Causes Of Abdominal Adhesions: Symptoms And Treatment Options

Abdominal adhesions are the formation of scar tissue between the small and large intestines, and the inner lining of the abdominal wall or with other organs in the abdomen – uterus, fallopian tubes, ovaries, urinary bladder, gall bladder and liver.

Adhesions form when there’s inflammation on the surface of the abdominal organs or the peritoneal lining; the formation of scar tissue (adhesion) is a normal part of healing when inflammation occurs.

The cause may be inflammation of an organ, a prior surgery in which either the organs or the peritoneal lining has been cut, peritonitis, or radiotherapy treatment of the abdomen.

Other important causes include – foreign objects left inside the abdomen at the time of surgery, gynecological diseases and disorders, bleeding into the peritoneal cavity.

Symptoms Of Abdominal Adhesions

  • Under normal conditions, the bowels can freely move around within the abdominal cavity, however, when adhesions form, the intestines cannot move around freely anymore because they get tethered to each other, the abdominal wall or to other abdominal organs. At the sites where there are adhesions, the intestine twist and an obstruction can develop.
    This manifests as abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting and irregular bowel movement.
  • Another important consequence of abdominal adhesions is infertility in women. The adhesions involve the Fallopian tubes causing kinking and obstruction, thereby preventing the eggs that are released from the ovary from reaching the uterus.

Treatment Options For Abdominal Adhesions

Natural treatment by integrating Chinese medicine and Western medicine has been adopted by several surgical departments, to manage abdominal adhesions effectively. Home remedies and natural therapies promote purgation, enhance the circulation of ‘chi’, and assure that the hollow viscera remain unimpeded.

However, it is very vital for you to understand that the patient may first be treated with herbs to see if it is successful in allaying the blockage and the associated symptoms, while surgery is used as a back-up. Hence, you need to discuss with your doctor and decide what would be optimal for you.

Health care experts and naturopathy practitioners swear by these herbs and home remedies – rhubarb, magnolia, persica, red peony and raphanus seed. In severe cases, frankincense, myrrh, pinellia and raw hematite has been recommended.

  • A host of clinical trials and cases studies reveal that these herbs and remedies have prevented the requirement for surgery in most cases. Patients having full obstruction requiring hospitalization and severe peritonitis need immediate surgical aid.
  • Also, one who has partial intestinal obstruction could assuage his symptoms with a liquid diet, which can be easily broken-down into smaller particles by the digestive system.
  • Homeopathy drugs proffer excellent relief to patients having intestinal obstruction due to adhesions. The most widely used drugs include – Aloe, Plumbum Metallicum, Opium, Lycopodium Clavatum, and Raphanus. All these aid in normal bowel movement, banishes constipation, even in the most obstinate cases, manages excessive flatulence, eases tummy pain, allays heartburn, nausea and vomiting and promises a smooth working of the GI tract. You need to confer with your homeopath to ascertain what drug works best for you and start treatment promptly.
  • Surgery is the only way to treat abdominal adhesions which cause excruciating pain, a severe form of intestinal obstruction, and infertility. On the other hand, do bear in mind that more surgeries does carry the risk of additional abdominal adhesions. You need to talk with your health care provider about the best way to treat your problem.
  • Abdominal adhesions are rather hard to prevent; nonetheless, certain surgical techniques help diminish the chances of developing abdominal adhesions.
  • Laparoscopic surgery reduces the potential for adhesions given that, many small incisions are made as opposed to one large incision. In case laparoscopic surgery is not feasible and one big incision is necessary, after the surgery a special fi­lm-like material is inserted in-between the abdominal organs or between the organs and the abdominal incision.