International Adhesions Society





A Patient's Guide to Adhesions & Related Pain (part 3)

What are Adhesions?

An ADHESION is a type of scar that forms an abnormal connection between two parts of the body.  Adhesions can cause severe clinical problems.  For example, adhesions involving the female reproductive organs (ovaries, Fallopian tubes) can and do cause infertility, dyspareunia (painful intercourse) and debilitating pelvic pain.  Adhesions involving the bowel can cause bowel obstruction or blockage.  Adhesions may form elsewhere such as around the heart, spine and in the hand where they lead to other problems.

Adhesions occur in response to injury of various kinds.  For example, non-surgical insults such as endometriosis, infection, chemotherapy, radiation and cancer may damage tissue and initiate ADHESIONS.  By far the most common kind of ADHESION is the one that forms after surgery.  ADHESIONS typically occur at the site of a surgical procedure although they may also occur elsewhere.

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