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.

St Mark’s medical staff have the capability to translate new developments to patient care which help improve the lives of those with complex bowel disease. Although significant improvements have been made in the lives of those who suffer with anorectal disease, there is still the need to develop better treatments to alleviate the worst symptoms experienced by these patients.

This is because, despite advances, many patients suffer debilitating ill health due to constipation or functional disease of the bowel that are not responsible to available treatments.

Anorectal disease statistics

  • 1 in 10 people over 65 years experience faecal incontinence
  • Around 1 in 3 people with anal Crohn’s disease will require a permanent stoma
  • 1 in 3 people who require surgery for complex anal fistula will suffer from permanent incontinence or require a stoma
  • 1 in 5 people with rectal cancer require a stoma

St Mark’s Hospital aims to combat these challenges by

  • Developing new methods of neurostimulation that will halve current incontinence levels
  • Developing an implantable mechanical anal sphincter to restore continence
  • Introduce an intestinal pacing service to alleviate intractable constipation
  • Using cell culture based methods of anal fistula repair
  • Expanding the psychological medicine department
  • Adopting a holistic approach to treat physical manifestations of illness, in addition to managing the psychological effects