Abdominal Adhesions (Scar Tissue) (cont.)
In this Article
How are abdominal adhesions and intestinal obstructions diagnosed?
Comment on this
No tests are available to diagnose adhesions, and adhesions cannot be seen through imaging techniques such as X-rays or ultrasound. Most adhesions are found during exploratory surgery. An intestinal obstruction, however, can be seen through abdominal X-rays, barium contrast studies - also called a lower GI series - and computerized tomography.
How are abdominal adhesions and intestinal obstructions treated?
Comment on this
Treatment for abdominal adhesions is usually not necessary, as most do not cause problems. Surgery is currently the only way to break adhesions that cause pain, intestinal obstruction, or fertility problems. More surgery, however, carries the risk of additional adhesions and is avoided when possible.
A complete intestinal obstruction usually requires immediate surgery. A partial obstruction can sometimes be relieved with a liquid or low-residue diet. A low-residue diet is high in dairy products, low in fiber, and more easily broken down into smaller particles by the digestive system.
Can abdominal adhesions be prevented?
Abdominal adhesions are difficult to prevent; however, surgical technique can minimize adhesions.
Laparoscopic surgery avoids opening up the abdomen with a large incision. Instead, the abdomen is inflated with gas while special surgical tools and a video camera are threaded through a few, small abdominal incisions. Inflating the abdomen gives the surgeon room to operate.
If a large abdominal incision is required, a special filmlike material (Seprafilm) can be inserted between organs or between the organs and the abdominal incision at the end of surgery. The filmlike material, which looks similar to wax paper, is absorbed by the body in about a week.
Other steps during surgery to reduce adhesion formation include using starch- and latex-free gloves, handling tissues and organs gently, shortening surgery time, and not allowing tissues to dry out.
SOURCE: National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse (NDDIC). Abdominal Adhesions.
Last Editorial Review: 4/25/2011 3:41:35 PM
Viewers share their comments
Abdominal Adhesions - Causes Question: If known, what was the cause of your abdominal adhesions?
Abdominal Adhesions - Symptoms Question: Describe the symptoms associated with your abdominal adhesions.
Abdominal Adhesions - Infertility Question: Are abdominal adhesions the cause of your infertility? Please share your experience.
Abdominal Adhesions - Diagnosis Question: Disscuss the events that led to a diagnosis of abdominal adhesions.
Abdominal Adhesions - Treatment Question: How were your abdominal adhesions or instestinal obstructions treated? Did you have surgery?
Get the latest health and medical information delivered direct to your inbox FREE!