Are we the unlucky few who develop adhesions everytime we have surgery?

From: Helen Dynda (
Thu Feb 1 19:58:58 2001

I previously posted this message onf July 8, 1999; and decided to share it with you.

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To "friends who stick together"...

At one of Dr. Wiseman's monthly chats, I vaguely remember him saying that approximately 90% of surgical patients *do not* experience chronic pain as a result of surgically-caused adhesions; and we know that it is a known fact that adhesions are the way the body heals itself.

Then there are about 10% of surgical patients -- in other words, all of us who share our experiences on this Message Board -- whose bodies seem to be *set up* to develop adhesions. Each surgery,that we have, tends to INCREASE the formation of adhesions. This is a serious problem for all of us who fall into this 10% category.

Yet there are many doctors out there who *do not* believe that adhesions cause chronic pain. These are the doctors who tell us that there is nothing wrong with us because all of our tests have always come back normal -- insinuating that our chronic pain problems are psychological -- "all in our head."

There are surgeons though, who know for a fact, that adhesions are not an easy aflliction to deal with.

* These are the surgeons who refuse to do surgery when adhesions are a known factor.

* These are the surgeons who tell us that we will "have to learn to live with the chronic pain of adhesions." They know that each surgery for adhesions will only cause more and more adhesions to form -- which increases both the difficulty of another surgery and the length of time that such a surgical procedure will take. The risk factor for these kind of surgeries is just too great!!

* These are the surgeons who tell us that there is nothing they can do for us UNLESS we have a bowel obstruction -- which, of course, is an emergency situation.

I recall the many times that I *had wished* one of the medical professionals I had seen from 1970 to 1997 would suggest surgery to me. Instead I was given all of the reasons which I previously mentioned -- plus other unhelpful advice.

I remember the many times I was told that I needed to go to a mental health clinic -- that I was prescribed tranquillizers and other unhelpful medication.

NOW -- you may find this hard to believe or understand -- but NOW I feel lucky that I was refused surgery so many times!!!!! I sincerely feel that all of the doctors and surgeons, whom I had seen over that 27 year period, actually *saved me* from the possibility of developing a "frozen pelvis" and the excruciating pain, which must go along with that condition.

In addition to the 1970 laparotomy I have had only two surgeries! In 1972 I HAD TO BEG my gynecologist for a hysterectomy!!!! I had four children from the age of 6 to 16 -- and my biggest fear was that I would become pregnant! I knew deep in my heart that I would not be able to take on any more responsibilities. I could hardly take care of myself -- let alone my 4 children and husband too. My gynecologist reluctantly agreed to give me a vaginal hysterectomy.

The hysterectomy *did not* help my chronic pain; but it did give me peace of mind to know that I would not have any additional responsibilities.

My 1997 diagnostic laparoscopy proved to me for the very first time, that it was adhesions which were the cause of my long-term chronic pain! For the first time in 27 years, I finally had evidence that verified that I was not a mental case -- THAT I WAS NOT CRAZY!!!!!!

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