Adhesions are fibrous tissue connections (adherence tissues) between various tissue planes or organs usually caused by inflammatory causes, most commonly surgery. Fibrin deposition leads to fibrous connections between organs or tissues. These adhesions are part of the internal healing process and inflammatory reactions. They participate in the body's defense mechanisms against the causes of inflammation (physical, chemical, infections, etc.).
Adhesions can occur in any organ or part of the body, e.g., abdomen, pelvis, thorax, intraocular space, joint spaces. Depending on the cause and location of adhesions, they can be beneficial (in tissue healing) or harmful (causing complications). They can cause chronic pain, infertility, bowel obstruction, or diminished range of joint range of motion, for example. Intra-abdominal and pelvic adhesions and adhesiolysis are by far the most common of all adhesions; therefore, they will be the focus of this article.
Abdominal adhesions form after any surgery or inflammatory cause, including trauma or bleeding. The most common known cause of adhesions is surgery, especially open procedures. They heal, seal, and repair sites of injury and inflammation to protect and limit further damage. But, the formation of adhesions is not without unfavorable consequences. Bowel obstruction is a common complication of post-operative adhesions. Occasional, this mandates surgical adhesiolysis - lysing cutting the adhesions to resolve the obstruction. Adhesiolysis is performed much less frequently for other reasons like pain or compression of other structures.
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