Re: Question on adhesions-Gina

From: Christine M. Smith (
Thu Oct 21 12:36:16 1999

At Thu, 21 Oct 1999, Gina wrote: >
>I am new here, though by all rights I should have been here 18 years ago
>because that's when my adventure with adhesions began. Only I didn't
>know it (and docs didn't dx it) til I had surgery 8/12/99. Now I am
>known as "adhesion prone". Yippeeee! (BTW, I have a weird sense of
>humor, better to laugh than cry most days).
>Anyway, it wasn't til after my 2nd surgery (9/15/99) that I researched
>adhesions and found out it was possible to prevent them with exercise
>immediately after surgery, or with barriers, etc. No one told me--even
>though they knew I was adhesion prone. So I laid flat for 2 weeks solid
>"resting", hardly ever moving because I was told not to "over-do" it,
>etc. Now I find out it was the worst thing I could have done! It "set"
>my new adhesions permanently doing that, I think?
>Anyway I am getting tired of everyone (friends & family) telling me the
>best thing for adhesions is exercise. Sure in the beginning that might
>be true to keep them from attaching. But at 5 weeks post-op, when they
>have already started to harden and be permanently attached, most
>exercise hurts!!! ALOT! I can walk for a short time comfortably, but any
>bending, twisting, tummy and lower back area stuff is excruciating.
>Are they right? Should I be trying to exercise through the pain to
>detach them? Are my new adhesions permanent at 5 weeks, and hard? Is
>there anything I can do besides surgery and pills, to get rid of the
>pain and the adhesions at 5 weeks post-op?
>My doc who did the surgery told me that yes I do have new adhesions
>again in pelvic area, and I will just have to live with chronic pain. He
>told me that at 2 & 1/2 weeks post-op! He gave up. He said no one will
>operate to remove adhesions only, just because it hurts. He also said
>in my case any surgery to remove adhesions would make more (even
>laprascopy since that was how these last 2 surgeries were done, and both
>created new adhesions). I am not ready to accept "chronic pain" when it
>seems early enough to do SOME thing about them?

Hi Gina: If it makes you feel any better, and I hope it does, there are no guarantees from any of the adhesion barriers. They work for some people and not for others. Just the way some people get adhesions after surgery and some don't. My surgeon told me that and people on this forum have had barriers that didn't work. I am sure my surgeon got his opinion from going in and seeing adhesions in people who had barriers used previously on them. Also, my surgeon operated on me just because it hurt. There was no other reason, I had no sign of obstructions or complaints in the area of bowel function. It had only been 6 months since the first lap and he knew there were other adhesions. But he didn't brush me off and say that surgery for adhesions doesn't work. (and as far as we knew at that point, my first surgery didn't work because I was complaining about the same exact pain.) What he did say was that there were no guarantees and that I could even be worse after the surgery. When I asked him if this was ever successful he said "sure, or else we wouldn't keep trying, or at least I hope we wouldn't keep trying" Gyns who do infertility surgery do repeat surgery all the time. But I think you are right there in that the difference is the goal-it is not pain control, but pregnancy. And most infertility patients would risk future pain to become pregnant. I also worried about the post-op period, especially after the second lap. Should I be active or restrict my activities? There is no guarantee that exercise right after the surgery works, but I agree, its something to try. Dr. Bradley wrote on the ob-gyn website that he has his patients doing side roles etc. every 15 minutes as soon as they return from the recovery room. I worried like you, when I restricted my activities, would I just be letting the adhesions solidify. Well, what about when you are asleep? Any good you did by exercising in the day could easily be negated by 8 hours of relative inactivity during the night. I think if adhesions are going to form, they are going to form and there isn't a whole lot you can do on your part. There is also some thought on presribing large doses of anti-inflammtories post op to cut down on inflammation. I think that at 5 weeks you are still in the recovery period, even though it was a laparoscopy. You had major work done. I wonder if those friends and family who tell you that exercise is the best thing for adhesions have any experience themselves with adhesions? If my problem is adhesions, then exercise made the pain much worse. If it isn't adhesions it also made my problem much worse so I guess you can tell what I think about exercise!!!:< P I'm talking about strenuous, high impact stuff, not necessarily walking or most household activities.

Chris S.

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