Abdominal adhesions are essentially scar tissues that occur in the region between the abdomen and bowels in the human body. The abdomen comprises a group of organs in the gastrointestinal tract, namely the stomach, small intestine, large intestine and the anus.
In a normal healthy individual, the intestinal tissue has a smooth surface that enables it to move over and glide within the abdominal cavity. However, in the case of abdominal adhesions, the tissues become sticky and bind strongly with one another. This, in turn, obstructs the movement of food and stool within the tubular structures of the intestines and through the bowels.
Surgery in the abdomen is the most common cause of abdominal adhesions. It can also develop in a person due to appendicitis, radiation therapy following a diagnosis of cancer and gynecological infections. Also Read: Appendicitis: Causes, Symptoms And Treatment
If left untreated, abdominal adhesions can give rise to grave consequences such as persistent reflux of ingested food i.e. Gastro-Esophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), infertility and pelvic inflammatory disease. Hence, it is advised to seek professional medical help once symptoms of pain occur, in order to prevent any serious complications and ensure the complete recovery of the affected person.
- Severe discomfort in the abdomen
- Nausea and vomiting
- Flatulence and difficulty in passing gas
- Pain and cramping in the stomach
- Constipation Also Read: Constipation: Signs, Symptoms And Treatment
Diagnosis And Treatment:
The doctor specializing in issues of the digestive system, called the gastroenterologist, will initially examine the external physical state of the patient and also consider the complete medical history of them and their family.
To detect the presence of abdominal adhesions, imaging studies are not useful. This is because X-rays and ultrasound scans do not provide an in-depth picture of torn and scarred tissue in the abdominal cavity.
Hence, the ideal technique utilised in this regard is a CT (Computed Tomography) scan. The healthcare professional may also create a small incision to inspect the tubular structures of the intestines internally.
Once the diagnosis of abdominal adhesions is confirmed, the medical expert will recommend appropriate treatment strategies to the patient.
In case the obstructions in the intestines are only minor, then the affected individual is advised to strictly follow a low residue diet. This implies meals containing low amounts of fibers, with ample quantities of dairy products. Hence, the ingested food can easily be broken down into simpler substances by the digestive system.
In instances of severe scarring and tenacious adhesions in the abdomen, the doctor will perform surgery, to completely remove the obstructions in the intestinal tract. This will facilitate smooth digestion and bowel movement in the patient and guarantee total abdominal tissue healing.