Rectal prolapse can occur in children, too, but it typically heals without surgery. Prior to any surgery, rectal prolapse is treated by eliminating any causes of straining during bowel movements, e.g., stool softener, suppositories, and other medications. Rectal prolapse in adults is often treated surgically to put the rectum back in place. This involves attaching the rectum to the muscles of the pelvic flow or the lower end of the spine. It could also involve removing a section of the large intestine that is no longer supported by surrounding tissues. Our surgeons will determine the best course of action depending on diagnosis. Options include:
- Perineal rectosigmoidectomy – The prolapsed rectum is removed via incision in the protruding rectum.
- Sigmoid resection and rectopexy – An incision is made in the abdomen and the sigmoid colon (portion of large intestine closest to the rectum and anus) is removed. This anchors the rectum to the bony structure attached to the lower spine and pelvis using sutures and, sometimes, surgical mesh for support. Minimally invasive surgery is utilized for smaller incisions and faster healing time. Sometimes, a rectopexy can be done without performing a sigmoid resection.