Rectal prolapse occurs when the rectum wall protrudes towards the outside of the anus partially or totally, so we can say that it falls from its normal position. This condition occurs more often in older people who have had frequent or prolonged problems with constipation or weakness in the pelvic floor muscles. Many cases occur in children under six years of age due to some health problems or overexertion during a bowel movement. On many occasions, it is necessary to resort to surgery to be able to fix the rectum in place again and thus eliminate all the symptoms associated with this condition. In the following FastlyHealarticle, we will detail the causes, symptoms, grades, and treatment of rectal prolapse.
Rectal prolapse: causes
Although the exact cause of rectal prolapse is not entirely clear, it has been noted that this “drooping” of the rectum can occur as a consequence of the following factors or conditions:
- Chronic constipation.
- Chronic diarrhea.
- Aging: As you age, both the muscles and ligaments of the rectum and anus naturally weaken. In addition, other structures near the pelvic region also loosen with age, which can be added to the above.
- It weakened the anal sphincter.
- Previous injuries in the anal or pelvic region.
- Damage to the nerves that control the contraction of the rectal and anal muscles. This can be the consequence of multiple conditions, such as pregnancy, difficult deliveries, spinal or back injuries, anal sphincter palsy, or surgery on the back or pelvic region.
- You are suffering from other diseases, such as diabetes, cystic fibrosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, parasitic infections in the intestines, and other pathologies that result from poor nutrition or difficulties in digesting the consumed food.
Degrees of rectal prolapse
Once the possible causes of rectal prolapse are known, we must clarify that this, according to its severity, is classified into:
- Partial rectal prolapse: What slides out of place and out is the lining or mucosa of the anus, which usually happens when straining during bowel movements.
- Complete rectal prolapse occurs when the entire wall of the rectum slides out and bulges out through the anus. Initially, it can occur only during defecation, but it may happen even when the affected person is standing or walking in more advanced stages.
- Internal rectal prolapse: a part of the colon or rectum wall slides in or is placed on top of another, so the rectum does not protrude out of the anus.
Rectal prolapse: symptoms
Depending on the degree of severity, the signs and symptoms of rectal prolapse can vary from patient to patient and may include those listed below:
- The sensation of a lump or the presence of a reddish mass protruding outside the anus. Initially, this may happen only after defecation, but it may protrude outside the anal canal when the person is standing or walking.
- Pain in the anus
- Loss of blood and mucus from the anus.
- Difficulty passing stool.
- Pain in the lower abdomen and pelvic region.
- I am feeling of not having completely evacuated.
- The sensation of heaviness in the anal area is aggravated when standing up.
- Anal itching
- Frequent fecal incontinence.
Rectal prolapse: treatment
The treatment of rectal prolapse will depend on the affected person’s age, the severity of the prolapse and other medical conditions that present. In mild cases, treatment may be started alone at home using stool softeners and manually pushing the sliding tissue into the anus again.
However, surgery must be used to correct the problem of rectal prolapse, and the two most used methods for this are abdominal repair or rectal or perineal surgery.
An incision is made in the abdominal muscles under general anesthesia to perform a rectopexy. The rectum is reconnected to the sacrum or a resection, which removes a part of the intestine, followed by a resection of a rectopexy. This is the rectal prolapse operation that is usually done in healthy adults.
Rectal or perianal surgery
This surgical procedure is usually carried out in older people and people with medical problems. The two interventions that can be performed are:
- Altemeier technique: the part of the rectum that protrudes towards the outside of the anus is removed, and the two ends are sewn together.
- Delorme Technique: Only the protruding mucosa of the rectum is removed, the outer layer is folded and stitched, and the edges of the inner part are stitched so that the rectum remains within the anal canal.
Generally, the patient must remain in the hospital for 3 to 10 days after the operation for rectal prolapse, although this will vary depending on their health status. Full recovery can be achieved after about three months, and during the first six months, you mustn’t make great physical efforts or take on a lot of weight. It is essential to avoid very great efforts or activities that significantly increase pressure in the abdominal region for life to prevent prolapse from recurring.
Rectal prolapse: home treatment
In addition to medical treatment, it is essential to take into account some recommendations when suffering from rectal prolapse to prevent the condition from worsening or recurring once it has been corrected:
- Avoid suffering from constipation by changing the diet and including greater consumption of fiber in it. In the following article, we show the foods to prevent constipation.
- Drinking plenty of water throughout the day and exercising regularly are also advisable measures to prevent constipation.
- Reduce bodyweight if you suffer from prolapse, reducing the pressure on the affected area.
- Doing Kegel exercises can help strengthen your pelvic floor muscles and improve bowel and rectal tone.
- Avoid picking up weighty objects, staying in positions that worsen prolapse, such as squats, or standing for a long time.
- Extreme hygiene measures in the area of the anus.
- Using a cream on the skin around the anus can help avoid possible injuries to the area.
This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any condition or discomfort.
If you want to read more articles similar to Rectal prolapse: causes, symptoms, degrees, and treatment, we recommend entering our Digestive System category.
I am a Surgeon with a diploma in comprehensive ultrasound and surgical care residency, an area I am specializing in. During the exercise of my profession, I have realized the need for patients to know the diseases they suffer, and I can tell you that a large part of their complications is due to a lack of information. Being a health web writer allows me to transmit my experience, without borders, to all those readers eager for knowledge, educate them in the prevention of diseases and promote a healthy lifestyle.