Abdominal Adhesions

What are adhesions?

Adhesions are scar tissue that form between organs as part of the healing process following surgery, infection or an inflammatory process. They are mostly seen in the abdomen and pelvic region and can cause discomfort, obstruction of the bowel and chronic pain. Adhesions can be treated by removing the scar tissues by a surgical procedure called adhesiolysis.

How are adhesions diagnosed?

Adhesions are usually detected during surgery performed to treat other conditions. Imaging studies are not effective in determining an adhesion, but can be used to diagnose internal obstructions.

What are the consequences of not treating an adhesion?

If not treated, adhesions can lead to intestinal obstruction, and in women, repeated miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy and infertility.

What are the alternate options to treat adhesions?

Many people who undergo abdominal surgery will form adhesions as a consequence of the procedure. Most of these adhesions are not likely to ever cause abdominal pain or bowel blockage. Hence adhesion management is dictated by associated symptoms.

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