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Rectal Prolapse in Children


A rectal prolapse is a condition that causes part of your child's rectum to move down through his anus. The rectum is the end of your child's bowel. A prolapse may happen during your child's bowel movement. A prolapse may also happen when your child is 1 to 5 years of age, when he begins standing or potty training. The cause of your child's rectal prolapse may not be known.


Informed consent

is a legal document that explains the tests, treatments, or procedures that your child may need. Informed consent means you understand what will be done and can make decisions about what you want. You give your permission when you sign the consent form. You can have someone sign this form for you if you are not able to sign it. You have the right to understand your child's medical care in words you know. Before you sign the consent form, understand the risks and benefits of what will be done to your child. Make sure all of your questions are answered.

Emotional support:

Stay with your child for comfort and support as often as possible while he is in the hospital. Ask another family member or someone close to the family to stay with your child when you cannot be there. Bring items from home that will comfort your child, such as a favorite blanket or toy.


  • Vital signs give healthcare providers information about your child's health. Healthcare providers will check your child's blood pressure, heart rate, breathing rate, and temperature.
  • A pulse oximeter measures the percentage of oxygen in your child's blood. It gives the closest measurement without having to draw his blood. A pulse oximeter (pulse ox) can be used continuously or periodically.
  • Intake and output may be measured. Healthcare providers will keep track of the amount of liquid your child is getting. They also may need to know how much he is urinating. Ask healthcare providers if they need to measure or collect his urine. If your child wears diapers, a healthcare provider may need to weigh them. Do not throw away diapers or flush urine down the toilet before asking a healthcare provider.


  • Antibiotics help treat a bacterial infection.
  • Antiparasitics help treat or prevent a parasite infection.
  • Pain medicine may be given. Do not wait until the pain is severe before you ask for your child's medicine.


  • Blood tests may show infection, test kidney function, or give information about your child's overall health.
  • An x-ray, ultrasound, or CT may show problems with the rectum. Your child may be given contrast liquid to help the intestines show up better in the pictures. Your healthcare provider may also place contrast liquid into your child's anus. Tell the healthcare provider if your child has ever had an allergic reaction to contrast liquid.
  • A colonoscopy is a procedure to look for problems in the rectum or other places in the bowel. Before the procedure, your child may be given medicine to help him relax. Your child's healthcare provider will use a scope to look inside his bowel for polyps or tissue growths. A scope is a flexible tube with a small light and camera on the end. Your child's healthcare provider may take samples of tissue.

Manual reduction of a rectal prolapse:

Your child's healthcare provider may place your child's rectum back inside of his anus. He may give your child medicine to help him relax before the procedure. He may lay your child with his face down and his knees bent. He will apply gentle, steady pressure to your child's rectum and push it back inside his anus. He may need to apply pressure for several minutes. Your child may have gauze and tape placed across his buttocks to prevent a rectal prolapse from happening again. Your child's healthcare provider will tell you when the gauze can be removed.


  • Injections may prevent your child's rectum from moving through his anus. He may be given one or more shots of numbing medicine. A needle will be inserted into the rectum and medicine will be given. Your child may feel some pushing or discomfort as the needle enters his rectum.
  • Surgery may be needed if other treatments do not work. Surgery can help position your child's rectum so that it does not come down through his anus. Surgery may include placing sutures or mesh into the rectum, or removing the part of the rectum that is prolapsed.


A rectal prolapse may stop blood flow to your child's rectum. Your child may need emergency surgery to fix the prolapse. A rectal prolapse may happen again even after treatment.


You have the right to help plan your child's care. Learn about your child's health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your child's healthcare providers to decide what care you want for your child.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Learn more about Rectal Prolapse in Children (Inpatient Care)

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Further information

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