Rectal prolapse and perineal repair

A rectal prolapse can be treated by surgery called a perineal repair (Delorme’s operation or Altemeier procedure).

During surgery, the lining of the bowel, or the section of bowel that has prolapsed, is removed and stitched back together. The surgery takes about 1 hour and is done using a spinal or general anaesthetic.

You will need to stay in hospital for a couple of days after surgery to recover.

Pre-assessment appointment

You will have an appointment in the pre-assessment clinic before you get a date for your surgery. This is to check if you are suitable for surgery and for having an anaesthetic .

You will have:

  • a blood test
  • a urine test
  • a swab for MRSA (a bacterial infection that can be harder to treat)

You will also be given more information about your surgery  and when you need to stop eating and drinking.

We will do everything we can to make sure there is no change to your surgery date, but sometimes we need to prioritise someone who needs emergency treatment.

The day of surgery

Please bring comfortable clothes into hospital with you.

You will need to arrange for someone to collect you from the hospital when you have recovered from your surgery.

You will be asked to go to the surgical admissions lounge (SAL) on the morning of your surgery. From there you will go to the operating theatre. 

During surgery

Your surgery can be performed under a spinal anaesthetic or general anaesthetic. This depends on your general health, any other medical conditions you have, or any medicines you are taking.

  • If you have a spinal anaesthetic, you will be awake for the surgery, but you will not feel anything.
  • If you have a general anaesthetic, you will be asleep during surgery and will not feel anything.

Your surgeon will remove the prolapse and stitch the rectum back together. There will be no visible wounds as the repair is performed within the anal canal.

Resource number: 4340/VER3
Last reviewed: April 2022
Next review: October 2023

Contact us

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact our pelvic floor unit.

Phone: 020 7188 4191 and ask to speak to a clinical nurse specialist.

Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm.

Email: [email protected]

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Do you have any comments or concerns about your care?

Contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS)

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