Post-surgical adhesions are a very serious problem; not only in the United States but around the world!!
Funds are desperately needed to motivate research toward the elusive goal of an adhesion prevention product that will solve the serious problems that adhesions cause!!
I am petitioning the U.S. Government to accept this new surgical code for "Application of Adhesion Barriers for Adhesion Prevention." This code is desperately needed to collect data about the use adhesion barriers at the conclusion of surgical procedures.
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I have suffered from post-surgical adhesions for the past 32 years !!! But, the shame of it is: it took 27 years before I was actually diagnosed as having "massive adhesions" - that had attached my omentum to my abdominal wall !!!
I have had a total of 5 surgical procedures:
* Laparotomy - in February 1970
* Vaginal Hysterectomy - in July 1972
* Diagnostic Laparoscopy - in August 1, 1997 - Diagnosed for the very first time as having ADHESIONS !!!
* Laparoscopic Adhesiolysis - in November 7, 2000 - by Dr. Matthias Korell at Duisburg, Germany
* Second Look Laparoscopy - in November 14, 2000 - by Dr. Korell at Duisburg, Germany
* Laparoscopic Adhesiolysis - January 15, 2002 - by Dr. Korell - He will be applying SprayGel adhesion barrier (approved for surgical use in Europe in November 2001). One week later I will be having a Second Look Laparoscopy
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THIS IS MY STORY:
My name is Helen Dynda. I am 70 years old. My husband and I have 5 children, 6 grandchildren and 3 great-grandchildren.
KIDNEY STONE ATTACK:
In July 1969 I developed pain so severe that I had to be hospitalized!! After 8 days on demerol, the pain became unbearable - even after I had been given morphine. The intensity of the pain was definitely a 10 on a scale of 1-10!!
The doctor decided to send me to a larger hospital - where a urologist was on the staff; so I was transferred by ambulance to a hospital 40 miles away. The urologist reviewed my kidney function X-rays (IVP); and wanted the IVP repeated so that he would know the location of the kidney stone.
My right ureter had been blocked for more than a week!! When the pain became resistant to morphine, the kidney stone (size of a grain of wheat) apparently was slowly beginning to move through the blocked ureter - with the rough edges of the stone causing irritation within the ureter and severe pain.
After a few days the kidney stone passed; and the pain decreased in intensity. I was kept in the hospital for a few days - on antibiotics and pain medications. Finally, I was able to go home to be with my family!!
LAPAROTOMY - FEBRUARY 1970
I continued to experience nagging pain for months after the kidney stone attack - and I was not able to get relief; so the surgeon decided it was time to take a look. In February 1970 he performed a laparotomy. After the laparotomy, a nurse wrapped a canvas binder around my abdomen and fastened it securely. (At that time canvas binders were used to help support abdominal muscles weakened by surgery.) On the 5th day after surgery, I experienced the return of pain again!!
As the result of the use of a canvas binder after the laparotomy, my omentum adhered to my abdominal wall the full length of the laparotomy incision - as if they had been bonded or fused together!! Over time, the adhesions spread to cause "massive adhesions which extended out two inches on each side of the laparotomy incision. The use of a canvas binder may have helped to support my abdominal muscles; but it also helped to cause adhesions.
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POST-SURGICAL HEALING & ADHESION FORMATION
As the body begins to heal, if any blood or other foreign debris remains in the abdominal/pelvic cavity, the body will send out its army to protect itself. The human body protects itself by forming ADHESIONS
Adhesions cause affected internal organs to stick to one another. When a moveable organ (such as the bowel) adheres to an immovable organ (such as the peritoneum), the peristalsis of the bowel will pull against the peritoneum - causing chronic, intractable pain !!
Many doctors either do not believe adhesions cause pain; or they don't want to admit adhesions can cause pain!! Not all adhesions cause pain; however, when a moveable body organ is attached to an immoveable body organ, the normal movement of one organ will not only cause pulling but also chronic severe pain.
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Following my 1970 surgery - and over a period of several weeks - my surgeon tried several medications; but none of them helped. So then he suspected that endometriosis may be causing me pain. He then prescribed Enovid and Combid - medications that I continued to take until November 1970 when I developed deep thrombophlebitis of my lower left leg; and as a result I was confined to a bed in the hospital for an entire week!!
As the result of developing a blood clot in my leg, I no longer could use birth control medications!! So in July 1972 I literally had to beg to have a hysterectomy. I knew I couldn't handle anymore responsibilities; because I was already failing as a mother for our 4 children (ages 5-15). Debilitating pain was dominating my life - not only during the day but during the night !! Because of constant pain, I was unable to sleep at night and unable to function during the day!!
I don't have the right words to adequately describe the horrible pain I had to endure from 1970-1976!! I had been to many different doctors; but I was never prescribed pain medication of any kind!!! For almost 7 years I was left to deal with the pain on my own - with only aspirin and a heating pad to help ease the pain.
I had been given very intensive workups at some of the best medical centers. I was given a very thorough examination at the Mayo Clinic in 1971 and 1972; and during that same time period, I was also examined at the University of Minnesota Hospitals and at the Fargo Clinic (Fargo, ND). Each time all diagnostic tests were normal; and I was told that there was NO reason for my pain.
SICK AND TIRED
I was so sick and tired of going from doctor to doctor to doctor - having far too much blood drawn - and having to endure painful diagnostic procedures. When all of the results of the diagnostic tests were always negative or normal, I was disppointed, disheartened, angry and depressed!!!!
I was sure that my body was telling me that something was wrong! Why didn't any doctor believe me? Why were my diagnostic tests always normal? My ongoing search for medical help was eating away at our financial resources - with no improvement in the pain that filled my days and nights!! Doctors kept trying to reassure me there was nothing seriously wrong with me - that I had nothing to worry about; but their reassurance fell on deaf ears. Since I couldn't find help for myself, I had no other choice but to try to live with the pain that dominated my life.
Unresolved chronic pain is very difficult to deal with!! I didn't know what to do or where to turn. I was about ready to give up. Thoughts of suicide entered my head; and it would've been very easy to listen to those thoughts; but thankfully that did not happen.