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Abdominal Adhesions

Laura Cox
Ostomy Lifestyle Specialist | Shield HealthCare
03/16/16  1:24 PM PST
abdominal adhesions

What are abdominal adhesions?

Abdominal adhesions are fibrous bands of scar tissue that sometimes can form and cause the intestines or other organs to stick to the inside of the abdominal wall or different organs. This scar tissue does not allow the intestines or other organs to move around freely like they are usually can.

What are the symptoms of abdominal adhesions?

The main symptom of adhesions is abdominal and pelvic pain. Sometimes a distended abdomen or a bowel obstruction, also known as an intestinal blockage, may occur.

What causes abdominal adhesions?

The two major causes of adhesions are abdominal surgery and inflammation.

How do you treat abdominal adhesions?

Abdominal adhesions are treated by physical therapy and pain management. They are chronic unless you have surgery, called Lyses, to cut the scar tissue. Lyses may be necessary if the adhesions are causing obstructions or immense amounts of pain. Sometimes lyses can in fact, create more scar tissue, but is generally only used if adhesions are too severe to leave them alone.

How can I cope with the pain of abdominal adhesions if my surgeon says I do not need surgery?

If your physicians have decided that surgery is not a good option for you, there are steps you can take to decrease the abdominal adhesion pain you may experience. First, lie down, breathe deeply and evenly and massage abdomen gently. If you feel up to it, stretch or do gentle yoga to change positions. If instructed by a physician, you can take a mild pain killer, like Tylenol, to assist with pain relief.

If the pain does not resolve within 30-45 minutes, call your doctor immediately.

Resources:

http://www.medicinenet.com/abdominal_adhesions_symptoms_and_treatment/views.htm

http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/adhesion-general-post-surgery?print=true

For more information, see related ostomy issue articles and ostomy resources here:

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