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Developing adhesions after hysterectomy surgery is quite common, even when measures are taken to prevent them from occurring. Medical studies estimate that as many as 55 percent to 100 percent of patients with pelvic surgery will develop adhesions. This can happen when scar tissue develops or when the protective tissue around internal organs is disturbed during surgery.
The protective coating around internal organs allows them to move around slightly without sticking to other organs or the abdominal wall. If the protective coating is disturbed, an organ can develop tissue to help protect it. This can cause an adhesion. Adhesions also can happen as scar tissue forms as part of the healing process following surgery.
Adhesions after hysterectomy surgery usually do not cause symptoms. Some adhesions are discovered only after an additional abdominal surgery. The most common problem caused by adhesions is pain.
A hysterectomy is a surgery that involves removing the uterus and sometimes other reproductive organs. Female reproductive cancers and benign fibroid tumors are two common reasons why hysterectomies are performed. Fibroid tumors can grow to the size of an orange or larger, causing pain or excessive menstrual bleeding, which can lead to other health problems. Hysterectomies often are performed when medication or other treatment does not correct problems caused by fibroid tumors or endometriosis, a condition in which the uterine lining grows outside of the uterine cavity.
Endometriosis can increase the risk of having adhesions. First of all, the endometriosis itself can cause adhesions when the uterine lining grows outside the uterine wall. In some cases, a hysterectomy surgery can worsen the adhesions.
The extent of the surgery and the skill of the surgeon can both influence the likelihood of developing adhesions after hysterectomy surgery. Care is taken by the surgeon to treat internal organs as delicately as possible. Additionally, the surgeon might place a mesh-like material over the organs to prevent them from adhering. A saline solution or a spray gel also can help prevent adhesion after hysterectomy surgery.
Symptoms that can develop from adhesions after having a hysterectomy surgery are intestinal obstructions and abdominal cramps or pain. Nausea, vomiting, fever and dehydration also can develop. These symptoms are not necessarily proof of adhesions after a hysterectomy surgery. Only a doctor can determine the cause behind these symptoms and whether they are being caused by adhesions.
When adhesions after hysterectomy surgery are causing complications, another surgical procedure might be required. This involves a surgical procedure to help dissolve adhesions. This is a tricky prospect, because new adhesions can occur even after the corrective surgery.