Low Anterior Resection Syndrome (LARS)

Liliana Bordeianou, Craig A. Messick

Key Concepts

  • Significant alteration in bowel function altering a patient’s quality of life commonly occurs after restorative proctectomy or low anterior bowel resection. This has been termed low anterior resection syndrome (LARS).
  • Using a Delphi analysis, experts including patients with LARS have been able to describe the condition as eight symptoms and five consequences.
  • No standardized tool exists that determines its severity. Careful questioning starting around 3 months after establishment of intestinal continuity is important to determine treatment options.
  • It is important to determine if correctable problems that can mimic LARS are leading to these symptoms.
  • Treatment starts with setting expectations, educating patients, and evaluating treatment outcomes. This involves a systematic incremental approach to treatment with precise written instructions and monitoring results.

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Last updated: January 26, 2022