Rectal prolapse affects mostly elderly people over the age of 60, though is six times more common in women than men. The word prolapse means to fall down or slip. When the rectum stretches from constipation, it causes the rectal lining to extend out of the anus. The diagnosis can appear in children and infants as well, which could be a sign of cystic fibrosis.
What causes rectal prolapse?
- Chronic constipation or diarrhea
- Old age, weakening of the pelvic muscles and ligaments
- Nerve damage in the rectum and anus muscles
- Diseases or conditions such as diabetes, cystic fibrosis, hysterectomy, obstructive pulmonary disease and infections
Your doctor will perform a series of tests that will allow them to fully diagnose the severity of the prolapse and then decide on a plan of action for treatment.
What are the symptoms?
- Bulging feeling
- Appearance of a red or pink-colored mass that extends outside the anus
- Pain in the rectum and anus
- Rectal bleeding
- Fecal incontinence
In most instances, healing requires surgery. Dr. Zhang of Nevada Surgery and Cancer Care specializes in rectal prolapse surgery with minimally invasive laparoscopic techniques. Dr. Zhang will recommend surgery through the abdomen or perineum depending on the situation in order to best treat the particular patient.
The success of surgery depends on the patient’s health and age. A hospital stay of a few days is normal. Patients transition from a liquid diet to solid foods, all while using stool softeners and fiber supplements to aid in passing stool so as not to strain the rectum. Normal life usually resumes in four to six weeks after surgery.
For more information or to make an appointment with a rectal prolapse specialist, contact NVSCC on our website or call 702-739-6467.