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:
Arrange for a ride home from the hospital. Also, arrange for someone to help you at home.
Eat a light meal the night before the surgery. Do not eat or drink anything after midnight.
General anesthesia—blocks pain and keeps you asleep through the surgery; given through an IV in your hand or arm
Description of the Procedure
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.
How Long Will It Take?
How Much Will It Hurt?
You will have soreness for a few days during recovery. If you needed open surgery, you will have more pain. The doctor will give you pain medicine.
Average Hospital Stay
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.
When you return home after the surgery, do the following to help ensure a smooth recovery:
Be sure to follow your doctor’s
Keep the incision area clean and dry.
Take pain medicines as directed by your doctor.
Avoid heavy lifting.
Do not drink carbonated beverages for two days.
Call Your Doctor
After you leave the hospital, contact your doctor if any of the following occurs:
Signs of infection, including fever and chills
Redness, swelling, increasing pain, excessive bleeding, or discharge from the incision site
Pain that you cannot control with the medicines you have been given
Nausea and/or vomiting that you cannot control with the medicines you were given after surgery, or which persist for more than two days after discharge from the hospital
Diarrhea, constipation, bloody stool, or black stool
Kumar V, Abbas AK, Fausto N.
Robbins and Cotran Pathologic Basis of Disease. 7th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2005.
Lamvu G, Tu F, As-Sanie S, et al. The role of laparoscopy in the diagnosis and treatment of conditions associated with chronic pelvic pain.
Obstet Gynecol Clin N Am. 2004;31:619-630.
A patient’s guide to adhesions and related pain or…you are not alone. International Adhesions Society website. Available at:
http://www.adhesions.org/ptguide_print.htm. Published 1998. Accessed September 16, 2005.
Saravelos HG, Li TC, Cooke ID. An analysis of the outcome of microsurgical and laparoscopic adhesiolysis for chronic pelvic pain.
Hum Reprod. 1995;10:2895-2901.
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care
provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a
substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER
IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the
advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to
starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a