Rectal prolapse usually involves the feeling of a bulge or the appearance of reddish-coloured mass that extends outside the anus. Initially, this can occur during or after bowel movements and is a temporary condition but over time the end of the rectum may even extend out of the anal canal spontaneously and might need to be pushed back up into the anus by hand.
What causes rectal prolapse?
However, numerous factors lead to rectal prolapse and there is no single cause to it.
5 causes of rectal prolapse;
1. The long-term history of straining during bowel movements
2. Chronic constipation or chronic diarrhoea
3. The weakening of the anal sphincter
4. Earlier injury to the anal or pelvic areas
5. Older age
Diagnosis of rectal prolapse
Its diagnosis is normal like any other diseases as the affected area has to go through the medical history and anorectal examination. However, sometimes a rectal prolapse may be hidden or internal leading to a more difficult diagnosis. In this situation, the doctor might ask to sit on a toilet and strain as if having a bowel movement.
Also, there are different tests which are used to diagnose rectal prolapse and other pelvic floor problems thus, determining the best treatment for you. Theses test includes anal electromyography (EMG), anal manometry, anal ultrasound, colonoscopy, proctosigmoidoscopy, proctography etc.
Treatment of rectal prolapse
However, constipation and straining play a role in this condition but for correcting it completely this may not suffice. In some condition when the patient’s situation is out of control then the doctor uses several methods to surgically repair rectal prolapse. The type of surgery is based on the patient’s current condition of the colon, his age, physical condition, and extent of prolapse and the results of tests.
Types of surgical approaches;
- Abdominal repair through traditional surgery (open approach)
- Laparoscopic surgery
- Robotically assisted surgery
Post- treatment prognosis
Here, the opting for the surgical procedure might be very effective as it greatly improves the symptoms. After the surgery, the patient just has to stay 2 to 3 days in the hospital on an average but this varies depending on a patient’s other health conditions.
However, the recovery is usually fasts in the case and is expected in a month. It also depends on the patient taking preventive measures patients like avoiding straining and heavy lifting for at least 6 months. In fact, the best way to prevent the prolapse from returning is by avoiding straining and activities that increase abdominal pressure.
There are some factors that influence the outcome include and varies from patient to patient;
- Condition of the anal sphincter muscles before surgery
- Whether the prolapse is internal or external
- The overall health of the patient
It may take as long as one year to determine the impact of surgery on bowel function. Chronic constipation and straining after surgical correction should be avoided.