How to Treat Abdominal Adhesion

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Peritoneum with and without adhesions
Peritoneum with and without adhesions (Image: www.itmonline.org)

Abdominal adhesions can be a painful condition and cause quality of life issues for people affected by them. Adhesions are webs of scar tissue that usually result from surgery or other abdominal trauma. They are commonly worse following surgical procedures which require a fully open incision, as opposed to the less invasive laparoscopy, which involves a few small incisions. Adhesions are also worsened by prolonged surgery and failure to keep the exposed internal organs moist enough during the operation. Many times, patients don’t realize that their pain is being caused by adhesions. If you are aware of the problem, there are steps you can take to minimize the pain and symptoms.

Discuss your symptoms with your doctor. The first step in treating adhesions is to determine if they are the most likely cause of your pain. Laparoscopic surgery may be recommended to see how extensive the adhesions are.

Visit a Maya Abdominal Massage therapist. Maya Abdominal Massage is a gentle massage technique that helps to break up adhesions and guide organs into their proper positions. Scar tissue can trap lymph fluid below the incision line. Maya Massage can help to get this fluid flowing again, improving your overall health and wellness.

Seek alternative treatments for pain, such as acupressure and acupuncture. Research has shown that these methods can be effective in providing pain relief.

Consider requesting laparoscopic surgery about a week after having your surgical procedure. In the days following surgery, adhesions which are just forming are soft and lack a blood supply. They are easier to break up through laparoscopy during this time.

Gently massage your scar with lotion or oil in the weeks following any surgical procedure. Adhesions can be minimized by keeping the blood and lymph fluid flowing in the area and by gently breaking them up as they are beginning to form.

Ask your physician about using an adhesion barrier, such as Seprafilm, during your surgical procedure. Such products, which are now widely used, contain an enzyme called hyaluronidase. This substance helps to break down connective tissue, thus discouraging the formation of adhesions. Anti-adhesion products have been shown to reduce adhesion formation by up to 50 percent.

Plan ahead. The best defense is a good offense. If you’re prepared for the likelihood of adhesions forming during a surgical procedure, you can take measures to help prevent them.

Tips & Warnings

  • Seek out support and advice from other adhesion sufferers at resources such as email lists and pain forums.
  • Don’t delay getting help if you experience unexplained pain. Early treatment is the most effective.

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