What is a Rectal Prolapse Repair?

A surgery that repairs prolapsed or exposed rectal tissue. If your child has prolapsed rectal tissue you will see red or pink tissue at the opening of their anus. In most cases this is not an emergency. Your child’s doctor may suggest surgery if this tissue causes pain, bleeding, or mucus.

Before Surgery

  • Some children need to go to the hospital the day before surgery for bowel clean out. If you’re not being admitted for clean out prior to surgery, the surgeon might want your child to complete a clean out at home.
  • If your child does not need to go to the hospital the day before surgery, same day surgery will call you 24-48 hours (one to two days) before the surgery date. They will discuss:
    • Rules about eating and drinking
    • Which location of Children's Hospital the repair will be performed
    • When you need to arrive at the hospital
  • Talk with the doctor if your child takes any medicine. Do not give your child any medicine on the morning of surgery unless your child’s doctor tells you to.
  • On the day of surgery, the health care team will make sure your child is ready for surgery.

After Surgery

  • If your child has a colostomy, they may not have to stay overnight in the hospital after surgery.
  • If your child does not have a colostomy and they stool from their rectum, your child will likely stay in the hospital for several days.
  • Your child will likely have mild pain. They will be given pain medicine to help with their comfort.
  • Your child may have antibiotic ointment put on the incision for a few days after surgery. The team will teach you how to care for the incision before your child goes home.

If your child is having a prolapse repair that does not have a history of anorectal malformation and deals with constipation, the patient will NOT have to dilate the rectum after surgery.

After surgery, your child should not place anything up the rectum (a dilator, a catheter, a suppository, etc.) without direction from your surgeon.

For patients with anorectal malformation:

Two (2) to four (4) weeks after surgery, anal dilations will be started. This will keep the anus from getting narrow as it heals. Here are some things you need to know about this:

  • A dilator (medical rod) is used to help keep your child’s new anus from getting narrow.
  • It is crucial for the family to follow the plan given to them.
  • The surgeon will do the first dilation in the office.
  • The surgeon or nurse will teach you how to do the dilations.
  • They are done two times each day at first – one time in the morning and one time in the evening, but make sure to follow the dilation plan given to you.
  • If the dilation plan is not done right, your child may need more surgery.

If your child has a colostomy, it can be closed by surgery about eight to 12 weeks after prolapse repair surgery. The eight to 12 weeks allow the area of the prolapse repair to heal prior to stool passing through the new incision site.

When to Call the Doctor

Call your child’s doctor if you notice any of these:

  • Bleeding from your child’s incision or area of surgery.
  • Prolapse has returned or worsened since discharge
  • There is no stool (poop) in colostomy bag or your child has not pooped in their diaper or out of their rectum for more than 24 hours (one day).
  • Fever (temperature over 100.4° F).
  • Your child has not peed in their diaper or the toilet at least one-time every four to six hours.

Call the Colorectal Center at 513-636-3240 if you notice any of these issues or if you have any questions or concerns.