An adhesion is a band of scar tissue that joins two inner body platforms that are not usually connected. Adhesions can cause pain by pulling on nerves. Adhesions may be caused by surgery, infection, injury (trauma) and radiation. They can affect the female reproductive organs, bowel, spine, hand and tissue around the heart.
Diagnostic tests such as blood tests, x-ray procedures, CT scans, MRIs and ultrasound will not diagnose adhesions.
- Severe pain
- Pain on movement such as walking, sitting or lying in certain positions
- Bowel obstruction
- Urinary bladder dysfunction
- Pain and difficulty having a bowel movement
People caused from adhesions symptoms may consider laparoscopic surgery. The main advantage of this procedure is that only a small incision (cut) is required, which is why it is also known as ‘keyhole surgery’. Laparoscopy is the preferred method for performing infertility surgery as there is a decreased risk of new (de novo) adhesions forming.
Occasionally, a part of your bowel may become twisted tightly around a band of adhesions, cutting off the blood supply to your bowel. This is sometimes called strangulation of the bowel. This is life-threatening and you will need immediate treatment. If you develop any of the following symptoms in addition to those above, it may be a sign of bowel strangulation and you should call for emergency help:
- you have a fever
- your pain is replaced with a continuous dull ache or a constant background pain
- you have a fast heartbeat
Laparoscopic adhesiolysis can be time-consuming (may take two to four hours), technically difficult and involve some risk. However, this procedure shows similar results to more invasive forms of surgery when it comes to managing endometriosis and extensive adhesions. In a long run this would be more suitable than other form of procedures.