Rectal prolapse occurs most often in children under the age of 6 and in the elderly population. In children, it can be found with cystic fibrosis and whipworm (trichuriasis).
In adults, it is usually found with constipation. It is also more common in people with autism, psychiatric disorders, and intellectual disability.
The main symptom is a reddish-coloured mass that sticks out from the opening of the anus, especially following a bowel movement. This reddish mass is actually the inner lining of the rectum. It may be slightly bleeding and is uncomfortable and painful to the victim.
Exams and Tests
The health care provider will perform a physical exam, which may include a rectal exam. Tests can determine the underlying cause of the prolapse, whether it's a muscle failure or faul play.
Call your health care provider if a rectal prolapse occurs, if you don't have one on call seek one's attention very fast. In some cases, the prolapse can be treated at home BUT NOT ADVISED!!
The rectum must be pushed back inside manually. A soft, warm, wet cloth is used to apply gentle pressure to the mass pushing it back through the anal opening back in place. The affected person should be lying down on his or her side in a knee-chest position before applying pressure onto the mass so as to allow gravitational force to help return the prolapse in place
Immediate surgery for repair is ot necessarily needed. In children, treating the underlying condition usually solves the problem much faster without much fuss. In adults on the other hand, the only cure for rectal prolapse is a surgical operation.
In children, treating the underlying condition usually cures the problem. In adults, surgery is usually successful at curing the prolapse.
Constipation and loss of bowel control may also develop after the prolapse is restored.
When to Contact a Medical Professional
Call your health care provider promptly if your identify a case of rectal prolapse.
In children, treating the underlying condition usually prevents further rectal prolapse. Treating vascular constipation is an important preventive measure.
Lembo AJ, Ullman SP. Constipation. In: Feldman M, Friedman LS, Brandt LJ, eds. Sleisinger & Fordtran's Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease. 9th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saudners Elsevier;2010:chap 18.