Rectal Prolapse in Children: Things you need to know

Rectal prolapse is a condition that occurs when the lining of a child’s rectum protrudes through the anus. This can occur because of the ligaments become weakened from the issues such as chronic constipation, diarrhea, and straining during bowel movements.

Rectal Prolapse Disorder in children most commonly occurs in between the age of 1 to 5. Both boys and girls are likely to develop the condition. Potty training in children and cystic fibrosis are the common causes of Rectal Prolapse. The rectal prolapse symptoms include a dark red mass protruding from the anus and fecal incontinence.

When a child develops frequent rectal prolapse, there are a lot of concerns. Treatment by the specialists is often necessary, as explained by best rectal prolapse doctors.

What increases a child’s risk for a rectal prolapse?

A child’s risk for rectal prolapse may increase due to a structural problem in the digestive problems. Other common conditions that raise a child’s risk for rectal prolapse are:

  • An infection: The infection in a child’s bowel causes their rectum to swell and move through the anus. This infection may be caused due to parasites or bacteria.
  • Increased abdominal pressure: It may develop in child due to the regular strain during bowel movements such as chronic constipation. During constipation, the pressure to push too hard may cause rectum to come through the anus.
  • Long term Diarrhea: The condition which prevents proper absorption of food such as Inflammatory Bowel disease may cause long term diarrhea. Diarrhea causes the swelling of a child’s rectum which makes the rectum to move through the anus.
  • Malnutrition: Lack of proper nutrition (Malnutrition) is the most common cause of Rectal Prolapse in children. Malnutrition prevents children from developing fat tissue that helps to hold the child’s rectum in the right place.
  • Cystic Fibrosis: The infection of the mucous glands is associated with conditions throughout the body, including digestive related problems. Children who have rectal prolapse with no obvious cause may need to be tested for cystic fibrosis, which causes the mucus thick and sticky.
  • Hirschsprung’s disease: The birth defect Hirschsprung’s disease affects nerve cells in the large intestines and the muscular contractions of the bowel. This condition leads to rectal prolapse.

How is rectal prolapse in children treated?

According to Coloproctology experts, It is commonly occurring and can be treated conservatively. A child with prolapsed rectum may need the following:

  • Antibiotics: helps to treat a bacterial infection.
  • Antiparasitics: helps to prevent a parasite infection.
  • Laxatives: helps the child’s intestines relax, smoothen and loosen the bowel movements and prevents constipation.
  • Surgery: Surgery may be required if other treatments do not work. The surgical procedure helps position the rectum and so it does not come through the anus. Surgery may include removing the part of the rectum that is prolapsed.

How rectal prolapse is reduced manually?

The manual reduction is nothing but placing a child’s rectum back inside of the anus. The following are the general steps to do a manual reduction.

  • ● Place your child facing down on a comfortable surface and have the child bend the knees.
  • ● Wash your hands and put the gloves. Lubricate the gloves with petroleum jelly. In case, you don’t have gloves or jelly, wrap your finger in a tissue paper.
  • ● Hold the child’s rectum on both sides of the anus. Place your finger in the center of the rectum, apply pressure on child’s rectum and push it into the anus. Apply the pressure several times if the bowel is swollen.
  • ● Inspect the child’s anus and ensure you should not be able to see the rectum. If the prolapse occurs again, you can repeat the same manual reduction.

How can I manage my child’s rectal prolapse?

Most of the children who experience rectal prolapse can be managed by making a few lifestyle changes.

  • Increase the amount of liquid intake of your child: Liquids can obviously help keep your child’s bowel movements soft and smooth and prevent constipation. Consult the health care provider and ask how much liquid your child should drink each day.
  • Feed your child with a variety of fiber-rich foods: Fiber helps in decreasing constipation by adding softness to the bowel movements. Include healthy foods like fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, beans, low-fat dairy products etc.
  • Make your child use a potty: Child’s feet should reach the ground and buttocks need to be at the level of the seat when sits on the potty. A potty will prevent children from straining during bowel movements and causing a rectal prolapse.

When should I seek immediate medical care?

  • ● Your child has severe pain in the abdomen
  • ● Your child’s abdomen looks much bigger than usual
  • ● Pus and blood from your child’s rectum soak through the underwear
  • ● Your child’s rectum has prolapsed and you are unable to reduce manually

Rectal prolapse in children is a common abnormality and a self-treated disease at the initial stage. If the child is experiencing severe and frequent prolapse, Rectal prolapse treatment by a rectal prolapse specialist is necessary. Our skilled clinicians for the colorectal issues at SMILES Institute of Gastroenterology give better treatment for infants and children who experience rectal prolapse due to Cystic Fibrosis, Hirschsprung’s disease and other chronic conditions.