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Prolapse can happen to young children but it is most often seen in older patients who may have a history of constipation.

In some cases, treatment of the underlying problem causing the prolapse (i.e. constipation) may resolve the prolapse. Your consultant may recommend changes in your diet along with laxatives, stool softeners or bulking agents to ease constipation.

If conservative methods to treat your rectal prolapse are not successful your consultant may recommend surgery. There are several techniques rectal prolapse repair. Your surgeon will chose the best method based on your own situation.

Rectal prolapse repair done through one incision or several smaller laparoscopic incisions in your abdomen is called a rectopexy.

What happens during a rectopexy?

A rectopexy is usually done under general anaesthetic.

If your surgeon is performing open surgery they will make an incision (cut) in your abdomen.  Your surgeon will pull your rectum back into your body and attach it to the bony area above your tailbone just below your spine (your sacrum). Sometimes surgical mesh is used to further support your rectum. A portion of your colon may also be removed. Your wound will be closed with stitches or staples.

Laparoscopic (keyhole) rectopexy uses several small incisions in your abdomen to perform the same procedure as in open surgery. Your wounds will be closed with stitches or staples.

After your operation you will be taken to a recovery area. Our staff will monitor you and give you medication for pain relief. You may have a catheter in your bladder to help you pass urine. This is usually removed the day after your surgery.

Going home after rectopexy

Your length of stay in hospital will depend on what surgical method your surgeon used. You will not be able to drive so please arrange for someone to drive you home on your day of discharge.

At home follow dietary advice and restrictions and continue to take any medication prescribed. To prevent a recurrence of the prolapse it is important to avoid straining while moving your bowels.

Most people return to normal daily activities after 4-6 weeks. Avoid any strenuous activity or heavy lifting for 6 weeks. Discuss any return to work with your consultant.

Most people make a good recovery from rectopexy. As with any surgical procedure there could be complications including:

Specific complications of rectopexy may include:

  • Bowel obstruction
  • Bowel incontinence
  • Damage to organs or nerves in the area
  • Failure of any joining made during the procedure
  • Recurrence of prolapse
  • Changes to bowel habits (diarrhoea or increased constipation)

Why not print this treatment page so you can discuss any concerns you have with your consultant?

Find your nearest hospital that provides this treatment

67 Lansdowne Road, Bournemouth, BH1 1RW

01202 291866
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Shenfield Road, Brentwood, CM15 8EH

01277 695695
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Warren Road, Brighton, BN2 6DX

01273 624 488
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3 Clifton Hill, Clifton, Bristol, BS8 1BN

0117 906 4870
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4 Trumpington Road, Cambridge, CB2 8AF

01223 370 922
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Hatherley Lane, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, GL51 6SY

01242 246 552
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Wrexham Road, Chester, CH4 7QP

01244 680 444
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78 Broyle Road, Chichester, PO19 6WB

01243 530600
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Rykneld Road, Derby, DE23 4SN

01332 540100
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Wonford Road, Exeter, EX2 4UG

01392 276 591
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Stirling Road, Guildford, GU2 7RF

01483 555 800
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Haywards Heath  

Burrell Road, Haywards Heath, RH16 1UD

01444 456999
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Venns Lane, Hereford, HR1 1DF

01432 355 131
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Foxhall Road, Ipswich, IP4 5SW

01473 279100
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2 Leighton Street, Leeds, LS1 3EB

0113 388 2111
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Scraptoft Lane, Leicester, LE5 1HY

0116 276 9401
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Newcastle upon Tyne  

Clayton Road, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, NE2 1JP

01912 816 131
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North Staffordshire  

Clayton Road, Newcastle-under-Lyme, ST5 4DB

01782 382551
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Beech Road, Headington, Oxford, OX3 7RP

01865 307777
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Derriford Road, Plymouth, PL6 8BG

01752 775 861
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Longden Road, Shrewsbury, SY3 9DP

01743 282 500
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Staplegrove Elm, Taunton, TA2 6AN

01823 286 991
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Junction Road, Norton, Stockton on Tees, TS20 1PX

01642 360 100
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Tunbridge Wells  

Kingswood Road, Tunbridge Wells, TN2 4UL

01892 531 111
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The Chase, Old Milverton Lane, Leamington Spa, CV32 6RW

01926 427971
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Winchester Road, Chandlers Ford, Eastleigh, SO53 2DW

02380 266 377
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Shores Road, Woking, GU21 4BY

01483 227800
Overall rating Good

Haxby Road, York, YO31 8TA

01904 715 000
Overall rating Good

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