Adhesions: Cause, Consequence and Collateral Damage

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David M. Wiseman, PhD, MRPharmS.
Dear Dr. Wiseman,

I have been living with adhesions for over twenty years since the age of 21. After five years of period pains I was diagnosed with endometriosis and had five laparoscopic surgeries to remove it. I had relief for some while and then the pain came back. I also had adhesions, which they tried to remove, but they just came back. I don’t know what is worse – the endo or the adhesions.

At 30 I had a hysterectomy which they said would cure my endometriosis and pelvic pain. The pain only got worse and I started to have bouts of painful constipation and diarrhea which I was told was IBS. My belly was and is often bloated with a painful “pulling” sensation and severe gas.

Eight years ago my first bowel obstruction was caused by my intestine wrapping around my ovary. They tried to clean this up with surgery but I had five more obstructions and adhesions surgeries.

For about five years I have had lower back pain. Burning pain started 6 months ago when my bladder is full and when I pee, is about 14 times a day and 5 times at night. Being intimate with my husband is out of the question. My pain daily is an 8-10 and I have no quality of life. Of course the ER thinks you are a drug seeker when you come in continually for pain, but I go when I can’t tolerate anymore. I have tried hypnosis, massage therapy and acupuncture. I lost my job because I was either always taking days off because I was so tired from not sleeping, or in the bathroom. My health insurance has run out. I am taking Vicodin and Ambien.

I need to find someone who will listen to me. PLEASE, Jane

Patient Suffering

Although Jane’s email is a composite, it typifies the many we receive from patients who are at the end of their rope, having experienced some or all of these conditions: painful periods, endometriosis, generalized pelvic pain with adhesions, hysterectomy, IBS, painful bowel movements, bowel obstruction, bladder pain, lower back (sacroiliac joint) pain, painful intercourse, possibly vulvodynia and interstitial cystitis.

Many patients have endured years of suffering with confusing diagnoses. They come to us either because they are finally told they have adhesions, or after doing their own research, suspect that adhesions may be the cause of their problems.

What are Adhesions?

Adhesions are made up of scar tissue. Think of a scar as a patch repairing a punctured bike tire. The patch, or scar certainly does the job, but the tire is never the same again. Imagine being so careless with the glue that the tire is now stuck to the bike frame. This is an adhesion, an internal scar that connects organs or tissues that should not normally be connected.

Most internal organs are covered with a “non-stick” coating, but when this is damaged, organs close to one another will stick and knit together by means of reparative scar tissue.

MRI, CT or ultrasound detect adhesions only in limited circumstances.

The only way to see adhesions is by direct surgical observation. There is no blood test for adhesions.

What Causes Adhesions?

Almost any kind of trauma can induce adhesions, the most common of which is surgery. Organs can be damaged by being handled by a surgeon or surgical instruments, or by drying out in the air of an operating room or the gases used in laparoscopy. Non-surgical injuries including knife or gunshot wounds can also lead to adhesions. Endometriosis, infection (e.g. from a burst appendix), high doses of radiation, peritoneal chemotherapy or surgical sponges left behind can also cause the kind of damage leading to adhesions. Too many, too large and too tightly placed sutures cause adhesions as do many meshes used for hernia repair or organ prolapse (e.g. transvaginal or pelvic meshes).

What Problems do Adhesions Cause?

Imagine one end of your garden hose sticking to the other and you can easily see why adhesions around the intestine can cause it to twist or kink and obstruct. Infertility will result when the same thing happens to the fallopian tubes, the channels through which eggs travel from the ovary to the uterus. Sometimes they can cover the end of the fallopian tubes and prevent eggs from entering in the first place.

Adhesions make operating more dangerous and lengthy, increasing the chances of bleeding and damage to tissues. Adhesions from a prior cesarean section, will cost the newborn baby precious seconds in an emergency c-section.

Adhesions and Adhesions Related Disorder (ARD) and CAPPS

Adhesions patients with severe, long-standing disease develop what we call Adhesions Related Disorder (ARD): chronic abdominal or pelvic pain, recurrent bowel obstruction and sometimes malnutrition. With many doctors unable to provide a diagnosis, or unwilling to tackle adhesions, psychosocial issues abound from unemployment, poor insurance coverage, lack of disability benefits and alienation by friends and family who only see a malingering, drug seeker. ARD patients with bladder, pelvic, bowel, genital or sacroiliac joint pain become practically indistinguishable from those with similar constellations of symptoms arising from initial diagnoses of IC, IBS, endometriosis, etc. We call this CAPPS: Complex Abdomino-Pelvic and Pain Syndrome.

