Laparoscopic Adhesions Surgery
Keyhole surgery is helpful for selected patients suffering chronic abdominal pain.
Adhesions are bands of scar tissue in the abdomen. They can be congenital and present from birth. Sometimes they form in reaction to abdominal surgery. Most of the time they cause nothing more than occasional abdominal pain but sometimes they cause obstructive symptoms and regular pains that are very detrimental to quality of life. One major problem with adhesions has been that they do not show up on X-Rays, ultrasound scanning or CT scanning. However, laparoscopy now provides a way of looking into the abdomen with a minimally invasive technique. This can be helpful in further investigating patients with chronic unexplained abdominal pain and sometimes laparoscopic division of adhesions removes the pain or an alternative diagnosis may be discovered. Although a significant number of patients are made no better by diagnostic laparoscopy, it can be very effective in some patients who would have otherwise had a lifetime of putting up with their abdominal symptoms.
No special preparations are required for keyhole adhesions surgery. If patients are otherwise fit and well and have someone to look after them at home then their operation can often be done as a daycase procedure. Otherwise a one night hospital stay is required. After the operation patients should not do any heavy lifting or heavy exercise for two weeks but light duties and walking are encouraged. Patients should try to keep their wounds dry for 48 hours to enable a scab to form over the wound which is the best type of dressing. Patients can wash and shower as normal after surgery but they should replace any wet dressings with dry ones in the first 48 hours. After two weeks most keyhole surgery patients will be able to resume all normal activities. If patients have had to have open surgery through a large incision then they may well have to stay in hospital for several days longer and their recovery time at home is lengthened up to eight weeks. There is no strict rule on getting back to driving but you should be happy that you can do an emergency stop and slam down the brakes if a young child were to suddenly run in front of your car. For many patients this means not driving for at least one week after surgery.