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Laparoscopic Adhesiolysis

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Reasons for undertaking the procedure

Adhesions are scar tissue that forms within the body, usually within the abdomen that develop naturally after surgery as part of the healing process.  They can also develop after infection or any other inflammatory process such as endometriosis, diverticulitis or appendicitis. Adhesions can cause pain, obstruction of the bowel and in some women infertility.  Cutting or dividing the adhesions may stop or reduce these problems.


Risk factors for complications developing

  • Pre-existing heart or lung conditions
  • Obesity
  • Major abdominal surgery in the past
  • Smoking
  • Diabetes
  • Steroids

Surgery is performed under general anesthesia.  The surgeon will make several small incisions in the wall of your abdomen as far as possible from any existing abdominal wound.  He or she will then use a fiberoptic telescope to see inside.  If there are any adhesions, your surgeon will cut them.  Doing so will free those organs ie small bowel and ovaries that were caught up in the adhesions.  If open abdominal surgery (laparotomy) is needed, a larger incision will be made in the abdomen to allow the surgeon direct access.  Surgery usually takes 1-3 hours

You may experience shoulder tip pain and/or soreness/minor pain for a couple of days during your recovery. If laparotomy has been performed, you will have more pain and your surgeon/anaesthetist will prescribe you more pain kiillers; discharge wuill be delayed for a few days.

If all goes well, even when it takes three or more hours, recovery is spectacular.  Diet can be resumed within hours and the patient can be discharged within 16hrs of returning to the ward.  Even in difficult patients!

Possible Complications

  • Injury to either of the following can occur:
    • bowel
    • bladder
    • blood vessels
    • ureters (tubes that carry urine from the kidney to the bladder)
  • More adhesions!

You will be admitted overnight. Open laparotomy will usually require  two or more days in hospital.*

Call Your Doctor If Any of the Following Occurs

  • Signs of infection, including fever and chills
  • Redness, swelling, increasing pain, excessive bleeding or discharge from the incision site
  • Cough, shortness of breath, chest pain, or severe nausea or vomiting

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