About Adhesions


Image from: http://seprafilm.com/

So I got this idea for an informative page from my new blog friend Ella (Sick and sick of it). She has fibromyalgia and knows what it’s like to be in chronic pain.

This information page is about adhesions, the illness that I deal with every day. I hope this helps my readers to better understand the pain that I am in and the daily journey that goes along with it. I would like to add that all of this information is from a great website- www.adhesions.org. The information I will provide was written by Dr. David Wiseman and can be found in it’s entirety here.

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.

Chronic pelvic pain and/or associated intestinal disturbance are a major cause of misery for thousands of patients. Often in constant pain, the patient experiences loneliness, hopelessness, frustration and desperation with thoughts of suicide. Family and work relationships are strained to the limit. Although ADHESIONS are often (but not always) the cause of this pain, treatment for adhesions is not performed either because the surgeon does not believe that adhesions can cause the problem, or because lysis of adhesions is considered too difficult or futile.

Adhesions are an almost inevitable outcome of surgery, and the problems that they cause are widespread and sometimes severe. It has been said by some that adhesions are the single most common and costly problem related to surgery, and yet most people have not even heard the term. This lack of awareness means that, excluding infertility, many doctors are unable or unwilling to tackle the problems of adhesions, many insurance companies are unwilling to pay for treatment and many patients are left in misery.

Adhesions and Chronic Pelvic Pain (CPP)

ADHESIONS are believed to cause pelvic pain by tethering down organs and tissues, causing traction (pulling) of nerves. Nerve endings may become entrapped within a developing adhesion. If the bowel becomes obstructed, distention will cause pain.

Some patients in whom chronic pelvic pain has lasted more than six months may develop “Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndrome.” In addition to the chronic pain, emotional and behavioral changes appear due to the duration of the pain and its associated stress. According to the International Pelvic Pain Society:


I hope that this has been informative and has helped everyone understand a little bit better what I deal with on a daily basis. Feel free to repost or share this post with others, especially if they have chronic pelvic pain. Some people try different doctors for years before adhesions are found during surgery.  I want to point out here that some people who are found to have adhesions only have a few and have little to no symptoms.  When the adhesions begin to get out of control, so do symptoms.  I personally deal with the pain from the adhesions every minute of every day.  Mine have gotten to the point where surgical intervention is no longer an option.  For many people, however, adhesions can be treated with laparoscopic surgery.

Emotional stress can be caused by any type of chronic pain.  For more information about this subject, check out the American Psychological Association site by clicking here.

Please help spread the word about this debilitating invisible illness.



updated Nov. 30, 2013

25 thoughts on “About Adhesions

  1. Hi….I just wanted to let you know that I have a friend in Indiana who suffers greatly from abdominal adhesions she developed after a botched surgery years ago. She is in her late 30’s and I just told her about your blog. I am sure she will be checking it out soon. She is a wonderful person, a beautiful spirit and such a kind young woman. My heart breaks for what she is going through. I hope that she might get some encouragement from your words, or at least know that she is not alone in her suffering.

    Also, I have multiple chronic illnesses myself, including fibromyalgia and other pain conditions, along with other issues like high blood pressure, etc. I had endometriosis but luckily the laparoscopy I had did NOT cause any adhesions for me. I had Graves hyperthyroidism in my 20’s which was my first autoimmune disease (I have had 3 diagnosed AI diseases, 2 more are borderline) I have chronic and severe tendinitis in my feet. I have pain every day all day. My first symptoms started 30+ years ago in my 20’s. Anyway, I just started a blog after being encouraged by a friend…..it’s called The Nocturnal Laudress (read the About Me section for why I named it that LOL). I’d love it if you’d come check it out when you get a chance.

    I hope that my friend might visit your blog soon and maybe contact you….I know you would be able to relate to what she lives with every day, and hopefully you both will be able to share your experiences with each other. Her name is Tammy.

    I look forward to reading more of your posts!

    Thanks and best wishes……. ~ Julie (The Nocturnal Laundress)


    • Thank you so very much for visiting my site and even more for recommending it to someone else. You know, when I joined WordPress it was so that I could search for people like me and read their blogs…and ended up writing myself. It was so hard to find anything on adhesions, but I knew I was not alone. So, I started my own ramblings and now have found 4 women with adhesions and have made very good friends with one of them. We email each other every day. It is so relieving to know that at least one person in this world completely understands your pain (abdominal and pelvic adhesion pain is VERY complex) and also that when they ask how you are feeling, they mean it. It’s not just etiquette.

      I am sorry to hear about your problems. I have a lot going on, but you truly are a warrior! Stay strong and I will definitely be checking out your blog today. Your illnesses probably make you the only one who can somewhat truly understand what your friend Tammy is going through. Until I “met” the wonderful people that I have met on this site, the only one who really understood was my male ob/gyn who specializes in pelvic pain. Now, of course he doesn’t TRULY understand, but he was the closest I had. I thank God everyday now for my new friends. I also pray/ send well wishes to them daily.

