Adhesions and TENS units

From: Joanne Jansen (
Mon Jan 8 15:49:39 2007


I've suffered from adhesions, too, and wanted to share my experience with you personally so you could post whatever is relevant and helpful, but nothing that would be discouraging or unhelpful.

I see that you've recommended TENS units to some people on the Adhesions message board and wanted to give you a precautionary word on it. I wore one for eight months (and yes, it was such a relief!!), but then I developed an allergy to the adhesive that attaches the pads. There are no hypoallergenic pads. For a week I applied a thin layer of Flonase on my abdomen and let it dry before applying the pads, but it didn't work long. You may want to consider this and discuss with your doctor/allergist if there is any way to prevent or slow the development of allergies if you are prone to allergies to other things. An allergy to this adhesive could also mean a sensitivity to bandage adhesives.

I had a wonderful surgeon who diagnosed adhesions after speaking with him for just ten minutes. He did the surgery the next day (January 24, 2006). When the pain returned after five months, he suggested that we try an antispasmodic to decrease the movement of my small intestine since the adhesion had attached my small intestine to my abdominal wall. This has lessened my pain drastically and thus delayed further surgery. He is very compassionate and knowledgable about adhesions; he explained to me that mine was probably caused by a previous abdominal surgery which resulted in softball-sized swelling and significant bruising. Of the dozens of doctors I had seen, he was the only one who recognized that bleeding and inflammation encourages adhesion formation. Thus, his goal was to lyse the adhesion while causing minimal bleeding and inflammation. If you think it would help others, his name is Dr. Mickey Anderson in Bardstown, Kentucky; his phone number is (502) 348-5588.

Good luck to you, and please feel free to email me if you want.

Joanne Jansen

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