LARS – Managing Bowel Symptoms After Sphincter-saving Rectal Cancer Surgery

Managing Bowel Symptoms After Sphincter-saving Rectal Cancer Surgery

Review By Brigitte Collins

It pleases me immensely to see that healthcare professionals (HCPs) continue to be passionate about managing symptoms of low anterior resection syndrome (LARS), which has an enormous impact on quality of life.  Last week I had the privilege of attending the virtual LARS Masterclass run by Jennie Burch (Head of GI Nursing education, St Marks Hospital) and Claire Taylor (Macmillan Nurse Consultant, St Marks Hospital). A superb masterclass that enhanced knowledge about the consequences for patients following surgery for rectal cancer. 

Alongside organising virtual masterclasses Jennie and colleagues have been busy publishing an article “Managing bowel symptoms after sphincter-saving rectal cancer surgery: a scoping review”, which illustrates for the many bowel symptoms that occur, numerous therapies emerge. Leading to the conclusion that to effectively manage the bowel symptoms of LARS more than one treatment option may need to be used simultaneously. 

An interesting read that has made me think a little more about research in this bowel disorder. With the complexity of being able to specify that no one treatment will fit all, perhaps the focus may lend itself to devising the best clinical pathway.  

References
Burch J et al (2021), ‘Managing bowel symptoms after sphincter-saving rectal cancer surgery: a scoping review‘, Journal of Pain and Symptom Management.