What is the cause of rectal prolapse?

The rectum starts to push through the anus in a condition called rectal prolapse. Hemorrhoids are swollen veins around the rectum and anus.

The anus is the opening through which stool leaves your body, and the rectum is the last part of your large intestine.

Rectal prolapse affects about 2.5 out of every 100,000 people. Women over age 50 are six times more likely than men to have this condition. Sometimes rectal prolapse is suspected, but the problem is actually a serious case of hemorrhoids.

Mild to severe rectal prolapse can be found. Mild cases can often be treated without surgery. Severe cases may need surgery.

“In the children’s population, rectal prolapse is more common than in adults. It may happen when the anorectal and other muscles are not fully developed.”

It can also occur when a child has frequent bowel movements which can happen due to diarrheal infections or inflammatory bowel disease such as ulcerative colitis. Conservative management is usually quite effective with up to 90% of the pediatric population avoiding surgery.

Rectal prolapse and hemorrhoids can both be uncomfortable and painful conditions. Rectal prolapse may initially feel like a bad case of hemorrhoids, and sometimes hemorrhoids on your anus may look like your rectum is emerging.

  • Rectal prolapse. In rectal prolapse, the rectum has moved. Rectal prolapse can cause bleeding sometimes.
  • Hemorrhoids. Hemorrhoids are actually swollen blood vessels in the walls of your rectum or anus. Hemorrhoids are quite common in their smaller, milder form. They can become painful and itchy and can leave red blood on the tissue when you wipe.

Why is there blood when you wipe?

If you suspect you have rectal problems, see a doctor. They can diagnose your condition and start treatment.

There are three different types of rectal prolapse. The rectum movement identifies the type.

  • Internal prolapse. The rectum starts to drop but has not yet pushed through the anus.
  • Partial prolapse. Only part of the rectum has moved through the anus.
  • Complete prolapse. The entire rectum extends out through the anus.

The symptoms of rectal prolapse tend to come on slowly. The first symptom you will notice is a bulge at your anus. It may seem like you are sitting on a ball.

You can see a bulge in your anus with a mirror.

Additional symptoms include:

  • The rectum may protrude during bowel movements, but can be easily pushed back in place.
  • The rectum may be pushed through by physical activity.
  • There may be bleeding in the rectum.
  • You may have trouble controlling liquid or solid bowel movements.
  • Chronic constipation occurs in 30 to 67 percent of people with rectal prolapse, and about 15 percent experience diarrhea.

There are several medical conditions that can cause rectal prolapse.

Nerve damage

Nerves that control the rectal and anal muscles can be damaged. These nerves can be damaged.

  • A difficult vaginal birth is possible.
  • A spine injury.
  • The surgery is in the uterus.

Weakened anal sphincter

This is the muscle that prevents stool from entering your rectum. This muscle may weaken.

  • There is a baby
  • childbirth
  • Increased age.

Chronic constipation

The strain of chronic bowel movement problems can cause your rectum to move. If you strain while having bowel movements, it can cause rectal prolapse.

While not directly linked to rectal prolapse, some conditions may increase the risk of it, including:

Women over age 50 are also at an increased risk of rectal prolapse.

If you have been diagnosed with rectal prolapse, you may want to delay treatment if your symptoms are mild and your quality of life is not affected.

If the prolapse is mild, you can recover without surgery if the stool is softened.

However, surgery is the only way to definitively treat rectal prolapse and relieve symptoms. The surgeon can do the surgery through the abdomen or through the area around the anus.

There are two main ways to repair rectal prolapse.

Abdominal repair approaches

Some types of surgery involve making an incision in the abdominal wall and pulling the rectum back into place. This surgery, also known as abdominal rectopexy, can also be performed laparoscopically, using smaller incisions with a special camera and tools.

Rectal (perineal) repair approaches

There are two different types of perineal rectosigmoidectomy, which are surgical procedures that repair the rectal prolapse through the perineum, or the area between the anus and genitals. These types are:

  • Altemeier procedure. This type of surgery involves removing part of the rectum that is sticking out and reattaching the two ends back together.
  • Delorme procedure. This procedure is ideal for those with shorter prolapses. It involves removing the outer lining of the rectum and then folding and stitching the layer of muscle.

These surgeries are often recommended for people who have severe sphinx and are not candidates for a laparoscopic procedure through the stomach.

