An adhesion describes the growing together of different organs. It is usually triggered by major injuries and operations. The consequences of adhesions can be both harmless and life-threatening (intestinal obstruction).
What are adhesions?
Adhesions, or in medical terms, adhesions, often occur after major abdominal surgery. An adhesion represents the growing together of different organs. As a result of the wound healing, adhesions can occur which, if they persist for a longer period of time, result in the formation of a layer of connective tissue and become an adhesion. A strand of scars, also known as a bridge, often develops between the overgrown organs. For skin ringworm explanation, please visit percomputer.com.
Within this strand of connective tissue, blood vessels and nerve connections continue to form. Colloquially, it is referred to as a “growth bulge”. The term synechia is also used as a medical term. The peritoneum is usually involved in adhesions. The peritoneum consists of connective tissue that can form adhesions with other internal organs when injured. However, adhesions can also occur with endometriosis. If the sticky film lasts longer than five days, new connective tissue cells are formed, which connect the connective tissue of the different organs with each other.
In most cases, the cause of adhesions is a surgical intervention in the abdomen, which results in injury to the peritoneum. But peritonitis can also lead to adhesions. Furthermore, endometriosis sometimes plays a role in the development of adhesions in women. Endometriosis is a benign but painful chronic disease characterized by the presence of uterine tissue outside the uterine cavity on foreign organs.
For example, if the peritoneum is injured, a layer of fibrin forms to cover the wound. Fibrin is a sticky coating that is supposed to speed up the healing process. Within the abdomen, however, the organs are very close together and are often only separated from one another by a small gap through a liquid film. However, adhesions can then occur in damaged areas. Normally, the fibrin coating is broken down again within five days after the wound has healed. The neighboring organs separate again.
However, if the breakdown of fibrin is delayed, new connective tissue cells are formed, which connect the peritoneum to the connective tissue of the other organ. An adhesion forms. Adhesions can form anywhere in the abdomen after surgery. If the wound fluid is carried over, it is even possible for an adhesion to occur at a point in the abdominal cavity that is far away from the operation.
Symptoms, Ailments & Signs
Most adhesions are harmless and do not cause any symptoms. In a few cases, however, they can also have serious consequences. However, chronic pain in the lower abdomen often occurs, which is caused by the reduced mobility of the organs affected by the adhesions.
Nerve connections are formed within the adhesion cord, which cause pain when stressed. The pain often affects the patient’s quality of life. Worse consequences, however, result from the possible late effects.
For example, adhesions in the area of the ovary or fallopian tube can lead to infertility because egg transport is no longer optimal. However, a far worse consequence could result from an adhesion with the intestine. In addition to chronic abdominal pain, irregular bowel movements and flatulence, the development of an intestinal obstruction is also possible.
Diagnosis & course of disease
The diagnosis of an adhesion is often difficult because the symptoms are usually non-specific. In X -rays or ultrasound examinations, adhesions are often not found at all. If an adhesion is suspected, however, imaging methods such as high-resolution ultrasound or a special abdominal adhesion MRI can provide information. But even these techniques are not specific enough. Only a laparoscopy using the keyhole technique can definitively prove an adhesion.
In most cases, there are no complaints or complications due to the adhesions. They are very common and are a common symptom after surgery. However, adhesions can cause severe pain in the patient’s abdomen.
This pain also results in significantly reduced mobility, which has a very negative effect on the patient’s quality of life. Furthermore, those affected may suffer from paralysis or other sensory disorders, since the adhesions can pinch nerves or even completely damage them. In women, adhesions can also lead to infertility if they adversely affect egg transport.
Those affected also suffer from complaints in the area of the intestine, which in the worst case can lead to an intestinal obstruction. Flatulence and flatulence also occur, which continue to make everyday life of those affected significantly more difficult. Adhesions can usually be treated with surgery.
However, they can also be avoided directly during the procedure. Complications do not arise. If the adhesions are diagnosed at an early stage, the course of the disease will be positive. The life expectancy of the patient is then not negatively affected.
When should you go to the doctor?
