Novel investigations and treatments for intractable, chronic constipation

Project Details

The Surgical Research Group works on a number of surgical problems affecting children, including:

  1. Normal and abnormal descent of the testis, with the aim of understanding the mechanism and providing possible non-surgical treatment - Project Leader: John Hutson
  2. Normal and abnormal postnatal germ cell development, which is believed to be the key to preventing infertility and testicular cancer in men with previous undescended testes in childhood - Project Leader : Ruili Li
  3. The causes of intractable chronic constipation, and the development of novel investigations and novel treatments, including electrical stimulation - Project Leader: Bridget Southwell
  4. The cause of duodenal atresia, using a new knockout mouse with downregulation of FGF10 - Project Leader: Warwick Teague
  5. Novel treatments for colorectal disorders such as anorectal anomalies and Hirschsprung disease - Project Leader: Sebastian King
  6. Using state-of-the-art manometry to understand surgical problems in the gut, such as oesophageal atresia and Hirschsprung disease - Project Leader: Sebastian King


  • Prof John Hutson - Chair of Paediatric Surgery/MCRI Hon Fellow
  • A/Prof Warwick Teague - General Surgeon/MCRI Fellow
  • Mr Sebastian King - General Surgeon/MCRI Fellow
  • Dr Bridget Southwell - Group Leader Surgical Research Group MCRI
  • Dr Ruili Li - Scientist, Surgical Research Group
  • Dr Jaya Vikramen - PhD student
  • Ms Julie Jordan-Ely, Master Student


  1. National Health & Medical Research Council
  2. Royal Children's Hospital Foundation
  3. Murdoch Children's Research Institute
  4. G-I Therapies

Research Outcomes

  1. Nuclear transit study in children with chronic faecal soiling after Hirschsprung disease (HSCR) surgery has revealed a group with rapid proximal colonic treatment and possible adverse reactions to food.Stathopoulos L, King SK, Southwell BR, Hutson JM.Pediatr Surg Int. 2016 Aug;32(8):773-7
  2. Home Transcutaneous Electrical Stimulation Therapy to Treat Children With Anorectal Retention: A Pilot Study. Yik YI, Stathopoulos L, Hutson JM, Southwell BR. Neuromodulation. 2016 Jul;19(5):515-21
  3. The effect of food withdrawal in children with rapid-transit constipation.Kearsey I, Hutson JM, Southwell BR. Pediatr Surg Int. 2016 Jul;32(7):683-9.
  4. Disimpaction of children with severe constipation in 3-4 days in a suburban clinic using polyethylene glycol with electrolytes and sodium picosulphate. Jordan-Ely J, Hutson JM, Southwell BR. J Paediatr Child Health. 2015 Dec;51(12):1195-8
  5. Management of severe faecal impaction in an adolescent with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) receiving palliative care. Jordan-Ely J, Dobson KM, Appaduray S, Hynson J, Kornberg AJ, Hutson JM, Southwell BR.J Paediatr Child Health. 2015 Mar;51(3):351-2
  6. Transabdominal electrical stimulation (TES) for the treatment of slow-transit constipation (STC).Hutson JM, Dughetti L, Stathopoulos L, Southwell BR. Pediatr Surg Int. 2015 May;31(5):445-51
  7. Potentially avoidable hospitalisation for constipation in Victoria, Australia in 2010-11. Ansari H, Ansari Z, Hutson JM, Southwell BR. BMC Gastroenterol. 2014 Jul 11;14:125.

Research Group

Surgical Research Group

Faculty Research Themes

Child Health

School Research Themes

Child Health in Medicine, Cancer in Medicine

Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact the research group leader.

Department / Centre


MDHS Research library
Explore by researcher, school, project or topic.