Recognition and Management of Rectal Prolapse

Hemwell Doctor Talking to Patient about hemorrhoids

What is Rectal Prolapse, and what are the symptoms?

Rectal Prolapse is an often uncomfortable but fortunately rare condition. Its symptoms may include feeling a rectal mass protruding from the rectum, painful or difficult bowel movements, mucus discharge, or rectal Bleeding. Diagnosis can be done using a variety of testing procedures; those likely include Rectal Examination, stool sample evaluation, and various scans such as x-rays and ultrasounds. Though Rectal Prolapse is relatively uncommon, if you suspect that you may be suffering from it, it’s best to bring it to the attention of your healthcare professional as soon as possible for prompt treatment and relief.

What are the causes of Rectal Prolapse, and who is at risk for developing it?

Rectal Prolapse is a medical disorder that happens when the rectal walls have dropped down and can often be seen outside of the anus. Symptoms might include mucus discharge, discomfort while moving your bowels, or difficulty controlling your bowel movements. Rectal Prolapse can be caused by chronic straining during bowel movements, weak pelvic floor muscles, certain forms of pregnancy (multiple pregnancies), and various diseases like cystic fibrosis, chronic constipation, and diarrhea. The elderly population is especially at risk for becoming victims of this condition because of weakened connective tissue that can cause the rectal walls to drop over time.

How is Rectal Prolapse diagnosed, and what tests are used to confirm the diagnosis?

Rectal Prolapse is a fairly easy diagnosis; however, a thorough physical evaluation is necessary to confirm the diagnosis. Rectal Prolapse is usually noticed visually by either a doctor or a patient during a physical examination.

Rectal Prolapse can be further confirmed through an endoscopic exam or imaging study such as an x-ray. To ensure the rectal Prolapse has not caused damage to the nerves, doctors may also order electrical stimulation tests to check for muscle contractions in the area. Diagnosis and treatment require patience and research; however, obtaining an accurate diagnosis early on can help treat the condition successfully.

What is the treatment for Rectal Prolapse, and how successful is it in most cases?

Rectal Prolapse is not something to take lightly – it can significantly affect your quality of life. Thankfully, there are various conservative treatments available for this condition, depending on the severity. It can be treated through dietary and lifestyle changes, medications, physical therapy, or rarely through surgery in extreme cases. As the underlying cause differs from patient to patient, medical practitioners will tailor their treatment accordingly based on the diagnostic results. Generally speaking, Treatment is very successful with a little patience and persistence; regular monitoring and adjustments to medication dosages may also be necessary to ensure treatment effectiveness.

Are there any risks or complications associated with Rectal prolapse surgery? 

Surgery is not without risks and complications – one should take the possible side effects into consideration before undergoing treatment. Operations involve cutting, reattaching, or removing part of the intestine, as well as placing sutures in order to keep the rectum in place.

The procedure also poses risks such as infection, bleeding, nerve damage, difficulty passing waste through the rectum, and fecal incontinence. Some of these conditions can be alleviated with physical therapy and additional medication, but the cost and amount of time to recover can be quite daunting. It is best to talk to your physician regarding treatment to weigh its benefits against its risks.

How can you prevent Rectal Prolapse from happening in the first place?

Rectal Prolapse can be an embarrassing and uncomfortable condition to experience, but fortunately, there are steps you can take to decrease your risk. The best prevention measure is to practice proper bowel hygiene habits. Having a diet that includes plenty of fiber, drinking adequate amounts of water, and exercising regularly will help promote regularity and reduce straining during movement. 

Additionally, if you notice any of the common symptoms associated with Rectal Prolapse, such as rectal bleeding or tissue protruding from the anus, seek medical attention immediately for proper treatment. Rectal Prolapse is a manageable condition, so be sure to take proactive steps toward prevention!