Symptoms and Signs of Adhesions

Medical Author:
Medically Reviewed on 11/12/2021

Doctor's Notes on Adhesions

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, or symptoms may occur when the adhesions interfere with normal body function. Some symptoms include:

What Is the Treatment for Adhesions?

It is not always possible to treat adhesions, as the surgery to remove adhesions may produce further adhesions. However, certain procedures can remove adhesions that are causing pain or problems with organ function. Adhesiolysis is a surgical procedure to remove adhesions that can sometimes be performed using small injections and instruments with cameras (laparoscopic surgery).

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