How Common are Adhesions?

Over 90% of patients having any kind of surgery may form adhesions and problems, many occur only decades later. Who develops adhesion-related problems and why is not fully understood.

The over 400,000 annual adhesion-related hospitalizations in the USA rival those for heart, hip and appendix operations with annual direct costs to the health system over $5 billion. Fully 35% of women having open gynecologic surgery will be readmitted 1.9 times in 10 years for secondary operations due to adhesions, or complicated by adhesions (Ellis et al., 1999; Lower et al., 2000). There are similar risks in laparoscopy (Lower et al., 2004) and in men also, but for a variety of reasons the problems appear to impact women more devastatingly from an economic and social perspective.

Over 2000 people die every year from intestinal obstruction due to adhesions.

Do Adhesions Cause Pain?

While patients suffering with adhesions are quite clear about whether they cause pain, within the medical community there is great debate. Much of the debate stems from a flawed study and the recognition that surgical removal (adhesiolysis) of the adhesions doesn’t always work. The lack of effective or complete pain relief after adhesion removal has led some to suggest that adhesions do not cause pain. For a full discussion about the problems with adhesion research click here. Additional considerations confusing the relationship between pain and adhesions include:

  • Adhesions can form again after surgery, so pain may return.
  • Adhesion removal may not correct scarring below the surface of affected organs or tissues. Scarring can entrap and tether nerves, preventing them sliding around in tissue as they need to during normal movement. When nerves are stretched because they are tethered, pain often results.
  • Not all adhesions cause pain. Patients may have pain, and they may also have adhesions. One may not be the cause of the other, but may be the product of the same cause.
  • Adhesions pain, may be “referred” – sometimes the pain is felt in other locations and not where the adhesions are.
  • Chronic pain is different from acute pain. The mechanisms of chronic pain are not well understood but once pain has persisted, the system goes on auto-pilot and the biochemical and nerve changes induced by long-term pain become very difficult to undo with surgery. Furthermore, because of the interconnections between the nerves in the pelvic area, where many adhesions develop, pain or disturbances in function in one organ may “spread” to other organs.
  • Bowel pain, a common symptom of adhesions patients is difficult to diagnose. In some cases, it is related to constipation from chronic opioid use. In other cases, it can be related to an adhesion caused bowel obstruction. (Bowel obstruction caused by adhesions or anything else, is an emergency often treated with surgery. If you have a history of obstruction you should identify a general surgeon to work with and plan as much as possible for these sorts of events).
  • Long term use of opioids increases the sensitivity to pain which makes slight pain feel more painful and requires more medication to alleviate. It’s a vicious cycle that is very difficult to break.

What to do about Adhesions?

Prevention is the best treatment. If the only reason for surgery is pain, whether it is adhesiolysis (cutting of adhesions), hysterectomy or placement of an electrical neurostimulator (e.g. INTERSTIM®), be sure to exhaust all non-invasive options first and be aware that there are problems with each option.

  • Adhesiolysis (surgery) has helped some patients but there is the risk of no effect or recurrence.
  • Hysterectomy, in addition to incurring some long term health risks is likely to exacerbate the problems. Although it has helped some patients with pelvic pain, evidence concerning its efficacy, is minimal (Andrews et al. 2012). See here, here and here to learn more about the long-term consequences of hysterectomy.
  • Neurostimulators carry their own number of risks and may preclude you from using non-invasive treatments like therapeutic ultrasound.

There are no easy answers and there is no magic wand. We advocate a multidisciplinary approach. Start with a gynecologist, urologist or urogynecologist that specializes in pelvic pain and who works closely with a general surgeon and a physical therapist specializing in pelvic pain/pelvic floor dysfunction and visceral manipulation (e.g. the Barral method). The team should also include a pain management doctor, psychologist, gastroenterologist, and a dietician/nutritionist. Pain or other difficulty with intimacy is common – do not be ashamed of talking about this, preferably with someone who specializes in sexual medicine.

