Rectal prolapse is a condition that occurs when a part or all of the rectal wall slides out of place or sticks out of the anus. At first, prolapse may occur only with straining, as when you have a bowel movement. If the condition worsens the prolapse may occur when you stand or walk. And in very severe cases, the prolapsed tissue may remain outside your body.
In severe cases of rectal prolapse, the tissues that support the colon overextend and weaken, causing a section of the colon to drop from its normal position. When the rectum is out of place, it is common to have poor control of stool and gas.
Your doctor will diagnose rectal prolapse by asking you questions about your symptoms and past medical problems and surgeries. He or she will also do a physical, including a digital rectal exam. He or she may do tests to rule out other conditions.
Surgery for rectal prolapse can usually be performed laparoscopically and often through a single incision in your belly button. Sometimes, the surgery is performed without any abdominal incision.