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:
Defecography—series of x-rays of the rectum and anus taken during a bowel movement
—visual exam of the rectum and colon using a flexible tube with a tiny camera
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.
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.
Certain medications may help to reduce pain and straining during bowel movements. Your doctor may recommend stool softeners and bulk agents.
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.
Rectal prolapse and procidentia. Merck Manual Professional Version website. Available at: http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/gastrointestinal-disorders/anorectal-disorders/rectal-prolapse-and-procidentia. Updated October 2016. Accessed January 9, 2018.
Last reviewed November 2018 by
EBSCO Medical Review Board
Daus Mahnke, MD
Last Updated: 12/20/2014
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