Delorme's Procedure

A Delorme’s procedure is an operation for the problem of rectal prolapse. A rectal prolapse occurs when the normal supports of the rectum become weakened, this maybe partial thickness where the lining of the rectum (mucosa) becomes loose and falls down into the lumen of the anal canal when straining.


It rarely prolapses enough to protrude through the anus, but may cause some degree of blockage in the rectum when straining (obstructive defecation) and a feeling of incomplete evacuation.


Full thickness rectal prolapse - the muscle of the rectum can drop down through the anus to the outside. Sometimes this only happens when you open your bowels and it goes back in on its own. In more severe cases, the rectum may need to be pushed back after opening your bowels, or may even stay outside all of the time.


While this is not a dangerous or life threatening condition it can be very uncomfortable and may cause loss of bowel control. There may also be mucous and bloodstained discharge from the anus. This operation is to prevent further prolapse. It is done via the anus so there is no external incision needed.



What other tests may be necessary before this operation?


Initial consultation involves assessment of symptoms and examination. Other tests may include colonoscopy, studies of the anal sphincter to look at its structure and function (anorectal physiology and ultrasound), and x-ray studies that look at how well your large bowel works and how well supported your pelvic organs are during the process of emptying your bowels.



What Does a Delorme’s Operation Involve?

The operation will require you to have a general anaesthetic. You will be given a bowel preparation to take the day before your operation to clear your bowel. You will then fast (nil by mouth) for 6 hours before your operation.


During the operation the excess mucosa is removed and the underlying muscle wall of the rectum is supported and strengthened. Your procedure will take approximately 60 minutes and you will be in the theatre complex for around 2-3 hours - this includes recovery time and then transferred to the ward for further care.




Discharge from hospital is usually the next day post op.


Recovery times can vary, usually a minimum of 2 weeks up to 4 weeks acute recovery time post operatively (where you maybe unable to work).


Take home medication includes:


  • Benefiber, to take daily to bulk your stools and give a soft stool consistency.
  • A laxative to avoid constipation and straining
  • Pain relief medication. It is recommended to have regular panadol for the first week. A stronger pain relief medication may also be required


Post operative care includes regular warm baths or showers for comfort and cleanliness.