Lilli LundbyFaecal incontinence is sometimes regarded as a taboo subject - one that causes a lot of unhappiness for sufferers who will often avoid seeking help due to its embarrassing nature. It can impact sufferers’ daily lives, as many stay home and become isolated and depressed, thinking that a better quality of life is not possible. This is the motivation behind Lilli Lundby’s work in the area. 

“Around ten per cent of people suffer from a form of anal incontinence and it is a condition that can severely impact someone’s quality of life,” she says. “It is not just old people too, but people of all ages can suffer from it. Through my work, I hope to help people get to a place where they can enjoy their life without fear of embarrassment.”

Lundby graduated from the medical school at Aarhus University in 1989 and trained in surgery and colorectal surgery at Aarhus University Hospital. She has been a consultant colorectal surgeon at the Department of Surgery, Aarhus University Hospital since 2007 and joined the European Board of Surgery Coloproctology in 2008. Her specialties include bowel and pelvic floor dysfunction, proctology, sacral nerve stimulation, late sequelae and intestinal dysfunction after surgical and oncological treatment.

At the ESCP Annual Meeting in Nice next month, Lundby will present ‘Practical faecal incontinence assessment’ to delegates.

“My presentation will cover which examinations that are important to do before deciding and initiating a treatment,” says Lundby discussing her faecal incontinence session.

“One of the most important issues with faecal incontinence is determining what is important and what is not. For example, how best to assess patients and help choose the best treatments. My talk will compliment two other speakers’ in this symposium who will address how to adequately evaluate incontinence using patient history and questionnaires, and how you assess the functionality of patients’ anal sphincters, rectum and nerves and what are the most appropriate tools for assessment and measurement.”

Lundby continues by explaining that there are several treatment options but the important aspect is to choose the right option following a thorough investigation in to the patient’s background and requirements. She adds,

“My talk will address the different examinations that can be used and what the evidence is for doing them.”
Faecal incontinence mostly affects women in their 50s or 60s after the menopause but it can impact younger people too, often following obstetric injury. Most research shows that faecal incontinence affects 5-10% of the population but this figure isn’t necessarily accurate. “It depends where and when and who you ask!” said Lundby. Incontinence is often the condition that causes someone to be moved to a nursing home and Lundby comments that, according to studies, “cases of incontinence are up to almost 50% of residents in nursing homes.”

Lundby hopes that delegates in Nice will appreciate just how vital it is that surgeons understand the latest technical and practical developments surrounding faecal incontinence. She says,

“I plan to share some important literature and focus on different ways to assess patients and offer accurate recommendations. Ultimately, treating patients is a massive part of being a colorectal surgeon so everyone attending the annual conference will find these insights useful.”

Book your place at the 13th Scientific and Annual meeting of ESCP in Nice here

Lilli Lundby is speaking at the symposium on faecal incontinence, 07:35 - 08.35 on Friday 28 September

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