Many patients have been able to achieve some relief and avoid surgery with pelvic floor physical therapy and/or visceral manipulation, careful control of diet, well placed and timed nerve blocks (e.g. pudendal nerve) and judicious use of opioids. We have found that a wearable therapeutic ultrasound device has brought relief to patients suffering with adhesions and other painful pelvic, bladder and genital symptoms (Wiseman and Petree, 2012).

If Surgery is the Only Option

If you must resort to surgery, insist that the surgeon uses powderless gloves and humidifies and warms the laparoscopy gases using a device called INSUFLOW®. Insist that an adhesion barrier be used where possible. Think of an adhesion barrier is a degradable type of “internal Band-Aid” that is placed over organs at risk of forming adhesions. Once the tissue has healed, the barrier dissolves because it is no longer needed. Adhesion barriers are not 100% effective and cannot be used in all situations. There are three approved in the USA – INTERCEED® Absorbable Adhesion Barrier, Seprafilm® Adhesion Barrier, and ADEPT® Adhesion Reduction Solution, the last of which appears to have limited utility. Other materials are used “off-label” which you can read about here.

Whether your adhesions are the cause of the pain, the consequence of pain or just happen to be there, you are still in pain and you are suffering. Educate yourself and those close to you about adhesions. The International Adhesions Society and the International Society for Complex Abdomino-Pelvic & Pain Society (ISCAPPS) provide the most up-to-date information on these conditions. We’ve also found these books to be useful:

Stay active as much as possible. Walk, garden, and exercise lightly. Stop smoking. Watch old funny movies. As difficult as it may be, it is important that you maintain a circle of family and friends, through a religious community or other group.

Above all, remember you are not alone and this is not in your head.

The information provided here is not intended nor is implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. 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 medical condition.

References

Andrews J et al: Noncyclic Chronic Pelvic Pain Therapies for Women: Comparative Effectiveness. AHRQ Comparative Effectiveness Reviews 41. 2012 Jan; 11(12):EHC088-EF. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22439157

Ellis H et al. Adhesion-related hospital readmissions after abdominal and pelvic surgery: a retrospective cohort study Lancet 1999; 353:1476. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10232313

Lower AM et al. The impact of adhesions on hospital readmissions over ten years after 8849 open gynaecological operations: an assessment from the Surgical and Clinical Adhesions Research Study. Br J Ob Gyn. 2000; 107:855. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10901556

Lower AM et al. Adhesion-related readmissions following gynaecological laparoscopy or laparotomy in Scotland: an epidemiological study of 24 046 patients. Hum Reprod. 2004; 19:1877 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15178659

Wiseman, D. M. Disorders of adhesions or adhesion-related disorder: monolithic entities or part of something bigger–CAPPS? Semin Reprod Med. 2008; 26:356. http://adhesions.org/Wiseman2008SeminreprodMed26p356CAPPS.pdf

Wiseman, DM and Petree, T. Reduction of chronic abdominal and pelvic pain, urological and GI symptoms using a wearable device delivering low frequency ultrasound. International Pelvic Pain Society; Chicago, IL. 2012. http://www.kevmed.com/resources/Wiseman2012-IPPSMeetingChicagoPainShieldCPP-Thumb.png

 

This post was published previously July 2013. 

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44 Comments

  1. I just wanted to thank you for your input on the subject. I am quite tired of the same one size fits all, copy and paste answers that I see elsewhere. At least I learned something new that may help me in the future.

    I have to wonder if this poor woman would have been better off if she had been offered occasional pain medication for use during her period instead of being operated on. I wonder the same thing about my daughter who had her first laparoscopic surgery for endometriosis 2 years ago. That was the only option we were given to help with the pain. We got third and fourth opinions. No one was interested in treating the symptoms, even for 4-5 days a month. I’m sure all of the hyperbole surrounding pain medication helped contribute to their refusal to do so.

