What are the symptoms of Abdominal Adhesions?

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
Dec 14, 2012

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Quick Bites

  • Abdominal adhesions are the fibrous bands that form between tissues and organs.
  • Mostly abdominal adhesions go unnoticed as it does not cause any symptoms.
  • Intermittent bouts of cramping and abdominal pain are the common signs.
  • Swelling of the abdomen, known as ‘abdominal distension’, is also common.

Abdominal adhesions are the fibrous bands that form between tissues and organs, often as a result of injury during surgery. In most patients, adhesions do not immediately cause health problems. In some cases, the fibrous bands of scar tissue block the intestines either completely or partially. The blockage is referred to as ‘bowel obstruction’ and it maybe life threatening in a few cases.


abdominal adhesions symptoms



Mostly abdominal adhesions go unnoticed as it does not cause any symptoms. The most common symptom is chronic abdominal or pelvic pain. Adhesions that partially block the intestine from time to time can cause intermittent bouts of cramping and abdominal pain.
A medical site stated that the more significant intestinal obstructions can cause the following symptoms:

  • severe abdominal pain or cramping,
  • nausea and vomiting,
  • bloating,
  • loud bowel sounds,
  • swelling of the abdomen also known as ‘abdominal distension’,
  • inability to pass gas along with infrequent or absent bowel movements,
  • signs of dehydration including dry skin, dry mouth and tongue, severe thirst, infrequent urination, fast heart rate and low blood pressure.

If the bowel becomes strangulated, then the patient typically develops severe abdominal pain, which can be either recurring or constant. The abdomen becomes distended and tender, when touched even lightly.


Diagnosis and Treatment

The American based National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse (NDDIC) states that no tests are available to diagnose adhesions, and also that the adhesions cannot be seen through imaging techniques, such as x-rays or ultrasound. They also note that currently, surgery is the only way to break adhesions that cause pain, intestinal obstruction, or fertility problems.

It is important to visit a health care professional, if you experience severe abdominal pain, especially if you also have a fever, nausea and vomiting, or infrequent bowel movements.


(Image source:Gettyimages)

Read more articles on Abdominal Adhesions.


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