Evaluation, Diagnosis, and Medical Management of Rectal Prolapse

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Full-thickness rectal prolapse, or procidentia, is the passage of the full-thickness wall of the rectum beyond the anal sphincters. This condition results in pain and fecal incontinence which greatly impairs the quality of life of those afflicted. It is associated with several anatomic abnormalities, including decreased anal sphincter tone, levator muscle diastasis, and a deep anterior cul-de-sac. The diagnosis of rectal prolapse is made based on physical examination, although several other modalities are used to provide additional information about the patients' condition. While medical management of rectal prolapse can be effective in some cases, the mainstay of management of rectal prolapse is surgical correction.

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