  2. Like many of you on this blog, my life has been one of constant suffering due to significant recurring adhesions and related surgeries. I have now had 8 abdominal surgeries in the last 10 years- some which required a complete open center line cut, others that were laparoscopic. In each case more adhesions formed, bowel blockages recurred, I’ve had 6 and 8 week hospitalizations, 4 months of TPN at one point and more. BUT— I found hope!! I found CLEAR PASSAGE THERAPIES in Gainesville, FL, which is a clinic specializing in the non-invasive treatment of adhesions (as well as female infertility, endometriosis, obstructions and more). The treatment utilizes the WURN TECHNIQUE, which is a special treatment utilizing visceral manipulation, myofascial release, prolonged holds and a gamut of manual therapy all to soften the adhesion, stretch the troublesome adhesion bands and eventually break the cross links where adhesions attach to healthy tissues. Since going to Clear Passage, I have managed to avoid further surgery for almost two years and I’ve not needed the ER for over a year and a half. It works!! I should know, I’ve been through it all. Please!! If you’re suffering from abdominal pain and adhesions, you owe it to yourself to visit clearpassage.com and see if they can help you the way they helped me. I have a whole new life to look forward to!!!!

      1. Your comment came up in google as I searched for this exact thing!
        I had one of my ovaries removed through a c-section type scar in my abdomen, it was a rough ride as I developed a serious infection afterwards which survived two courses of antibiotics until I had to be rehospitalised for IV antibiotics.
        Five months down the line I cant feel my legs and have tingling in my hands.
        Have a neurology appointment in the post which can be up to five months away, doctor seems to think there can be no link to my numbness and tingling and my surgery but I have never had anything wrong with me before the surgery.

        Did your numbness and tingling go? Did you find out anything?

  3. Hello Ladies,

    I plead the blood of Jesus Christ over all of you.

    I was feeling down because some similar issues have given my husband and I infertility problems. As I read your stories I am humbled.
    I have lifted you all up, soul first and body.
    Earlier today at church I was lead to read about the woman with the issue of blood who reached out to touch the hem of the garment of Christ. Jesus told her that her faith healed her.
    If it matters to you it matters to God.
    By the striped that Christ bore on his body for the sins of the world you are healed. Amen, I love you all.

  4. I had severe trauma to my upper abdomen 6 years ago and have been virtually bed ridden ever since in the most horrific pain of my life.
    Finally in Jan. 2016 a female doctor diagnosed me with CAWP. Chronic Abdomenal Wal Pain and told me to get laparoscopy for possible adhesions. I have seen many doctors in the last 6 months, NONE of whom accept I may have adhesions. After much research I am convinced this is my problem,
    I have zero quality of life, nothing to look forward to each day but bed rest and pain levels 8 – 10. A bowel movement leaves me screaming in agony to the point I have severely restricted what I eat, hospitalizations have just been an utter waste of time. I am horrified by the lack of care and attention the doctors give to their patients. If I don’t get help soon, I will be an an utter basket case!
    Any movement is agony!!!

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    1. I’ve been dealing with near crippling abdominal adhesions in the front LLQ abdominal area for nearly 2 years now. My surgeon claims that adhesions will only return if she operates to try and clean them up.

      While dealing with this pain, I was directed to a Chronic Pain Clinic. Consequently, I am a Pot Head.

      Now, that doesn’t mean the pain goes away when I use it. It really just helps with how I deal with the pain – not that it’s completely gone.

  5. Dear Dr Wiseman,
    I have a stoma but due to the numerous operations I have adhesions which is causing my colon to twist and block. I have a lump he size of a baby’s head on the right side of my abdomen. My sp surgeon was reluctant to operate but did and he could not get in to investigate the lump. I suggested removal of colon and have an ileostomy but even that is risky as not only did a previous surgeon manage to nick the small intestine years ago, the adhesions are a serious problem. I keep having to be rushed to hospital with excruciating pain and vomiting due to these obstructions. Is there really nothing the medical profession can do to prevent or cure adhesions?

  6. My daughter had fibroids removed and now the gynecologist says she has severe constipation because of scar tissue. He says she has polyps and wants them removed. The surgery to remove fibroids was not done robotic because the machine was broken so he did it by hand and it took five hours….How does she get rid of her severe constipation, bloating and pain on her right side? Does she have to go to the hospital when uncomfortable? Please advise

