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Solitary Rectal Ulcer Syndrome


WHAT IS IT?

Solitary rectal ulcer syndrome (SRUS) is a condition in which a benign ulcer occurs in the rectum in association with prolapse or difficulty emptying the bowels.

WHAT CAUSES SRUS?

There are a number of theories as to how SRUS is caused. There is often a history of constipation and straining and some people believe that this causes the lining of the bowel to prolapse down. The ulcer then may occur from trauma to the bowel from it rubbing against itself. Some people with SRUS have difficulty in opening their bowels and may insert a finger into the anal canal to aid defaecation; it is possible that the ulcer comes from repeated trauma.

WHAT SYMPTOMS DOES IT CAUSE?

The typical symptoms are of bleeding and mucous discharge. Patients often report a sensation of incomplete emptying and a persistent feeling of fullness in the pelvis.

HOW IS IT DIAGNOSED?

After an assessment in clinic, we may recommend a flexible sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy to look inside the bowel. Little bits of tissue may be taken from the ulcer (biopsy) in order to rule out other causes like polyps or cancer. We often recommend other tests including a proctogram which looks for evidence of rectal prolapse, commonly seen in association with SRUS. We may also recommend anorectal physiology & ultrasound tests.

WHAT CAN SRUS BE TREATED?

Often people with SRUS can be treated with changes to their diet and laxatives. Pelvic floor retraining may retrain the voluntary and involuntary processes involved with opening your bowels. In case of persistent symptoms and bowel prolapse, treatment of the underlying prolapse can give relief. Other surgical options for excision of the ulcer are available in cases where this is necessary. Your consultant will advise on the best course of treatment after examination.


Please be advised that the information on this website is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment