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Starr Procedure


Obstructed defecation is often when a person has the urge to go to the toilet but is unable to do so. This is more common in women than men due to trauma and changes that occur while carrying and having children. One of the treatments for this condition is the STARR procedure.

A STARR procedure and a trans-STARR procedure are very similar. The difference is the type of equipment used and does not change what the procedure aims to do


What is a STARR procedure?

You may have had symptoms of finding it difficult to go to the toilet. You may need to take laxatives, suppositories, use a finger to start going to the toilet or have to strain or spend a long time on the toilet. You may also find it necessary to frequently visit the toilet as you do not feel empty after one visit. These are all symptoms of obstructed defecation syndrome.

One of the causes of this can be infolding of the bowel wall or a prolapse at the bottom of the bowel within the rectum. This can stop the muscles in that area working properly or cause a physical obstruction and make it difficult to go to the toilet.

The STARR procedure uses a specially designed staple device to remove these extra folds through the back passage. As these folds are removed, the staples close the wound left with one continuous action. Because there are no external wounds, this procedure is minimally invasive.


Why do I need a STARR procedure?

Obstructed defecation can be difficult to treat. The aim of the procedure is to allow you to go to the toilet more normallyā€¯ and improve quality of life. The condition is not life-threatening but can impact on daily life and activities.

You may have already tried modifying your diet, taken medication or biofeedback retraining to try and improve your symptoms. There are also surgical procedures available but these all involve an abdominal operation.

These procedures should have been mentioned to you during your hospital appointment. If alternative procedures have not been mentioned to you, the STARR procedure may be the best option for your problem. If you would like to discuss these alternatives, please contact your medical team.

You also have the option to stay as you are.