Abdominal Pain, Adhesions from Surgery
Surgery on the abdomen can cause bands of fibrous scar tissue (also known as adhesions) to form. This is the most common side effect of any abdominal surgery. Adhesions can form bands around the intestine and cause a partial or complete blockage of the intestinal tract (intestinal obstruction). A blocked intestine requires surgery.
Abdominal adhesions can cause these symptoms:
Adhesions are more common in people who have had one or more abdominal surgeries. Diagnosis is made using blood tests, X-ray, CT scan, rectal exam, and (in women) pelvic exam. Abdominal adhesions are permanent. They can be treated by surgery to remove the scar tissue. However, this treatment may create more scar tissue, and the problem may reoccur.
Pelvic adhesions can cause female infertility.
Rest as needed, until feeling better.
Eat a diet low in fiber (called a low-residue diet). Foods allowed include refined breads, white rice, fruit and vegetable juices without pulp, tender meats. These foods will pass more easily through the intestine.
Don't eat whole-grain foods, whole fruits and vegetables, tough meats, seeds or nuts until your symptoms go away.
Follow up with your healthcare provider, or as advised.
If X-rays were done, they will be read by a radiologist and you will be notified if there are any changes.
Call 911 if any of the following occur:
When to seek medical advice
Call your healthcare provider right away if any of these occur:
Pain gets worse or moves to the right lower abdomen
New or worsening vomiting or diarrhea
Swelling of the abdomen
Unable to pass stool for more than 3 days or feeling constipated with abdominal pain or swelling (even if it has been less than 3 days since you've passed stool)
New fever over 100.4ºF (38ºC), or rising fever
Blood in vomit or bowel movements (dark red or black color)
Weakness, dizziness or fainting
Chest, arm, back, neck or jaw pain
(In women): Unexpected vaginal bleeding or missed period