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 procedure.
Mayo Clinic doctors use dynamic MRI for diagnosing and planning treatment for rectal prolapse. This noninvasive test scans the entire pelvis during a bowel movement and produces a video of the pelvic muscles and pelvic organs at work. Dynamic MRI also reveals prolapse in other pelvic organs, such as the bladder or vagina.
The latest surgical treatment options
At Mayo Clinic, surgeons select the surgery that is right for your condition. Mayo Clinic surgeons have a number of options, including:
- Perineal rectosigmoidectomy. The prolapsed rectum is removed via an incision in the protruding rectum.
- Sigmoid resection and rectopexy. The surgeon makes an incision in the abdomen and removes the sigmoid colon, the part of the large intestine closest to the rectum and anus. The rectopexy procedure anchors the rectum to a bony structure attached to the lower spine and pelvis (sacrum) using sutures and possibly surgical mesh for additional support. In most cases it is possible to perform this operation using minimally invasive surgery, which results in smaller incisions than those of conventional surgery.
- Rectopexy. Sometimes surgeons will perform rectopexy alone, without removing any of the colon. In this case they may use robotic surgery.
For more information, see rectal prolapse surgery.
Along with surgical options, biofeedback therapy is also available at Mayo Clinic. Biofeedback is one type of physical therapy for pelvic floor dysfunction. 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 be evacuated and contract the muscles if evacuation is inconvenient. Biofeedback therapy can be used before or after surgery. It may not eliminate the need for surgery, but it can make surgery more successful by helping to prevent rectal prolapse recurrence.
Treatment for children
In children, rectal prolapse can usually be managed with stool softeners or other medication. If surgery is needed, Mayo Clinic surgeons have special experience in minimally invasive techniques. In addition, children with rectal prolapse can be screened for cystic fibrosis at Mayo Clinic, since rectal prolapse can be a sign of that disease.
Expertise and rankings
Rectal prolapse is a relatively 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 400 people with rectal prolapse.
Nationally recognized expertise
Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., ranks No. 1 for digestive disorders in the U.S. News & World Report Best Hospitals rankings. Mayo Clinic in Phoenix/Scottsdale, Ariz., and Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Fla., 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 2022–2023 "Best Children's Hospitals" rankings.
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.
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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.
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