Lysis of Adhesions

ExitCare ImageAdhesions are internal scars that may lead to troubling side effects. They are bands of scar tissue that can occur anywhere in the body but are usually formed within the abdomen or pelvis. When adhesions are formed, they can cause problems in the normal function of the organs. This scar tissue can cause abnormal "sticking" together of two surfaces. This kind of scar can also "squeeze" an organ and cause a blockage. Adhesions can develop after surgery and may also form as a result of an inflammation or infection. Depending on where the adhesions are, they may cause:

Lysis (loosening or setting free) is a surgical procedure done to remove or loosen the scars that cause the problems described above. This can help to reduce or relieve pain and help to restore normal function.

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RISKS AND COMPLICATIONS

BEFORE THE PROCEDURE

Your caregiver may:

PROCEDURE

Lysis of adhesions is usually performed by keyhole surgery (laparoscopically). During this procedure, the surgeon will make a few tiny keyhole incisions. He/she will pass a tiny fiberoptic scope through one hole to view the adhesions on a monitor. Using small instruments that are passed through the other holes, the surgery will be performed to remove the adhesions and free the tissues/organs. The instruments are then removed, and the incisions are closed. This procedure may cause minimal scarring. Sometimes, open surgery (laparotomy) may be required where a single larger incision will be made to allow the surgeon a direct access to the area of the adhesions.

You may be given regional or general anesthesia. If the surgery is going to be performed under general anesthesia:

AFTER THE PROCEDURE

The surgery may last for 1-3 hours. Depending on the type of surgery, you may have to spend a night or a few days in the hospital. Typically, patients stay in the hospital and can not eat or drink until bowel function returns. Patients may have a tube put in place to decrease problems with the bowels (nasogastric tube). When your system can tolerate food, you can go home. Your caregiver will give you certain medications to control your pain.

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