.gastro.org

American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons https://www.fascrs.org

CANADIAN RESOURCES

Canadian Society of Intestinal Research http://www.badgut.com

Health Canada http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca

References

Constipation in adults. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated October 9, 2014. Accessed December 18, 2014.

Constipation in children. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated December 3, 2014. Accessed December 18, 2014.

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