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

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

  • 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

We aim to combat these challenges by:

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