  7. I’ve been having surgery for endometriosis since I was 16 but it all stopped 6 years ago after a total hysterectomy…..or so I thought.
    I’ve enjoyed 6 years almost pain free until this year when the adhesions caused an abdominal tear, a bowel obstruction and I had to have a large midline hernia repair.
    Within weeks the pain has returned and my consultant has washed his hands of me and rightly so (more adhesions=more surgery=more adhesions). Pain clinic is a bit of a bust because no matter what you’re given it won’t put the fire out and to be honest it works for a while and then you’re back to square 1 being dosed up with even more meds.
    I’m now faced with giving up my career which is an unbelievably difficult decision but one I have to make before my company does. I’m left with trying to claim disability benefits but adhesions aren’t recognised as a disability because most people are unaffected by them. Can I pay for my house? Will we lose everything? My head wants to pop.
    I’ve lost my mobility and I can’t seem to find anyone to recommend the correct assistance. Will crutches help? Do I buy a scooter? I’m at my wits end.
    Good luck to all of my fellow sufferers. I hope you find a source of relief soon x

    1. Emma, hug and prayers to you. My heart goes out to you. I have been suffering with left lung and bowel endo for over 30+ years. Two days before Christmas iI was kneed in my abdominal area on my left side and everything was pushed up and I have been in severe pain since. I’m trying to find a Catamenial Endometriosis Specialist. I had a chest tube done in my left lung after my lung collapse 8 times. I pray you find a way to scope. I will keep you in my prayers.

      1. Hi Susan
        Thanks for your kind words. I’m sorry to read about the bad time you’re having. I hope you find an effective treatment to ease your symptoms soon x

    2. God Bless You…..I Have been Bed bound for 21/2 to almost 3 years now,I have lost My Sunshine ,spirit , soul,friends, loved ones and now My fiance . I have no one who wants to be around me, because they say i am am a negative person .And Overeacting to This Real Pain, when if fact. if this pain was gone, I am a very happy Person.Between the Endo, laprocopic surgery-that found stage 4 Endo and severe pelvic adhesions, fibriods,cyst, adenomosis-sp? meaning when it grows between muscle and lining of uterus I can’t remember=Basically every problem a femael can have and another thing too, can’t think of name.Then A Hystectomy to remove a Polyp (which has grown back less than a Year ) then a hysterectomy, which after 3 months 2 inscional hernias formed, So Last week I had the surgery for that. I am beyond at the end of My rope..The Surgery healing time is 3 weeks,( so they say), he gave me pain medicine for only 5 of those 21.days. I Do Not even Like pain med, But the pain is Never relieved by anything anyway. I would never wish this on anyone.I really am over waking up to have another day like this. The Severe Adhesions continue to get worse. Every surgery (6) has Made My Pelvic adhesions worse. I don’t understand Why Woman have to Go through this in this time and age. What, Not enough profit into it for the pharmacutical -sp? to help Us. As well as Most Drs. I cannot believe How Ruined My life is. And No One Unederstandsds.I lie in bed and cry until its time to sleep, then do it again.My ex doesn’t check on me anymore. My Family is over it and What Friends, ones that want to sit here alone with me-I have none.
      it is time for Drs. To step up and Help Us; My thoughts and Prayers are with You…God Speed , Yours, Karen

      1. I have the same problem. Diagnosed and first treated for severe endometriosis and large ovarian cysts at age 40!
        19 years and 5 surgeries later, the adhesions seem to have returned.
        This has caused me great economic hardship and completely derailed my career. I feel extreme social isolation as I am told to change my diet, meditate, etc. Pain, swelling and ridiculously poor digestion and abdominal pain.
        There are so many things I do not do because of this, though I continue to push forward. The worst part is the social isolation. I feel bad so often I just stay in. My family and many of my friends see this as a personality problem or something to that effect. I get very little moral support from anyone.
        The time after a good surgery is about 3-5 years.
        To me it is worth it because of the quality of life issue. However it is very expensive and difficult to find a willing, understanding and capable surgeon as I my economic resources dwindle due to this condition.
        This is a very encouraging article.
        Thank you.

  8. I am 36 and my issues seemed to have started when I had gastric bypass surgery. Since then, I have had approx 12 surgeries for adhesions, hernias, collapsed intestine, etc. I now go to a pain specialist to help with the daily pain in my side that has taken over my life. I hope there is an answer to the daily debilitation of pain that I now have. The doctor keeps saying that its scar tissue and a large adhesion that is causing it and he just keeps prescribing pain pills for it. I tried a TENS unit,wow, it hurt so bad that it brought me to my knees. There has to be something to help before I go crazy!!! HELP!

