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Emergency Medical Minute


Jun 21, 2022

Contributor: Jarod Scott, MD

Educational Pearls:

  • Rectal prolapse is an evagination of the rectal tissue through the anal opening
  • Factors that weaken the pelvic floor muscles increase the risk of rectal prolapse
    • These include age > 40, female, multiple pregnancies, constipation, diarrhea, cystic fibrosis, prior pelvic floor surgeries, or other pelvic floor abnormalities
  • Noninvasive treatment options include increasing fluid and fiber intake to soften stools as well as using padding/taping to reinforce the perineum
  • Surgery is an option to repair the prolapse so long as the patient is a good surgical candidate
  • Medical sugar can be used as a desiccant to dry out and shrink the prolapse thus allowing for easier manual replacement


Coburn WM, 3rd, Russell MA, Hofstetter WL. Sucrose as an aid to manual reduction of incarcerated rectal prolapse. Ann Emerg Med. 1997;30(3):347-349.

2Gachabayov M, Bendl R, Flusberg M, et al. Rectal prolapse and pelvic descent. Curr Probl Surg. 2021;58(9):100952.

Segal J, McKeown DG, Tavarez MM. Rectal Prolapse. In: StatPearls. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing. Copyright © 2022, StatPearls Publishing LLC.; 202


Summarized by Mark O’Brien, MS4 | Edited by John Spartz MS4 & Erik Verzemnieks, MD


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