Regular personal hygiene should be carried out to avoid adhesions. Controlling the growth of nails can usually be done independently or by nurses. A doctor is not necessary for the processes of bodily purification. In addition, regular applications of foot care or manicure can be used to eliminate complaints at an early stage. Medical help is required when there are impairments that can no longer be remedied with one’s own resources. Pain, restricted mobility or changes in the skin’s appearance must be examined and treated. If there are problems with the blood circulation, abnormal gait or uncertainties when moving, there is a need for action.
The formation of pus should be monitored, as in severe cases it can lead to sepsis. If there are peculiarities of the development, a doctor is needed. Disturbances in coping with everyday obligations, a visual defect or poor posture should also be discussed with a doctor. A general persistent malaise, a feeling of illness or a steady increase in symptoms should be clarified by a doctor. Medical tests are required to diagnose and clarify the cause. To avoid long-term damage or permanent impairment of quality of life, a doctor should be consulted if the physical irregularities persist for several weeks.
Treatment & Therapy
Treating an adhesion is often difficult. Admittedly, the fused organs can be separated again by another operation. Often, however, new adhesions form again. The chronic pain only temporarily disappears immediately after the operation and returns again after a while. If there are only single brides, the operation promises to be a success. However, that is not guaranteed either.
In the case of several adhesions, it is awaited whether the symptoms will subside again without an operation. The operation is usually performed via a keyhole procedure. Today there are methods of applying so-called adhesion barriers during the operation. These are solid or liquid separating layers that are intended to prevent the different tissues from sticking together. Firm adhesion barriers are membranes that are applied to the wound site after surgery to keep the tissues apart during the healing process.
After healing, these barriers break down again after a few weeks. When using liquid adhesion barriers, the entire abdominal cavity is rinsed after the operation in order to avoid sticking. After a few days, the body has completely absorbed the liquid. However, even with these methods, there is no complete guarantee that adhesions will be avoided.
Increasingly gentle surgical technologies are being used to prevent adhesions, which cause as few tissue defects as possible. That is why keyhole operations are being used more and more frequently. Solid or liquid adhesion barriers can now be used prophylactically after extensive surgical interventions. However, the success of these methods has not yet been clearly proven by medical studies and are therefore not yet used across the board.
Follow-up care for adhesions – mostly caused by accidents or operations – does not rule out the need for another surgical treatment. This depends on the symptoms and limitations for the patient that result from the adhesions. If there are no symptoms, no special follow-up care is required and in many cases the adhesions are only detected by an accidental diagnosis during other treatments or examinations.
However, if an adhesion causes problems in organs, the adhered areas must be surgically restored to their normal state. In the case of adhesions in the abdomen, this can often be done by means of an endoscopic operation under general anesthesia. The hospital stay is short, but depends on the extent and degree of adhesions. There are no own methods or home remedies to relieve adhesions, only a competent doctor can help the patient and take over the aftercare.
Adhesions of the skin, such as burns, are a special feature. These can usually be quickly remedied by small outpatient surgeries or sometimes purely non-invasive therapy by a dermatologist. In this case, no further special follow-up care is required, since the cause is no longer present.
You can do that yourself
Adhesions usually have to be surgically removed and the pain treated with medication. Those affected can do a few things themselves to reduce the adhesions or to support medical treatment. Massages and the use of natural painkillers are recommended first. Regular pressure massages can loosen the tissue. In addition to massages, acupuncture or acupressure may also be an option. Acupressure can be particularly useful for nerve pain. Depending on the localization of the adhesions, yoga or physiotherapy can also be used as supportive measures.
If the adhesions have a negative effect on mental health because self-esteem suffers, talk therapy is recommended. Talking to friends or family members who have adhesions themselves is often more effective.
In the long term, adhesions that cannot be removed by massage must be treated surgically. After a surgical procedure, typical general measures apply, such as monitoring the surgical wound and taking care of the body. Sporting activity is usually forbidden, since rapid and intensive movements can cause the seams to open. If this happens, the doctor must be informed immediately. In general, however, adhesions can be treated well, provided the patient takes the right measures.