  9. I started getting pain when i stared my periods at 12 years old. I got diagnosed with Endometriosis at the age of 21 i am now 34, I have had 5 laporoscopic surgeries, I have have been on prostap injections. I am constantly in pain and now i am being sent on a pain management course. I am trying to do everything i can not to have a hysterectomy. I feel so low and down in the dumps i dont know what to do any more.

  10. I am so grateful to be in the midst of those who truly understand this pain. I was diagnosed with severe endometriosis and adenomyosis in 2007. I’ve had two laporoscopic surgeries, one in 2008 and in 20,13 I also had a full hysterectomy. I’m in pain ALL) the time. I just had an endoscopy last Tuesday, next Thursday a colon oscopy….I’ve been talking to my gynecologist about going back for yet another surgery due to being awakened to pain simply from just turning in bed, feels like a band in my side will pop if I move too quickly. Pain meds after plain meds. I am so ready to just know what life is like without a heating pad, pelvic pain, back pain, pain free sex with my husband. Ladies, I pray each of us will have our time to finally experience a great quality of life PAIN FREE, MED FREE AND SURGERY FREE! Love you beautifuls! Stay encouraged, thank God we have each other!

    1. OH, I AM NEW HERE BUT JUST WANTED TO SAY OMG THERE’S ACTUALLY A COMMUNITY SOMEWHERE FOR PEOPLE TO MEET WHO SUFFER LIKE ME??? IT WAS SO NICE TO FEEL UR WARMTH AND SYMPATHY COMING OFF OF UR WORDS. THANK YOU.

  11. Hello to everyone,
    I hear your pain and your stories and me too have been suffering for 12 years.
    had 3 laporascopies hundreds of tests, pills after pills doctor after doctor.
    you feel you are on but never ending rollercaster of PAIN,FEAR,ANGER,TIRED,
    AND MOST OF WHY ME AND WHEN IS HTIS GOING TO END…..Icome close with a solution
    and back to step one but I do not give up.. AS Gloria Gaynor song;
    ”I WILL SURVIVE”. WE WILL FIND THE ANSWERS.
    THANK U
    ANJI

  12. i had surgery in 2009 for a large…25 lbs ovarian cyst. I had no symptoms other than an extended belly. All was fine. A large sac filled with fluid!! Amazing, after being prepared for ovarian cancer. Now I’m feeling high up on the right side a most uncomfortable feeling. When I stand all is well, but sitting I feel almost like something is moving around inside. I’ve recently had a colonoscopy and endoscopy and all if fine. COULD this be adhesions from abdominal surgery?

  13. Please find a surgeon who can cut not laser endometriosis or adhesions that result from surgeries. I have endometriosis and have had to undergo an extensive surgery to remove the scar tissue that was on my leg nerve, ureter which affected my bladder and colon. Please find a specialist in the field before having a hysterectomy. A kidney and ovary removal were recommended to me before i had my second child, which I would not have been able to have if I didn’t find the specialist in NYC. I really wish you well.

  14. This sounds very familiar to me. I’ve had 2 bowel blockage surgeries neither seemed to help. Total of 4 strictureplasty and one removal of 20 cm of small bowel.
    I’ve tried lots of stuff.
    Currently I am trying subliminal listening and also researching tones and frequencies.
    The best cd I’ve come across that has helped some. Just started one week ago.

    http://www.soundstrue.com/store/bruce-lipton-s-music-for-a-shift-in-consciousness-2190.html

    Buy the download of 9 songs it is under $10.00. I listen to it very low with headphones while watching or doing other things. Not my type of music.
    Blessings

  15. I am sorry for those of you suffering with chronic pelvic pain. I was one of the 98% of women who have unnecessary hysterectomies after being lied to by my long-time gynecologist. 🙁 Here is my story – http://www.hormonesmatter.com/unnecessary-hysterectomy/.

    I did not have chronic pelvic pain. But I now have occasional pain associated with the changes in bowel function. I do not know if it is from adhesions or the re-positioning of my bowel that happens with hysterectomy. All I know is that it can be very painful!

    It has been 9 years of regret and rapid aging and trying to feel, look, and act normal.

