Rectal prolapse care at Mayo Clinic

Your Mayo Clinic care team

More than 400 people receive care for rectal prolapse at Mayo Clinic every year. People with rectal prolapse often have other types of pelvic organ prolapse. If you need surgery, Mayo specialists work together so that in most cases you have only one operation.

Finding the cause of your illness

Mayo Clinic health care providers use a dynamic MRI for finding and treating rectal prolapse. This test, which has no cutting, scans the entire pelvis during a bowel movement. It makes a video of the pelvic muscles and pelvic organs at work. A dynamic MRI also shows prolapse in other pelvic organs, such as the bladder or vagina.

The latest surgical treatment choices

At Mayo Clinic, surgeons pick the surgery that is right for your condition. Mayo Clinic surgeons have different choices, including:

  • Perineal rectosigmoidectomy. The prolapsed rectum is taken out with a cut in the bulging rectum.
  • Sigmoid resection and rectopexy. The surgeon makes a cut in the stomach area. The surgeon then cuts out the sigmoid colon, which is the part of the large intestine closest to the rectum and anus. The rectopexy operation attaches the rectum to a bony structure in the lower spine and pelvis. Sutures and sometimes a surgical mesh are used for additional support. In most cases it is possible to perform this operation using minimally invasive surgery, which has the least amount of cutting. This results in smaller cuts than those of standard surgery.
  • Rectopexy. Sometimes surgeons will do rectopexy alone, without taking out any of the colon. In this case they may use robotic surgery.

For more information, see rectal prolapse surgery.

Nonsurgical treatment

Along with surgical choices, biofeedback therapy is also available at Mayo Clinic. Biofeedback is one type of physical therapy for pelvic floor problems. Specially trained physiotherapists teach simple exercises that can increase anal muscle strength.

People learn how to strengthen pelvic floor muscles, sense when stool is ready to come out and squeeze the muscles if a bowel movement is inconvenient. Biofeedback therapy can be used before or after surgery. You may not avoid the need for surgery, but it can make surgery more successful by helping to stop rectal prolapse from coming back.

Treatment for children

In children, rectal prolapse can usually be managed with stool softeners or other medicines. If surgery is needed, Mayo Clinic surgeons have special experience in minimally invasive techniques, which have less cutting. Children with rectal prolapse are screened for cystic fibrosis at Mayo Clinic, since rectal prolapse can be a sign of that disease.

Expertise and rankings

Extensive experience

Rectal prolapse is a rare condition, affecting about 2.5 out of 100,000 people every year. Each year, Mayo Clinic doctors and surgeons diagnose and treat more than 500 people with rectal prolapse.

Nationally recognized expertise

Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, ranks No. 1 for digestive disorders in the U.S. News & World Report Best Hospitals rankings. Mayo Clinic in Phoenix/Scottsdale, Arizona, and Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida, are ranked among the Best Hospitals for digestive disorders by U.S. News & World Report. Mayo Clinic Children's Center in Rochester is ranked the No. 1 hospital in Minnesota, and the five-state region of Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin, according to U.S. News & World Report's 2023–2024 "Best Children's Hospitals" rankings.

Mayo Clinic Children's Center

Highly skilled pediatric experts diagnose and treat all types of conditions in children. As a team, we work together to find answers, set goals and develop a treatment plan tailored to your child's needs.

Learn more about the Children's Center.

Locations, travel and lodging

Mayo Clinic has major campuses in Phoenix and Scottsdale, Arizona; Jacksonville, Florida; and Rochester, Minnesota. The Mayo Clinic Health System has dozens of locations in several states.

For more information on visiting Mayo Clinic, choose your location below:

Costs and insurance

Mayo Clinic works with hundreds of insurance companies and is an in-network provider for millions of people.

In most cases, Mayo Clinic doesn't require a physician referral. Some insurers require referrals, or may have additional requirements for certain medical care. All appointments are prioritized on the basis of medical need.

Learn more about appointments at Mayo Clinic.

Please contact your insurance company to verify medical coverage and to obtain any needed authorization prior to your visit. Often, your insurer's customer service number is printed on the back of your insurance card.

More information about billing and insurance:

Mayo Clinic in Arizona, Florida and Minnesota

Mayo Clinic Health System

May 27, 2023


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