Consultant surgeon

Constipation, incontinence
and pelvic floor disorders

For most people, treatment with dietary and lifestyle modification, drugs and physiotherapy is sufficient for these conditions. Nevertheless, recent years have seen a greater understanding and interest in this particular subspecialty area of bowel surgery.

I see a large number of referrals for these conditions and, in common with other specialists, I have found that a common factor is often the presence of an internal rectal prolapse.

Pelvic Floor diagram

Where this causes difficulty in bowel evacuation or incontinence, a simple operative solution improves or cures symptoms for the majority of patients. With one or two other specialists in the West Midlands Region and mid-Wales, I am carrying out laparoscopic ventral mesh rectopexy and STARR procedures with results as good as those of published series.

Pelvic floor problems can be complex and require time to unravel. I allow extended appointment times to accommodate such patients who usually have had problems for a number of years. A questionnaire may be sent out prior to appointment to allow for a more detailed discussion.

Whilst only a minority of patients would have an operation recommended after an initial consultation, I think it important to arrange appropriate investigation for the rest at this stage because, although non-operative treatment may work for some, early investigation will identify those for whom continuing more conservative treatments would not be appropriate.

If you have difficulty with bowel control or have constipation or difficulty in emptying the bowel, speak to your GP. He or she will be happy to refer you when simple measures do not appear to be working.

“Having suffered... from the bowel for many years... I was referred to Mr McIlroy. After two (investigations), the recommendation was to have a STARR procedure... it has been a 100% success. I would not hesitate in recommending the procedure... and regret that I didn't have the operation earlier.”

Mrs LC

“When I developed a rectal prolapse... it severely limited my hitherto active life. Mr McIlroy put me at my ease and described the operation... which involved keyhole surgery. (After the operation) I was able to eat normally and slept well that night. On the third day I came home. I have been able to return to an active life... this is a simple, quick and effective treatment.”

Miss AC