  16. Wow. I am torn when I read this article. On the one hand, I am relieved that there is an explanation for all my pain (everything I read above applies to me). But on the other hand, I am preparing for a salpingo-oophorectomy in the next few months and I am scared to death. Will it be worse? My adhesions are around the bowel and they believe my pain and bowel issues are a result of undetected obstructions. I have a mass on the right ovary and I have 2 larger masses where the left ovary should be (but the ovary is undetected in CT and US because of the scarring/fluid/masses.
    In a few weeks I am meeting with a GYN Oncologist to determine the exact course of action. But my regular GYN has stated that she believes I will need a “team of surgeons” in order to preserve my bowel.
    If not for the masses which I believe need to be removed, I think I’d just deal with the pain and the uncertainty of my day to day life and forego the surgery. Reading this article makes me think that things can get much worse. 🙁

    1. Can you imagine being a 21 year relationship w/your internist, who has watched you rile in pain & DIE 3 times, after 6 years of hydrocodone,(which worked well & an 18 day supply lasted me 30+) all caused by an overzealous Gyne. I am full of ADHESIONS from a blood starved ilium(caused by ADhESION removal surgery)that died w/30+% loss of intestines, 5 months w/an iliostomy, 3 hernias & mesh removal, blockages/TPN & 2 yrs on a wound vac & then I’m told no more opioids….we can control your pain w/tylenol….EXCUSE ME!!!!!! IBS-D needs opioids…aids in the diarrhea & makes my day functional. ADHESIONS aren’t that painful. My surgeon is stumped, gastro NP diagnosed it B4 CT was done!!! All I can say is I might need help w/changing minds of Dr.’s, and steering clear of pain mgmt. as once you sign the papers they own you…Take care my bro & sis in pain….Kelley

  17. This is so heartbreaking. 10 months ago I had an unnecessary hysterectomy that left me in worse pelvic pain than prior to the surgery. In addition I now have severe bladder and bowel issues. I never imagined life would be like this after a surgery in which I was told I would be a “brand new woman”. I have seen 15+ doctors since my surgery and have found no one to help. They all have differing opinions, but I firmly bieve something’s are adhered together in there. They won’t listen or go in and look around. I have tried pelvic floor physical therapy, bladder instills, numerous oral and vaginal medications. I would take the previous pain over what I deal with now post hysterectomy. I want to start a campaign as I do not feel women are educated enough in regards to possible complications. No one ever mentioned scar tissue or adhesions. I just want some quality office back. I feel for all of the women who suffer post surgery and rejoice for those who have miraculous recoveries.

  18. can larry l from australia tell me what things have helped? i am very interested as suffer from multiple abdominal adhesions. Thankyou

  19. I feel so saddened by the many people in the world who are inflicted with Endo & Adhesions. I believe we have found some items on the internet that really have worked for our daughter. If you are interested in hearing about these, please respond by email & I’ll advise.

    1. Hi LARRY I had surgery for Colon cancer in january 2009 and reversal operation in September the same YEAR.For the past six years I have suffered quiet alot from Adhesion pains.I would appreciate any help or advice YOU can give Me. KIND REGARDS PETER JENNINGS

    2. Hi Larry
      Please help. I have adhedsion problem and unable to eat or drink for a year already. The hospital put me on TPN so I can survive. Please let me know what has help your daughter.
      Thanks!

    3. I would like to know what you found for your daughter that helped her. I had a hysterectomy and I continued to have problems afterwards. I then had another surgery due to adhesions and I am still suffering with pain. Please email the information.

    4. Dear Larry. could you kindly let me know what treatment you used for your daughter’s adhesion problems. Many thanks.Janette

    5. Please tell me what you found for your daughter. I dont want to go into my story but have suffered for 25 plus years. It is so sad this is happening!

  20. I am nearly certain I am suffering from adhesions, after an abdo surgery on Jan. 2014. My surgeon is “not so sure”. I am almost certain since I am the one suffering this horrific daily pain. I have no idea what to do next. From all I’ve read including above article, it’s a matter not of if but when you will get more adhesions. I went from being a Happy go lucky person to a very sad person who believes this surgery caused me all this hopelessness. Was it worth it? When i was told by my surgeon a year ago, it absolutely was so that I can go ahead and have a child. I strongly believe this new set of problems, adhesions, will further prevent me from having at least one child.

  21. I can relate to all of this and I feel like Im talking to a brick wall with Dr’s. I don’t seek drugs because everyone thinks that your an addict.Instead I suffer and wait until my pain is through the roof and get to the ER and it takes them 3 diff. IV pain killers to bring it down to a “5”. No one will touch me with a 10 foot poll and I hate being in pain everyday.

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