The rectum prolapses through the anus causing unpleasant and uncomfortable symptoms for the patient. At present, rectal prolapse repair is performed with advanced minimally invasive techniques.
Overview of the rectum
The rectum is tubular and about 12 to 16 cm long.
The rectum serves as a temporary storage for waste before it is passed out of the body through the anus.
Within the wall of the rectum there are nerve receptors responsible for the feeling of the urge to defecate if there is a waste to be excreted from the body.
What is rectal prolapse
Rectal prolapse is often noticed after defecation or when standing, as it is in the form of a red-tipped mass protruding from the anus. Rectal prolapse is a common condition in elderly people who suffer from chronic constipation and occurs more often in women after menopause and may affect young children as well.
The rectum is often returned to its normal position by surgery, and currently in Turkey, the surgery is performed with advanced minimally invasive techniques with low risk.
Causes of rectal prolapse
- Chronic constipation or chronic diarrhea
- Aging: The strength of the anal sphincter weakens with age
- Neurological injury to the nerves responsible for contracting the rectal and anal muscles
- Severe and persistent pressure during defecation
- Previous traumatic injury to the pelvic region around the rectum
- Some diseases play a role in the emergence of the disease, such as cystic fibrosis or diabetes
- Infections at the anal and rectal level
- Rectal prolapse may occur in women after natural childbirth
- Rectal prolapse may be associated with uterine prolapse and vagina
Symptoms of rectal prolapse
- Notice a reddish mass during and after defecation
- Over time, this lump may appear while standing or walking
- Bloody stool and pain during defecation
- Fecal incontinence and some suffer from incontinence
- Feeling the urge to defecate even though there is no stool
- Constipation or diarrhea
- Passing mucus or pus with stool
Diagnosis of rectal prolapse
A distinction must be made between rectal prolapse and hemorrhoids, as they are two different medical conditions.
The doctor may use the following tests to rule out other causes.
Rectal examination (anal palpation)
The doctor wears gloves and inserts his finger into the rectum through the anus, and the strength of the anal sphincter is evaluated and for lumps, abnormalities, or rectal bleeding.
A narrow, flexible tube containing a balloon at the bottom is inserted into the rectum through the anus. The balloon is inflated and the force of contraction of the anal sphincter is measured.
This test is useful in finding out if the cause of rectal prolapse is a defect in the innervation of the anal sphincter muscle.
A flexible tube containing a camera is inserted through the anus to view the large intestine.
Rectal Prolapse Repair Surgery in Turkey
The surgery is done by surgical techniques aimed at repairing or strengthening the rectal septum.
In Turkey, advanced techniques such as minimally invasive laparoscopic surgery and robotic surgery are used, which are characterized by low risks and quick recovery.
Preparation before surgery
Your doctor will recommend surgery to repair rectal prolapse using the technique that's best for you.
Surgical intervention to repair rectal prolapse
In healthy patients, transabdominal intervention is performed.
This method is used in older patients who have health problems.
There are two styles of this procedure:
Altemeier procedure: In this procedure, the descending part of the rectum is excised, and then the two ends of the rectum are sutured together.
The outer layer of the descending rectum is then folded and returned to its normal position.
Minimally invasive rectal prolapse repair in Turkey
Laparoscopic Rectal Prolapse Repair Surgery
In this procedure, the patient is anesthetized, and then the surgeon makes a small incision in the abdomen, and then a laparoscope (which is a tubular device that has a camera at the bottom) is inserted.
The doctor locates the sigmoid colon and rectum, then the doctor frees the rectum from the surrounding tissues and gently returns the descending rectum to its normal position.
Robotic Rectal Prolapse Repair Surgery
With a robotic device controlled by the surgeon, the operation is performed with great accuracy, with a clear three-dimensional vision, and with the least possible risk.
After making very small surgical incisions, using a robot, the rectum is fixed to its normal position precisely.
Advantages of Minimally Invasive Rectal Prolapse Repair
- Less chance of complications, such as infection
- Much less blood is lost than with open surgery
- Quick recovery after the operation, as the patient returns to his normal life within a short period
- Its results are often better than open surgery
- Less surgical scars
- The pain is less
You must drink plenty of fluids after the operation, and the doctor may prescribe stool softeners during the recovery period.
The doctor recommends the patient a high-fiber diet in the weeks after surgery to avoid constipation that may lead to a recurrence of rectal prolapse.
On average, most patients return to their normal lives within 4 to 6 weeks of surgery.
After surgery, symptoms disappear completely in the vast majority of patients.
Frequently asked questions about rectal prolapse repair
How is rectal prolapse treated?
How is rectal prolapse repair done?
Rectal prolapse repair is done either by open surgery through the abdomen or perineum, or by minimally invasive techniques such as laparoscopic or robotic surgery.
What are the causes of rectal prolapse?
There are a number of factors that play a role in rectal prolapse, including:
- Chronic constipation or chronic diarrhea
- Aging, as the anal sphincter weakens
- Causes that raise intra-abdominal pressure
- Anal and rectal infections