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April 23, 2014  
EDUCATION CENTER: Uterine Procedures
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  • Adhesiolysis

    Overview
    Reviewed by Richard Alweis, MD

    Adhesiolysis is the name of a procedure used to remove scar tissue inside the uterus and in the reproductive tract. This procedure is generally used when scar tissue becomes problematic due to pain symptoms or interference with fertility.

    Detailed Description
    Pelvic adhesions are bands of scar tissue that grow between pelvic structures, binding them together. Women who suffer from adhesions may experience abdominal pain, infertility, urinary and bowel symptoms such as painful urination or constipation, and pain during intercourse (dyspareunia).

    Adhesions are generally caused by prior injury ranging from appendicitis to car accidents, as well as damage to the reproductive tract due to surgery, disease, abdominal trauma, or radiation. Adhesiolysis is a minimally invasive procedure that removes adhesions, and ideally restores pre-adhesion uterine and reproductive health, with a return of fertility and departure of pain symptoms.

    Before undergoing the procedure, patients are generally given either local or general anesthesia. Then a small incision is made near the navel, and a special, telescope-like instrument called a laparoscope is used to explore the area of the adhesions and allow the accurate use of microsurgical tools to cut the overgrown scar tissue away, exposing normal, healthy tissue.

    After the scar tissue is cut away, doctors often use materials called barrier agents to prevent the formation of new scar tissue in response to the disruption of the area. Barrier agents work by covering or coating the area to change the tissue growth response after surgery. Careful handling of tissue also helps prevent further scarring.

    After the procedure, patients may experience some pain for several days, as well as vaginal bleeding or soreness at the site of the incision. The risk of infection or other complications is low, but any unexpected symptoms should be monitored by a doctor. Generally, patients can expect a return to normal activities within one to two weeks.

    Last updated: 06-Jun-07

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