LAR is a surgery that’s done to treat rectal cancer. During LAR surgery, the part of your rectum with the cancer will be removed. The remaining part of your rectum will be reconnected to your colon. You’ll be able to have bowel movements (poop) as usual once you recover from your surgery.
LAR surgery can be done using different techniques. Your surgeon will talk with you about which options are right for you. Depending on the type of surgery you have, your surgeon will make 1 or more incisions (surgical cuts) in your abdomen (belly).
What is Low Anterior Resection Syndrome?
With such a major surgery, side effects are not surprising. LARS refers to several related symptoms that patients may experience post-surgery. The symptoms of LARS are different for everyone, but could include:
- Frequency or urgency of stools, largely due to the fact you have less space to store stool after removing part of the rectum
- Clustering of stools (many bowel movements during a few hours)
- Fecal incontinence (lack of control over bowel movements)
- Constipation for more than a few days, followed by multiple bowel movements a few days later
- Increased gas
- Abdominal pain
- Small risk of urinary and/or sexual function due to nerve damage
How do you manage LARS?
There are ways to manage LARS, but finding the right regimen can be challenging, as management is extremely individualized – what works for one person may not work for another. Here’s a list of some ways people manage:
- Kegel exercises to help to strengthen muscles.
- Use of medications and over-the-counter drugs to help with incontinence
- Stool training and biofeedback. These are non-surgical therapies that can retrain your muscles to manage bowel dysfunction like fecal incontinence and constipation. Essentially, you learn through reinforcement how to train the muscles in your bowel to normalize function.
- Carrying a survival pack because you never know when you might need one! You may consider including flushable wipes, clean underwear, plastic bag, hand sanitizer, etc.
- Counseling – For some, talking about the challenges that result from LARS can really help ease stress and shift the focus to other things in life.
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Book your appointment with Dr. Ujwal Zambare he is having 12 years of experience in Gastro-intestinal surgery, oncology, minimally invasive surgery and Liver, Pancreas, Biliary tract surgery.
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