Bev's description of Dr. Reich's adhesiolysis procedure

From: Helen Dynda (
Thu Aug 2 14:34:44 2001

Dr. Harry Reich perform Bev's (Beverly Doucette) adhesiolysis procedure on April 22, 1999. Bev continues to be pain-free.

Bev posted the following information about Dr. Reich on the IAS Message Board on:

June 08, 1999 10:38 AM

Dear Friends,

I am sharing my experience of surgery performed under Dr. Harry Reich of New York City -- since a number of you requested that I provide greater detaiI about my surgery. Please keep in mind that this is MY surgery and that each one of us has a case history unique to each one of us. I also am stating MY interpretation of how the body responds to and creates adhesions, as I understand that physiological process.

Previous to consenting to Dr. Reich's adhesional lysis procedure, I requested a copy of it so that I could determine for myself what was being done differently than the other adhesional lysis, which I had. I also checked out his credentials with the AMA - all very outstanding recommendations. I then asked for statistics of the surgery; and, even though he has not kept a following of his patients, he does have some figures on it and it looked to be the higher % of success for non-reforming adhesions with his procedure.

I also was put in contact with a woman who had undergone his lysis last June. We talked at great length ( e-mail ) and we continue to do so. She was a wealth of information and encouragement for me...and you can be assured that I am watching her case closely as it parallels my adhesional history very closely. Dr. Reich also videotapes his entire surgery for you.

Dr. Reich's theory regarding non-reforming adhesions is: "The solution to pollution is dilution!" And he stands by that phrase yet today.

This procedure is done through a minimally invasive route. One small incision in the navel for camera, two 1" to 2" incisions on each side of the lower abdomen for instrument use. Dr. Reich is the only ambidextrious surgeon in the United States - and that is a plus for us!

He does a diagnostic look-around upon entering the cavity -- looking for any invasive pathology besides adhesions. He evaluates the situation and then determines his plan of treatment. In the event that there are dense adhesions, he proceeds to dissect (separate) them. This is not an easy process and is very involved.

I can understand why most doctors do NOT want to challenge themselves doing a lysis, which is dangerous and tedious - as the doctor is working right up against and around the intestines, etc.

Based on Dr. Reich's vast experience with laparoscopic surgeries, he has developed a technique like no other surgeon in the world! That is why he has the reputation as being the best laparoscopic surgeon in the world!

It was his clean-up at the end of the surgery that impressed me the most; and was also the reason that I chose to go to him and have this done! He cleans out almost EVERY piece of clotted blood that is in, around, under, and virtually all over in the abdominal cavity following the surgery! He feels that it is this residual clotted blood that the anti-bodies in an adhesion-former's system respond to as "foreign" -- and thus creates an adhesion over it to protect the internal organs! Now, this is exactly how our bodies defense system works!

Think about your getting a sliver (externally, of course). What does our body's defense system do to that foreign body? It sends out the leukocytes and creates an "infection" to get rid of it -- right? Internally, one of two types of defense systems kick in when there is a problem:

1.) If our appendix ruptures, we get peritonitis ( an internal infection -- like pus or white blood cells that spill into the cavity ). Those white cells are responding to an inflammation in the appendix and build up and burst; but it WAS a defense mechanism as well. Peritonitis can kill us as the body has no way to rid itself of that infectious drainage; and it infects the surrounding internal organs as well. In defense our body sends the leukocytes ( white cells ) to the area of "infectious drainage."

2.) Because there is an active infectious foreign body in the abdominal cavity, our body will attempt to *contain* that poison to protect the other internal organs from damage! These white cells form a material called "fibrin," which is the sticky stuff in the blood. The fibrin starts to cover the infectious material and then you have what is called an "ADHESION!" Now, adhesion means "to stick together." In the abdominal cavity -- filled with lots of organs in very close proximity to one another -- what do you think will happen? Abdominal organs become attached to one another -- everywhere that the infectious drainage touched!

Let's look at that same reaction now using the clotted residual blood following your internal surgery. Blood is found throughout the cavity from any area of surgery or ischemia ( areas scraped or cut -- causing an area that bleeds ). In the cavity this blood dries very fast -- *very fast*!!

