Symptoms and Signs of Adhesions, General and After Surgery

Doctor's Notes on Adhesions, General and After Surgery

Adhesions are areas of scar tissue that typically form following a surgical procedure that bind two areas of tissue or organs together. Adhesions can also form due to the body's response to trauma or infection. Adhesions can occur anywhere in the body and are caused by the body's normal repair mechanisms. Examples of areas where adhesions are common are in the abdomen, in the pelvis, and around the heart.

Signs and symptoms of adhesions depend on their location. Adhesions may not cause any symptoms. Symptoms may occur when the adhesions interfere with normal body function. Some symptoms that can occur due to adhesions include chest pain with deep breathing, painful sexual intercourse in women, intestinal obstruction with abdominal pain, vomiting, and abdominal swelling; and pain during exercise.

Medical Author:
Medically Reviewed on 4/5/2019


Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.