      Anytime you or your friend would like to “chat” I am always available and my email can be found on the “About me” or “gravatar” sections. As you might have noticed, I am a bit chatty. I really look forward to reading your posts and hope to hear from your friend soon!


      • Thanks so much for your reply. I have heard from Tammy and she is excited to learn of your blog. She looks forward to checking it out soon. I met her on Facebook, we have never met face to face, yet she is one of my dearest friends and one of my life heroes. She keeps her head up and always tries to post uplifting things on her FB wall. I am humbled by her daily choice to be positive in the face of horrific pain. She doesn’t sugar coat what she is going through, but she also doesn’t dwell on it or let it turn her bitter. I have alot to learn from her.

        The surgeon who botched the surgery that caused all this walked away without a scratch. She did file a lawsuit but she is not wealthy so her lawyer was a joke, but of course the doctor had the best defense money could buy, and he won. She lost. She and her family are drowning in medical bills and they are really struggling financially, not only because of the bills but because it is impossible for her to hold any kind of a job.

        Anyway….I just wanted to give you an idea of what she has gone through so you will see what an amazing person she is. I hope you guys can connect, I think it would really help her to have someone who “knows”.

        I will continue to read your posts, and I’d love it if you’d visit my blog. I am not a person who has risen above the storms….yet….I have let everything sort of turn my attitude into something I’m not very proud of. I admit, I am bitter and angry. It’s been a very long road, 30+ years of being in pain every single day. If I didn’t have such a wonderful supportive husband, I would not be here.

        Sorry, now I’m rambling. LOL I guess we should be glad there are these things called “blogs”, huh?? LOL

        It’s been good to meet you & chat with you…..I hope you have a good day, and I hope that today your pain is under control. xoxo


  2. thank you for this. and i’m sorry for all you are going through. i know someone suffering from adhesions so i appreciate your attention on it. i also appreciate your honesty and straightforwardness.


    • Well, send them on over to have a look. I am unfortunately at home most of the the time and therefore easily reachable by email. There should be a link to my email somewhere on my page (I still haven’t figured out all of it’s bells and whistles:) ) but here it is: joynpain2blog@gmail.com.


  3. I’m glad to have found and read this post. I didn’t know about adhesions such as this. Very informative! I pray that you will find comfort from your pain! And I will continue praying for that for you.


    • Thank you very much. Most people don’t know about them, or don’t know much. I was lucky to find a great doctor who knows and understands what they can do to a person’s mind, body, and spirit. He’s been my lifeline at times. If it weren’t for an actual person here understanding I would have lost my mind by now! I almost did before finding him.


  4. I had 4 surgeries in a decade for endometreosis and adhesions. I know how bad the pain can be. I no longer suffer from that pain due to massage and NET. I was surprised to find that I had emotions tied to that area, which needed to be released. The masseuse I found used a specific technique, which I do not remember, but know that it worked. There is also a homeopathic remedy called “Adhesions” which really helped me used in conjunction with the alternative methods I found (see my blog for a complete discussion). I had to think outside the box in order to find methods that work, but I found them. I haven’t felt that pain in over a decade. I am now working 80% of full time. I just wanted you to know that there is hope because I remember how depressing the futility of it felt. You are strong and amazing. Hang in there!


    • Thank you for letting me know about these other treatments. I will definitely check out your blog to find out more. Actually, my pain specialist just recommended someone in my area who does this thing called “Rolfing”. I had read about the technique previously from an email I received from a stranger a while back, but she called it something else. I know it will be painful, especially when they work on the abdominal/pelvic area, but I really want to try it. I’m planning to call my insurance company on Monday although I doubt that it will be covered. The visits are $110 each with a minimum of 6 visits, so I’m going to do everything that I can to find the money to go. So far, the doctors can’t “fix me”, but I refuse to just give up on life. I feel I have too much to do.thank you for the comment and I look forward to checking out your blog.


      • Yes that was it Rolfing…at least it sounds familiar massage right? If so yes it is painful but it helps so very much! Unfortunately insurance doesn’t pay for most of these techniques. It does take sacrifice but I testify it is worth it! I can’t wait to hear how you feel a year from now after you have been “rolfed”! 🙂


        • I’ve been reading about it for a while. First was visceral manipulation which is similar, but there was no one in my area. Then I read about this “Rolfing” but it had another name. I couldn’t find anyone in my area who did it calling it by the other name. I was so surprised when the NP told me about someone in town, but called it by this name…I went straight to google, put in “Rolfing” and this local guy’s website was like 3rd on the list. If I had known that I would probably have gone before. Now I just have to pray that I can get the money to go. Something in my heart told me this would help when I first started my research. I can’t wait to see me a year from now either 😉!


    • Your website is called “Finding Joy in the Journey”? If so, I searched for the word adhesions, but nothing came up. If this is the wrong website (I noticed you have one on Blogger as well, but it’s set to private and I can’t see it). Could you send me the link to your page…whichever one I’m supposed to be looking at.


  5. Pingback: Guest post: Adhesions GreenGrowsDark | GreenGrowsDark

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