The rectum is the final portion of the large intestine. It empties stool from the body through the anus. The rectum is anchored in position by ligaments. When these ligaments weaken, the rectum can move out of its normal position, downward, and pass through the anus. This is called rectal prolapse.
Review Date 3/5/2020
Updated by: Debra G. Wechter, MD, FACS, general surgery practice specializing in breast cancer, Virginia Mason Medical Center, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.