The rectum is the final portion of the large intestine. It empties stool from the body through the anus. The rectum is anchored in position by ligaments. When these ligaments weaken, the rectum can move out of its normal position, downward, and pass through the anus. This is called rectal prolapse.
Update Date 8/17/2012
Updated by: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director and Director of Didactic Curriculum, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, Department of Family Medicine, UW Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington; and Joshua Kunin, MD, Consulting Colorectal Surgeon, Zichron Yaakov, Israel. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc.