At the recent Continence Foundation Conference, i attended a workshop on the subject of Lower Anterior Resection Syndrome (LARS). This syndrome occurs in those who have had the lower part of their bowel removed in order to get rid of bowel cancer in this lower part of the bowel. During the surgery, the lower part of the bowel (called the colon) is removed and with it the upper part of the rectum.
The syndrome is characterised by frequent passage of loose stool, difficulty controlling the bowel and often sense of incomplete emptying.
It can be very distressing to have overcome cancer and yet to be left with a problem which causes huge embarrassment and loss of quality of life.
There is a lot we can do to help those with the problem to understand why the problems occur and how to manage them.