Signs & Symptoms of Abdominal Adhesions

Written by caryn anderson | 13/05/2017

Abdominal adhesions are irregular attachments between organs within your abdominal cavity. They vary in consistency and density and are often caused by diseases (like endometriosis) or surgery. Since your internal organs cannot move freely, patients suffer chronic abdominal discomfort and pain.

Are There Always Symptoms?

Some patients may not even be aware that they have abdominal adhesions. Depending on the severity and location of the adhesions, you may be asymptomatic (have no symptoms).

Common Symptoms

More commonly, symptoms include chronic pain, intermittent abdominal cramping, diarrhoea, constipation, obstruction and bloating.

Symptoms of Intestinal Obstruction

If the adhesions form an intestinal obstruction, additional symptoms emerge like nausea, vomiting, severe pain, abdominal distension, decreased ability to pass gas, decreased frequency of bowel movements and dehydration.

Symptoms of Bowel Strangulation

If adhesions create bowel strangulation, abdominal pain and swelling become severe and are accompanied by other symptoms like rapid heart beat, low blood pressure and fever.

Diagnosis/Treatment of Abdominal Adhesions

CT (computerised tomography) scans, ultrasounds and X-rays are helpful in diagnosing abdominal adhesions. These adhesions are permanent unless you undergo adhesion lysis, a surgical procedure that removes as much of the adhesion tissue as is feasible.

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