Now, 99.9% of surgeons *do not* clean up the residual blood clots thus leaving that in, around, and under your internal organs. Your body sees this blood as a foriegn body and sends out the leukocytes and thus forms adhesions wherever these clots of blood are. Because fibrin is sticky, some of these organs become attached to the peritoneum ( innermost tissue of the abdominal wall ) causing pulling and inflammation at the attachment sites -- thus causing PAIN and eventually a decrease in our physical mobility. That pain is from the attachment to the peritoneum. Other organ to organ attatchments, if any, don't cause pain; but these other organ to organ attachments can cause:

1. Bowel obstructions

2. Painfull and difficult bowel movements

3. If some adhesions attach the bowel to the vaginal wall, these can cause painful intercourse as well.

Dr. Reich uses a procedure called "aqua" surgery. He is constantly flushing the cavity with ringers lactate (a type of compatible fluid to the human body -- like saline); and he finds the fibrin strings and removes them -- bit by bit -- a wonderfull cleanup job (on my video). If someone would have told me he could clean up the cavity as good as he did -- and I had NOT seen him do it -- I wouldn't believe them!

His theory is that if the cavity is cleaned of the clotted blood, the body's defense system will have less to react to -- thus reducing -- and possibly stopping -- the reformation of PAINFULL and distructive adhesions. He also leaves 3-4 liters of ringers in the abdomen following his surgery. It takes about 48 hours to dissipate out of the body ( lots of peeing goes on ).

I was not shaved, had no urinary catheter in place nor gastric nasal tube (when I awoke in recovery) following 5 hours of surgery; and I was back in our suite in less then 4 hours following the recovery room. Sure, I had surgery pain; but I also had both ovaries removed and two tumors! One very large tumor had attached to the right side of my colon on the left side of my peritoneum -- my colon was totally twisted over and attached! No wonder I hurt and couldn't have a BM on my own!

How am I now? I'm a tiny bit sore on the lower right; but that is from an organ removal. *No adhesion pain, no backaches, no pain pills* -- and a smile on my face that only a crowbar could remove! I had been on:

1. Pain medication,

2. Anti-inflammatory medication -- which you need to be on at LEAST 1500 mgs a day if you are suffering adhesion pain. This medication is to help combat the inflammation from the pulling of the organ at the attachment site. You can bet you have something attached to the peritoneum at this time -- and it is pulling and doesn't like that!

3. Antacids -- from irritation of the esophagus and stomach from years of drugs.

4. Sleep/pain meds at night; and last but not least...

5. Laxatives -- and you know what that was for!!

*No more*!! I take a 500 mg chewy for calcium and Vitamin E for heart muscle -- as I refuse to go on hormone replacement until I present with symptoms...and I have not yet!

Dr. Reich will state that his procedure is *not* a sure thing; but statistically, his lysis patients have shown a great reduction in reforming adhesions following his lysis.

I discussed Dr. Reich's procedure with a local surgeon -- as well as a pathologist (who our son works with) -- before I agreed to have it done. I also sent them my post-operative reports that defined the locations of previously lysed adhesions in both my abdomen and pelvic cavity.

During a routine autopsy, they instilled 3-4 liters of ringers lactate to raise the abdominal wall away from the intestines to determine if, in fact, an adhesion could reform and *reach* the abdominal wall to attach itself from the intestine.

When there is that much ringers lactate in the cavity (that type of attachment was the *only* cause of my pain); and when organ attachment involves the peritoneum, you have pain! (I had that in both previous lysis). It did raise the abdominal wall a good 3-4" and in all probability, an adhesion would NOT be able to attach.

In the event you are interested in contacting Dr. Reich, let me know and I will assist you with that as well. I also can give you some pretty fresh ideas in planning a trip to New York (without getting hit by a street-selling crook. ... like someone I know did!).

I hope this synopsis provides you with the information you asked me for. If there is anything else I can do for you, please feel to e-mail me. Please educate yourselves to all that you can about adhesion disorder; and then call for a *sit down* consultation with your doctor to discuss all areas of adhesion disorder. Many times the doctor is as scared and frustrated as we are as to what to do for you! So take information to your doctor from:

The International Adhesions Society

The Women's Surgical Group

The International Pelvic Pain Society

[] Beverly Doucette (a former RN) has shared alot of excellent information on the IAS Message Board; and this information is now in the IAS ARCHIVES. Scroll down to the bottom of the webpage and enter one of the following (names she has used in the past) in the search box:



Beverly Doucette

Beverly J. Doucette

Bernie and Beverly Doucette

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