BACKGROUND: The optimum surgical treatment for rectal prolapse is controversial, and many different operations have been described. The aim of this study is to evaluate the results of a perineal procedure for the treatment of rectal prolapse. METHODS: Between February 1990 and March 1997, 16 consecutive patients underwent perineal rectosigmoidectomy for a complete rectal prolapse. One patient was lost to follow up. The remaining 15 patients were followed up for an average of 58.4 (9~94) months, and clinical and functional outcomes were evaluated. RESULTS: There were 8 males and 7 females, and ages ranged from 18 to 65 years. The mean prolapse duration was 10.7 (0.25~30) years. There were no postoperative deaths. Two patients developed postoperative complications (one wound infection and the other wound hematoma). Five patients had fecal incontinence prior to surgery. Three of the five patients had improved fecal incontinence after the procedure. There were three recurrences (recurrence rate of 20%): one of them underwent a Delorme operation at our institution and others had no treatment. CONCLUSION: A perineal rectosigmoidectomy is a safe and effective operation for the primary treatment of rectal prolapse and has low mortality and morbidity.