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Adhesions are scar tissue that forms between two structures or organs inside the body that are not normally connected to each other. The most common cause of adhesions is previous surgery in the belly.
Adhesions can cause pain and can partly or completely block your bowel (intestines).
If adhesions completely block your bowel, you'll need to stay in the hospital. Your doctor will try some treatments to unblock your bowel. If your symptoms don't get better, or if they get worse, your doctor will talk to you about surgery to remove the blockage and repair your bowel.
If the adhesions only block part of your bowel, you may not need surgery. You may need other treatments or tests. Or you may go home with instructions to not eat, to drink plenty of fluids, and watch for more symptoms.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse advice line (811 in most provinces and territories) if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Call your doctor or nurse advice line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse advice line if:
Current as of: September 8, 2021
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal Medicine & Kenneth Bark MD - General Surgery, Colon and Rectal Surgery
Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.
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