Your body is an efficient system that has a fall-back for almost every situation. The normal healing process that is part of this efficient system is what causes adhesions. Abdominal adhesion symptoms are not experienced by everyone. However, most patients who go through open surgery will develop adhesions.
Adhesions are bands of tough scar tissue that develops in between the organs and tissues of the abdomen. Scar tissue is the body’s natural way of healing itself from trauma. This healing process can be triggered by anything that moves the organs around or disturbs their equilibrium.
Invasive or open surgeries are the number one cause of adhesions. Infections, physical trauma, and inflammation are also known causes.
Adhesions cause organs to stick to each other instead of sliding past each other as you move. This causes pain. They can also cause blockages depending on their location.
If you experience severe abdominal pain, your doctor may diagnose you with adhesions after ruling out other conditions through imaging tests. What can you do to control adhesions?
For moderate pain and discomfort, you can take over-the-counter pain medication such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Always read the medication leaflet before taking medication and consult your doctor if the pain persists or worsens.
A change in diet can also help to ease the discomfort. Soft foods, more fluids, and less fiber will make food passage through your bowels easier, causing less pain.
In cases where the pain is severe or there is bowel obstruction, your doctor may suggest in-patient observation for a few days. During your stay, you may stop eating and drinking to give your bowels a rest. This will also ease the obstruction.
You will be hooked up to intravenous fluids to keep your fluids and electrolyte balance. For severe pain, stronger pain medications are prescribed which cannot be given over the counter.
This short hospital stay usually resolves a partial obstruction. If symptoms persist, your doctor may recommend surgery.
Adhesions do not normally show up in current imaging tests such as ultrasounds, CT scans, and x-rays. They are usually diagnosed by elimination or through a laparoscopic diagnosis.
If non-surgical methods are unsuccessful, a surgeon needs to cut through and separate the adhesions. This surgery is called adhesiolysis.
Keyhole or laparoscopic surgery is minimally invasive. It is done using specialized tools and a camera inserted through tiny incisions in the abdomen. If your adhesion removal surgery is carried out laparoscopically, there is a lower chance of developing new scar tissue and a quicker recovery.
Adhesions can also be caused by inflammatory diseases such as diverticulitis, Crohn’s disease, and peritonitis.
Early diagnosis and treatment of these conditions can help mitigate the formation of abdominal adhesions.
If there is no pain relief from abdominal adhesions after non-surgical treatment, it’s best to consult a laparoscopic specialist. Please contact our surgery in Huntington Station, Long Island for a consultation on the best adhesions treatment options for you.