Rectal prolapse is protrusion of rectal tissue through the anus to the exterior of the body. The rectum is the final section of the large intestine. Symptom severity will increase with the dimensions of the prolapse, and whether or not it spontaneously reduces once defecation, requires manual reduction by the patient, or becomes irreducible. The symptoms are similar to advanced hemorrhoidal sickness. Fecal discharge causing staining of undergarments, Rectal haemorrhage, mucous rectal discharge, Rectal pain, Pruritis ani.
The only potentially curative treatment for complete rectal prolapse is surgery, however in those patients with medical problems that make them unfit for surgery, and those patients who have minima symptoms conservative measures may benefit. Dietary adjustments, including increasing dietary fiber may be beneficial to reduce constipation,and thereby reduce straining. A bulk forming agent (e.g. psyllium) or stool softener can also reduce constipation. Biofeedback retraining may be indicated to help the patient avoid straining during defecation. There is limited evidence that hypopressive exercises may be beneficial in mild pelvic organ prolapse.
There were no randomized controlled studies comparing the success rates of abdominal or perineal surgery for recurrent rectal prolapse. Most studies were heterogeneous, of low quality (level IV) and involved small numbers of patients. The follow-up of 144 patients included in the studies undergoing perineal surgery ranged from 8.8 to 81 months, with recurrence rates varying from 0% to 50%. Morbidity ranged from 0% to 17% with no mortality reported. Limited data on quality of life following the Altemeier procedure were available. The follow-up for 158 patients included in the studies who underwent abdominal surgery ranged from 0 to 23 years, during which recurrence rates varied from 0% to 15%. Morbidity rates ranged from 0% to 32% with 4% mortality. No quality of life data were available for patients undergoing abdominal surgery.