Norman S Williams

Norman S Williams

Title: Professor
Professor of Surgery; Director of surgical innovation

Consultant colorectal surgeon Professor Norman Williams became President of The Royal College of Surgeons of England in July 2011. He is Professor of Surgery and Director of Innovation at the Academic Surgical Unit. His main clinical interests are sphincter preservation and reconstructive surgery, and his scientific interests are concentrated on GI motility and anorectal physiology. Prior to being elected as President of the RCSEng, he was President of the Society of Academic & Research Surgery and President of the national patient charity, The Ileostomy & Internal Pouch Support Group. Professor Williams has also been Chairman of the UKCCCR committee on Colorectal Cancer, President of European Digestive Surgery, and President of The International Surgical Group and Vice Chairman of The British Journal of Surgery. He has won the Patey Prize of the SRS(1978), The Moynihan Fellowship of the ASGBI (1985), The Nessim Habif Prize (University of Geneva) and the Galen Medical of the Worshipful Society of Apothecaries (2001)

Professor Williams is joint editor of Bailey and Love’s Short Practice of Surgery, co-author of Surgery of the Anus, Rectum and Colon and is a trustee of Bowel & Cancer Research. He is a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences, an Honorary Fellow of The American Surgical Association, and in 2011 gave the prestigious Hunterian Oration at the College and was awarded the Cutlers’ Surgical Prize.


  • Surgical innovation particularly in coloproctology
  • Neurogastroenterlogy

Recent and ongoing research projects:

  • Investigation of a variety of functional bowel problems particularly incontinence and rectal evacuation disorders.
  • Development of innovative procedures such as: Express procedure, Stapled Mesh stomA Reinforcement Technique (SMART) and Anterior Perineal PlanE for ultra low Anterior Resection (APPEAR)


George BD, Patel J, Watkins ES, Williams NS, Swash M.  Physiological and histo¬chemical adaptation of the electrically stimulated gracilis muscle to neoanal sphincter function.  Br J Surg 1993; 80(10):1342-1346. (Winner Moynihan Prize Association of Surgeons 1993)

Mander BJ, Abercrombie JF, George BD, Williams NS. The electrically stimulated gracilis neosphincter incorporated as part of total anorectal reconstruction after abdominoperineal excision of the rectum.  Annals of Surgery 1997; 224, No 6, 702-711.

Tillin T, Gannon K, Feldman RA, Williams NS.  A third-party prospective evaluation of patient-based outcomes after dynamic graciloplasty.  Br J Surg 2006: 93:1402-1410.

Chan CLH, Facer P, Davis JB, Smith GD, Egerton J, Bountra C, Williams NS, Anand P.  Sensory fibres expressing capsaicin receptor TRPV1 in patients with rectal hypersensitivity and faecal urgency.  Lancet 2003; 361:385-391.

Murphy J, Chan CLH, Vasudevan SP, Scott SM, Lunniss PJ, Williams NS.  Rectal Augmentation: Short and mid term evaluation of a novel procedure for severe faecal urgency and incontinence. Ann Surg 2008; 247:421-427

Williams NS, Hughes SF, Stuchfield B.  Continent colonic conduit for rectal evacuation in severe constipation.  Lancet 1994; 343:1321-1324.

Williams NS, Dvorkin LS, Giordano P, Scott SM, Huang A, Frye JNR, Allison ME, Lunniss PJ.  External pelvic rectal suspension (Express procedure) for rectal intussusception, with and without rectocele repair.  Br J Surg 2005; 92: 598-604.

Gladman MA, Williams NS, Scott SM, Ongunbiyi OA, Lunniss PJ.  Medium-term results of vertical reduction rectoplasty and sigmoid colectomy for idiopathic megarectum.  Br J Surg 2005; 92:624-630.

Hammond TM, Chin-Aleong J, Navsaria H, Williams NS.  Human in vivo cellular response to a cross-linked acellular collagen implant.    Br J Surg 2008; 95:438-446

Williams NS, Murphy J, Knowles CH.  Anterior perineal plane for ultra-low anterior resection of the rectum (the APPEAR technique): a prospective clinical trial of a new procedure.  Ann Surg 2008; 24:750-758.

Golder M, Burleigh DE, Belai A, Ghali L, Ashby D, Lunniss PJ, Navsaria HA, Williams NS. Smooth muscle cholinergic denervation hypersensitivity in diverticular disease.   Lancet. 2003 Jun 7;361(9373):1945-51.

Surgery of the Anus, Rectum and Colon -1st Edition 1993, 2nd Edition 1999, W B Saunders and Co Ltd,  3rd Edition 2008, Elsevier Ltd (Joint author).
Bailey and Love's Short Practice of Surgery, 22nd Edition (Joint Editor), Chapman and Hall 1995
Bailey and Love’s Short Practice of Surgery, 23rd and 24th Editions (Joint Editor), Arnolds 2000 and 2004
Bailey and Love’s Short Practice of Surgery, 25th Edition (Joint Editor) 2008, Hodder Arnold
Bailey and Love’s Short Practice of Surgery, 26th Edition (Joint Editor) 2011, Hodder Arnold

View all Norman Williams's Research Publications at:


Academic Surgical Unit
Centre for Digestive Diseases
Blizard Institute
Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry
National Centre for Bowel Research and Surgical Innovation
1st Floor, Abernethy Building
2 Newark Street
E1 2AT 

020 7882 8752
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