The Pelvic Floor Team
Over the past 5 years there have been major advances in the treatments available for pelvic floor disorders.
To address this we have established a pelvic floor team at HEFT to look after patients who suffer with disordered defaecation. This problem mainly affects ladies, who struggle to open their bowels or perhaps open them too frequently and lose control of their motions resulting in faecal incontinence. This problem is far more frequent than widely acknowledged because sufferers are reluctant to talk about it and doctors don't ask.
This service links closely with the gastroenterologists as many patients also suffer with irritable bowel syndrome. We also work closely with uro- gynaecologists who deal with urinary and vaginal prolapse problems.
The service developed following the introduction of sacral nerve modulation for faecal incontinence. We felt that there needed to be a forum to discuss patients with complex problems in order to offer them optimal treatment.
Currently, the team consists of 2 specialised colorectal surgeons, 2 radiologists, a gastro intestinal physiologist, a physiotherapist and a colorectal nurse specialist. We meet on a monthly basis to discuss patients with complex symptoms and plan treatments. This is followed by a multidisciplinary pelvic floor clinic. Although, not regular attenders at the meeting we have close working links with a gastroenterologist who has a special interest in irritable bowel disease as well as 2 uro-gynaecologists. These meetings are held alternately on the Good Hope and Solihull sites.
We are able to offer a full range of diagnostic tests including, ano-rectal physiology, 3 –d endo anal ultra-sound, colonic transit studies as well as video and MR defaecography.
Pelvic floor clinics have been established where there is sufficient time to explore in detail the patient's symptoms as well as allow in depth discussion about the various treatments that are available. These problems are often long standing and deeply troubling as well as embarrassing. Often there is no quick easy solution either using drugs or surgery and a large part of the service is about helping patients to cope with their symptoms.
Most of our patients can be helped by an explanation of the cause of their symptoms, dietary advice and the use of conservative measures such as medication, laxatives or suppositories. Rectal irrigation and other treatments such as bio-feedback and a pelvic floor exercise programme can be useful for patients whose pelvic floor musculature is not working properly. We offer two different types of biofeedback depending on symptoms.
Occasionally a surgical procedure may help and we offer a full range of pelvic floor operations from the injection of bulking agents to the anal sphincter, STARR procedure for recto rectal intususseption, sacral nerve modulation and ventral rectopexy.
Click on the links below for more information on pelvic floor disorders and the services we offer
- About us
- Bowel function clinic
- Investigations (Ano-rectal physiology tests, MR defaecography)
- Treatments (Sacral nerve stimulation, Physiotherapy)