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Adhesions are scars that form within the body. They usually form in the abdomen or pelvis. Adhesions develop naturally after surgery as part of the healing process. They can also develop after infection or any other inflammatory process, such as:
This surgery is usually done
laparoscopically. After you are asleep and not feeling any pain, a needle will be inserted to inject a gas into the abdomen. The gas will make the abdomen expand. This will make it easier to see the organs. The laparoscope will then be inserted through a small hole that is cut in the skin. The laparoscope lights, magnifies, and projects an image onto a screen. The area will be inspected. The doctor will make several small incisions in the wall of the abdomen. Using small instruments that are put through these holes, the doctor will cut out the adhesions. Doing so will free the organs that were caught in the adhesions.
In some cases, the doctor may need to switch to open abdominal surgery (called
laparotomy). The doctor will make a larger incision in the abdomen. This will allow direct access to all of the organs. The adhesions will be cut out.
This surgery is done in a hospital setting. If you have laparoscopic surgery, you will be able to leave that day or the next. If you have open surgery, you will need to stay in the hospital for a few days. You may need to stay longer if you have complications.
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Lamvu G, Tu F, et al. The role of laparoscopy in the diagnosis and treatment of conditions associated with chronic pelvic pain.
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A patient’s guide to adhesions and related pain or…you are not alone. International Adhesions Society website. Available at: ...(Click grey area to select URL) Published 1998. Accessed September 16, 2005.
Saravelos HG, Li TC, et al. An analysis of the outcome of microsurgical and laparoscopic adhesiolysis for chronic pelvic pain.
Stenchever MA, Droegemueller W, et al., eds.
4th ed. St. Louis, MO: Mosby; 2001.
Townsend CM, et al.
Sabiston Textbook of Surgery.
17th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders; 2004.
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This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.