What is a rectal prolapse repair?

Pregnancy increases the risk of rectal prolapse.

Rectal prolapse repair is a surgical procedure performed to treat a rectal prolapse, in which the end of the bowel protrudes out of the anus. Surgery is not usually the first line of treatment for rectal prolapses, except in special circumstances, and is often presented as an option after other treatment methods have been ineffective. The procedure is performed in a well-equipped hospital or clinic, and as with other surgical procedures, there are some associated risks that must be considered prior to surgery.

Rectal prolapse repair is a surgical procedure performed to treat a rectal prolapse, in which the end of the bowel protrudes out of the anus.

Rectal prolapse is an extremely uncomfortable condition and can expose people to risks of infection and other complications. The first treatment usually involves manually pushing the prolapsed material back into place and then determining why the patient developed a prolapse. Treating the underlying cause may include providing patients with a high-fiber diet to treat constipation so patients don’t strain when having a bowel movement.

Patients with rectal prolapse are advised to eat vegetables and other fiber-rich foods to keep the digestive system functioning well.

If the rectal prolapse becomes recurrent or if it is evident that tissue is damaged, a rectal prolapse repair should be considered. Surgeons may enter through the abdomen or the area around the anus, depending on the patient and case. Historically, abdominal surgery to correct rectal prolapse was very invasive. Today, surgeons often use laparoscopy, making a series of small incisions to introduce tools and a camera to perform minimally invasive surgery.

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General anesthesia is needed to perform surgery to repair a prolapsed bowel.

The patient is under general anesthesia while the surgeon performs the procedure. Once the patient wakes up and is taken to recovery, he or she will be monitored and aftercare instructions provided. Patients may need to eat a special diet while the surgical site heals and should take special care when washing to keep the site clean.

The main risk of rectal prolapse repair is infection, usually the result of conditions after surgery that make the patient susceptible to infection. Anesthesia can also be dangerous for some patients and careful screening is performed before surgery to confirm that the patient is a good candidate for anesthesia. Other risks may include laceration of the rectum, recurrence of the prolapse, and incontinence after the procedure. Working with an experienced surgeon can dramatically reduce the risks for patients.

Following proper hygiene protocols before, during, and after surgery helps reduce the risk of post-operative infections.

When this surgery is recommended, patients may want to ask why it is being recommended and whether there are alternative treatment options. Meeting with multiple surgeons and discussing the different approaches to rectal prolapse surgery and aftercare can provide patients with more information they can use to make an informed decision about rectal prolapse repair.

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