What is rectal prolapse?

Patients with a rectal prolapse have a protrusion (prolapse) of the rectum through the anus. They may also experience symptoms such as a change in bowel habits, rectal bleeding, mucus drainage, anorectal pain, or fecal incontinence. A rectal prolapse is thought to occur due to a loss or weakness of the normal support structures for the rectum.

What is laparoscopic rectopexy?

Laparoscopic rectopexy is one of the surgeries used to repair a rectal prolapse. In this surgery, the rectum is restored to its normal position in the pelvis, so that it no longer prolapses (protrudes) through the anus. Usually, stitches are used to secure the rectum, often along with mesh.

The term "laparoscopic" refers to surgery performed through very small "keyhole" incisions in the abdomen. A laparoscope – a small, telescope-like instrument containing a camera – is placed through an incision near the bellybutton in order to see the inside of the abdomen. The surgery is done using instruments placed via these small incisions.