Rectal Prolapse

A rectal prolapse is the protrusion of the rectum from the anal opening.

It is caused by the weakness of the pelvic floor and worsened by chronic constipation and straining. It presents with a protrusion of the rectum from the anal opening which initially is small, but with time may protrude several inches. It is more commonly seen in elderly women, though all age groups and both sexes may be affected.

It is diagnosed by a physical examination wherein the protruding rectum can be easily demonstrated. At times a special barium test may be needed to diagnose the prolapse.

Depending on the age of the patient and the degree of protrusion, the treatment can vary. Surgery is needed to correct the problem; it could be either performed from the anal opening or via an abdominal incision.

Read more about rectal prolapse at the American Society of Colon & Rectal Surgeons website.