Anorectal Research

St Mark's has pioneered investigation and treatment of haemorrhoids, anal fistula, anal fissure, incontinence and problems of bowel function since it was founded in 1835.

We have a centre that is unique and a world renowned team who are capable of translating new developments into patient care. Despite this, some people still suffer major problems from anorectal disease.

The Challenge

  • 1 in 10 people over 65 are faecally incontinent
  • More than 1 in 3 people with anal Crohn’s disease will need a permanent stoma
  • More than 1 in 3 people who require surgery for complex anal fistula will suffer from permanent incontinence and/or require a stoma
  • 1 in 5 people with rectal cancer still require a permanent stoma

Many patients suffer debilitating ill health due to constipation or functional disease of the bowel that is not responsive to current treatments.

The Aim

  • Develop new methods of neurostimulation that will halve current levels of incontinence
  • Develop an implantable mechanical anal sphincter to restore continence when neurostimulation is not possible
  • Introduce an intestinal pacing service that will make the misery of intractable constipation a thing of the past
  • Use cell culture based methods of anal fistula repair
  • Expand a psychological medicine department that can provide relief to those without disease who suffer debilitating symptoms