Rectal Prolapse

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What is rectal prolapse?

Rectal prolapse is a condition where the tissue that lines the rectum falls down into or sticks through the anal opening. It may appear as a reddish-colored mass that protrudes from the anal opening, especially following a bowel movement. It is not uncommon that the lining of the rectal tissue may be visible and bleed.

What are causes rectal prolapse?

There are multiple causes of rectal prolapse.  Chronic constipation with straining has been reported in about half of patients who present with rectal prolapse.  Structural issues such as weakness of the pelvic floor musculature, redundancy of the sigmoid colon, lax and patulous anal sphincter and loss of physical attachments to the rectum may lead to rectal prolapse.

What treatments are there for rectal prolapse?

The treatment for rectal prolapse is surgery.  Surgical repair may be approached from the abdomen or from the perineal region.  The approach is dependent on the causative factor for the rectal prolapse as well as surgeon expertise and preference.