Rectal Prolapse

Also known as: partial prolapse, mucosal prolapse

What is rectal prolapse?

The rectum is the lower portion of the large intestine that meets up with the anus. When the rectum slips through the anus and is exposed, this is known as rectal prolapse.

What causes rectal prolapse? 

A number of factors can cause rectal prolapse. These include chronic constipation or diarrhea, old age, straining during bowel movement, nerve damage, weakened muscles and other diseases.

What are the symptoms of rectal prolapse? 

A bulging sensation, pain, bleeding, incontinence and a worsening prolapse are all potential symptoms.

What are rectal prolapse care options?

In some cases, rectal prolapse can be treated by using stool softeners to address the underlying cause, and pushing the rectum back into place by hand. In more extreme instances, surgery to repair the rectal prolapse will be necessary.

Reviewed by: Juan L Calisto, MD

This page was last updated on: 3/30/2018 2:49:53 PM


Dr. Lina Felipez is Director of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) Research and a pediatric gastroenterologist within the Division of Gastroenterology at Nicklaus Children's Hospital in Miami.

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