ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Q: What is rectal prolapse?

A: Rectal prolapse is a condition most frequently caused by straining with bowel movements. In this condition, the last portion of the large bowel turns inside out and protrudes from the anus. Sometimes only the lining of the bowel protrudes, which is called mucosal prolapse. The prolapsed tissue may spontaneously retreat back into the anus or it may require manual reduction. Frequently, patients also have problems controlling bowel movements. Your doctor can diagnose rectal prolapse by an exam in the office. It is important to differentiate rectal prolapse from hemorrhoids, as the treatment is different. The treatment of rectal prolapse almost always involves surgery. Many different surgeries exist. A colorectal surgeon can help choose the best option based on factors such as medical history, surgical history, size of the prolapse and patient preference. Minimally invasive surgeries are an excellent option for most patients and minimize pain while shortening hospital stay.

- Dr. Eric Nelson, University Surgical Associates; member, Chattanooga-Hamilton County Medical Society

Submit your health-related questions for a medical doctor to wholloway@timesfreepress.com.

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT