The rectum attaches to the bottom of the colon, or large intestine, and when individuals have a bowel movement, the waste travels through the rectum before it is expelled from the body. Solitary rectal ulcer syndrome is a condition that occurs when individuals have sores or ulcers inside their rectum.
Although the exact cause is not known, some physicians theorize that the ulcers appear due to an injury to the rectum. These injuries are often caused by straining while having a bowel movement, constipation and a prolapse of the rectum.
Solitary rectal ulcer syndrome can cause various symptoms including pain in the rectum, bleeding from the rectum and a discharge of mucus from the rectum. Some people have a full feeling in their pelvic area or they feel as if they did not have a complete bowel movement after going to the bathroom.
Fecal matter may exit the rectum uncontrollably or it may seep out while an individual passes gas. Other symptoms include bowel movements that are infrequent and difficulties passing stool. Some individuals who have solitary rectal ulcer syndrome do not experience any symptoms at all.
The types of treatments depend on the magnitude of the injuries to the rectum and the symptoms that a person is experiencing. Those who have slight symptoms can often prevent them from getting worse by eating healthy meals and getting regular exercise. Medications that can also help to reduce the symptoms include botulinum toxin, steroids and sulfasalazine enemas.
If the condition is advanced, individuals may need surgery to repair a rectal prolapse. If treating the condition is not effective, individuals may be required to have a proctectomy, which is a surgical procedure for removing the rectum. If necessary, a colostomy procedure may be performed to reroute the colon to the abdominal wall. After this procedure is completed, individuals will have a bag attached to an opening in the abdomen to collect their waste.