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Rectal Prolapse Specialist

Rectal Prolapse Specialist

About Rectal Prolapse services offered in Merrifield and Fair Oaks, Fairfax, Alexandria, Gainesville, Woodbridge and Lansdowne, VA

Rectal prolapse is a relatively common condition that causes your rectum to fall through the anal opening. Thankfully, it’s correctible. The board-certified specialists at Fairfax Colon & Rectal Surgery, PC have significant experience diagnosing and correcting rectal prolapse. Schedule your evaluation today. Call their office in Fairfax, Fair Oaks, Alexandria, Gainesville, Woodbridge, or Lansdowne, Virginia. Or use their secure online service to request an appointment.

Rectal Prolapse Q & A

What is rectal prolapse?

Rectal prolapse occurs when the rectum, the last portion of the large intestine, falls outside the muscular opening through which stool exits the body (anus). It can be uncomfortable, but rectal prolapse is rarely considered a medical emergency.

Some people experience internal prolapse, occurring when the rectum has started to drop but hasn’t pushed through the anus. As the condition advances, part or all of the rectum may extend through the anus. 

What are the symptoms of rectal prolapse?

If you develop rectal prolapse, you may initially notice a mass or bulge that drops out of the anus while straining during a bowel movement. The mass may slip back inside the anus on its own afterward or be easily pushed back into the anal opening.

However, as rectal prolapse worsens, more of the rectum may protrude from the anus during bowel movements and when walking or standing. It may also become more challenging to push the rectum back in place.

Other symptoms associated with rectal prolapse include:

  • The unexpected loss of stool (fecal incontinence)
  • Anal drainage that may be bloody
  • Constipation or diarrhea
  • The sensation that your rectum isn't empty after a bowel movement

Anyone can develop rectal prolapse, but it’s more common in women over 50. Very young children can develop rectal prolapse, but the condition usually corrects itself.

What causes rectal prolapse?

Several conditions may contribute to rectal prolapse, including:

Nerve damage

Rectal prolapse can develop if the nerves that control rectal and anal muscles are damaged during pregnancy, a difficult vaginal birth, pelvic surgery, or a spinal injury.

Weakened anal sphincter

The anal sphincter is a muscular structure that prevents stool from involuntarily passing from the rectum. Pregnancy, vaginal childbirth, and age-related changes can cause the weakening of the anal sphincter.

Chronic constipation

Chronic constipation that causes you to strain during bowel movements can increase your risk of rectal prolapse. 

How do you treat rectal prolapse?

During its early stages, rectal prolapse may respond well to dietary changes and stool softeners to prevent constipation and additional strain on the rectum. However, surgical correction is usually required for adults who develop worsening prolapse. 

The FCRS surgeons have significant experience in rectal prolapse repair, usually performed via the rectum or laparoscopically with small abdominal incisions.

Schedule an evaluation at FCRS today by calling the office or requesting an appointment online.

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