Abdominal Adhesions Symptoms and Treatment (cont.)

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What are the symptoms of abdominal adhesions?

Although abdominal pain and other symptoms of intestinal obstruction are by far the most common effect of adhesions, another important consequence is infertility in women. The infertility is believed to be caused by adhesions involving the Fallopian tubes that results in kinking and obstruction, thereby preventing the eggs that are released from the ovary from reaching the uterus.

Symptoms caused by adhesions may vary from specific (typical) to non-specific. When the symptoms are typical, the diagnosis is easy since adhesions are the most common cause of intestinal obstruction.

The typical symptoms of obstruction are abdominal discomfort located around the belly button (umbilicus) that is cramp-like, followed by distention of the abdomen. Symptoms often are worsened by eating. There may be reduction in the amount of flatus (gas) or stool that is passed and, with prolonged obstruction, nausea and vomiting may occur. When the obstruction is incomplete or intermittent, symptoms may be less severe with abdominal pain or cramping occurring only after meals. Although uncommon, obstruction also may manifest primarily as nausea with or without vomiting, especially when the obstruction occurs in the proximal small intestine near the stomach. It is important to remember, however, that most adhesions do not cause symptoms.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 6/14/2016

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