Rectal prolapse may be partial, involving only the mucosa or complete, involving the entire wall of the rectum. Children with myelomeningocele and bladder exstrophy as well as children with cystic fibrosis are particularly at risk. Rarely it can be caused by acute diarrhea or straining while passing constipated stool.
Most cases of prolapse do not require surgical correction. Infant prolapse often disappears without intervention.
Rectal prolapse repair is advised for a continued rectal prolapse that does not clear up or is unresponsive to treatment of an underlying condition.
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.