Rectal prolapse involves the intussusception of the rectum. Several types of prolapse may occur, depending on the location, appearance and layers of the bowel wall involved.
A complete prolapse (procidentia) involves all layers of the bowel wall.
Type of Prolapse
Prolapsed Layers of Bowel
Length of Protrusion Beyond the Anal Verge
<= 2 cm
radial folds at junction with anal skin
complete prolapse, third degree
does not pass through anus (occult, concealed, internal)
complete prolapse, second degree
full thickness; does not involve the mucocutaneous junction
2- 5 cm
circular folds early; edema may result in loss of folds
complete prolapse, first degree
full thickness; involves the mucocutaneous junction
>= 5 cm
(from Table 1, page 66).
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Specialty: Gastroenterology, Obstetrics & Gynecology, General Surgery