You may need to stay in the hospital after rectal prolapse surgery. Depending on the type of surgery you had, the amount of time you spend in the hospital can vary.

Most people are able to return to their normal activities within 6 weeks of surgery.

During your hospital stay, you will slowly transition from drinking clear liquids back to eating solid foods. Your doctor may also advise you on strategies to avoid a recurrence or a return of rectal prolapse. These strategies may involve:

  • Staying hydrated.
  • Enough fiber to eat.
  • A stool softener can be used to prevent scurvy.

The rectum is pulled back up through the abdomen. It can be done with a large open surgery or a few small open surgeries using special tools.

The rectum is pulled out and removed from the anus during surgery. The rectum is attached to the large intestine. This approach is usually done in people who are not suitable for surgery.

Discuss your treatment options with your doctor. If they recommend one type of surgery, you should ask why.

Your doctor will ask about your medical history and have you describe your symptoms.

They will do a physical examination. Your doctor will check your rectum and anal sphincter strength by placing a gloved finger in your anus. Your doctor may ask you to squat and strain during your exam as if you were having a bowel movement.

Other tests may be performed to help diagnose rectal prolapse. You may be asked to fast or clean your colon before the tests. The other tests include:

  • Anal electromyography (EMG). This test measure how effective the muscles and nerves in your rectum are. Electrodes are placed a few inches into your rectum. Then the test is performed and only takes a few minutes.
  • Anorectal manometry. A flexible, thermometer-sized tube that has a small, deflated balloon attached to the end is inserted into the rectum. While connected to a machine, the tube is placed in several areas of your rectum, and the response to pressure is measured.
  • Barium enema. During this test, a chalky liquid containing barium is placed in your rectum. Barium shows up on X-rays producing images of the area.
  • Colonoscopy. During a colonoscopy, a thin, flexible tube with a small camera at the end is inserted into the rectum so the healthcare professional can do a visual exam.
  • Defecography is done. This test can use X-rays and/orMRI to check your colon as you have a bowel movement.
  • The GI series was lower. During this test, a liquid containing barium is placed in your large intestine so that the area can be seen on an X-ray.
  • Transit study. In this study, you swallow one or more capsules that contain markers that can be seen on X-rays. After you swallow the capsule, you go in for X-rays each of the next 5 days so the doctor can see exactly how the markers pass through your intestines.
  • Other exams. Your doctor may want to perform urological or gynecological exams to see if there are any weak areas in your pelvic floor or if other organs, like the uterus, have prolapsed.

It is not always possible to prevent rectal prolapse. Good suck health can reduce your risk. To help avoid the urge to vomit.

  • Make high fiber foods part of your regular diet, including:
    • There are fruits.
    • vegetables
    • There is a bran.
    • There are beans.
  • You should reduce the amount of processed food in your diet.
  • Drink lots of water and fluids.
  • Most days of the week, you can exercise.
  • Relax with meditation or other techniques.

Medical emergency: Rectal strangulation

In very severe cases, rectal prolapse can cause strangulation, which can cause the blood supply to the part of the rectum that has pushed through the anus to be cut off. This is a medical emergency that requires immediate surgical intervention.

Gangrene and death can be caused by left untreated rectal strangulation.

This rare occurrence may have symptoms.

  • There is pain in the abdominal area.
  • bowel movements incomplete
  • incontinence
  • mass coming through the anus

Rectal prolapse may be associated with several serious complications including:

  • Ulcers. Ulcers in your rectum may cause bleeding and pain.
  • The sphincter has been damaged. The function of your sphincter may be affected if it is damaged.
  • There are issues with the suck. Problems with bowel control can be caused by rectal prolapse.
  • Gangrene. If left untreated, rectal prolapse can cause strangulation of the rectum, cutting off the blood supply to the tissue, causing it to die, and leading to gangrene. This is a medical emergency requiring surgery.

The outlook is generally positive for someone undergoing rectal prolapse surgery. You’ll be on a diet of liquids and soft foods for a while, and you’ll need to take a stool softener at first. This is to prevent constipation or straining during a bowel movement.

Depending on your health and the type of surgery you had, the amount of time spent in the hospital can be different. A full recovery can take about 6 weeks.

It is a rare condition and can be painful, but it is not fatal. The surgery and recovery will be easier if you see a doctor early.