Rectal Prolapse

Rectal Prolapse

Rectal prolapse is a body condition in which part of the rectum (last part of the large intestine) protrudes from the anus. The rectum stores the faeces before being passed. Prolapse means falling or slipping, and it occurs when the distal rectum (last part of the rectum) becomes unattached and comes out through the anus. In the rectal prolapse, either the entire rectum extends out of the anus called complete rectal prolapse, or sometimes only the last portion of the rectum is pushed through the anus, called partial rectal prolapse. 

There are many significant causes of rectal prolapse, including chronic constipation, diarrhoea, straining during bowel movements, weakness of the muscles and ligaments of the rectum, weakness of the anal sphincter, any injury to the anal or pelvic area, parasitic infection, diseases like cystic fibrosis, diabetes, COPD, or infection in the intestine.  

Symptoms

The symptoms of rectal prolapse depend upon the type and severity of the problem. Some of the common symptoms include

  • Bleeding from anus
  • Difficulty in passing a bowel motion
  • The sensation of pain and discomfort in the lower abdomen
  • Feeling of constipation
  • Reduce ability to control bowels
  • Release of mucus and liquified faeces through the anus.
  • Presence of red mass outside the anus

Treatment Options

Treatments

Treatment of rectal prolapse depends on many factors, such as the severity of prolapse, age of the person, or any other pelvic abnormality.

Non-surgical treatment

Non-surgical treatments are always the first-line choice. Although no specific treatment is available for rectal prolapse, the following methods can be helpful.

  • Healthy diet – Change in your eating habits and adding fibre-rich food to your diet helps reduce constipation. Increase the use of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains on the menu. It helps treat rectal prolapse in young children.
  • Exercise and yoga – Exercise and yoga can be helpful in some cases and can reduce rectal prolapse.

Surgical treatment

Surgery is usually performed to place rectum into its original place. Different operations are performed depending upon factors like health, age, and how severe the condition is.

  • Rectal repair – Rectum is pulled back in place by making a single large incision in the abdomen. To stop rectum prolapsing, it is lifted and pulled straight and stitched. In some cases, a portion of the colon is removed.
  • Laparoscopy – This procedure involves several small incisions and inserting a laparoscope into the abdomen for repairing rectal prolapse.  
  • Anal surgery – In this operation, the prolapsed section of the bowel is removed, and the structural damage is repaired. The colon is returned to the anus to restore normal bowel function.
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