At the APLG, we perform fundamental and clinical research related to the physiology and pathophysiology of the anorectum, with a focus on such dysfunctions as constipation and fecal incontinence.

  • The fundamental research performed at the APLG aims to broaden our knowledge of the physiology of the anorectum, and to delineate the mechanisms which regulate anorectal functions such as defecation and faecal continence. Current knowledge does not completely explain how faecal continence and defecation are regulated in healthy people, and not all the mechanisms that control the anorectal physiology have been charted. This impedes the effectiveness of medical treatment. The pathological and physiological reasons underlying defecation, incontinence and constipation need to be investigated. Such fundamental knowledge will facilitate improvements in diagnostics and therapy, and enable the development of effective medical treatment for patients with various anorectal dysfunctions.
  • The clinical research performed at the APLG aims to improve the medical treatment of anorectal problems, by looking at the factors underlying dysfunctions. Many diagnostic tools currently in use do not take into account the multifaceted nature of anorectal dysfunction: patients with theoretically similar dysfunctions undergo the same treatment, even if different causes underlie the dysfunction. In our clinical research we devote a great deal of attention to identifying the various causes of anorectal disorders. This research is crucial for the improvement and updating of currently applied interventions and for the development of new treatment strategies. For example, one of the goals of our clinical research is to determine which patients require surgical treatment and which patients can be treated with medication or physiotherapy instead.