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Obstructed defecation syndrome (ODS) is the inability of the patient to empty the rectum normally. By definition, it is a clinical condition where the patient has the feeling of not emptying the rectum adequately.


A rectocele is a condition in which the wall of tissue that separates the rectum from the vagina is weakened, allowing the vaginal wall to budge. Commonly, the front wall of the rectum bulges against the posterior of the vagina. The size of the prolapse often indicates if it is symptomatic. If the prolapse is small they can be asymptomatic (no symptoms). Larger prolapses however, may create a noticeable bulge through the vaginal opening. In severe cases, surgery is recommended for repair of the rectocele.

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Rectal prolapse is a condition in which the rectum (the last part of the large intestine before it exits the anus) loses its normal attachments inside the body, allowing it to telescope out through the anus, thereby turning it “inside out”.  While this may be uncomfortable, it rarely results in an emergent medical problem.  However, it can be quite embarrassing and often has a significant negative impact on patients’ quality of life.

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Rectal intussusception is an abnormal condition in which the proximal rectal wall invaginates into the distal rectum during defecation and persists after the bolus has passed.

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