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Laparoscopic lysis of adhesions


Definition: Adhesions (intra abdominal scarring) are a natural part of the normal healing process and develop as a result of previous abdominal surgery, infections, endometriosis, and trauma. For a minority of patients, adhesions may cause intestinal obstruction, infertility, and chronic abdominal pain. Laparoscopic lysis of adhesion is the process through which the adhesions (scar tissue) are cut away.

Reason for the procedure:

  • Chronic abdominal or pelvic pain
  • Intestinal obstruction


  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Chronic abdominal or pelvic pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Bloating and cramps

Treatment options

  • Nonsurgical option: Most intestinal obstructions resolve on their own with a few days of bowel rest (nothing to eat) and intravenous hydration. For those who do not resolve, or the obstruction is due to a mass or tumor, surgery is indicated.
  • Surgical option: Laparoscopic lysis of adhesions or the conventional open lysis of adhesions

Risks associated with surgery

  • Infection of the skin
  • Collection of pus inside your abdomen (intra-abdominal abscess)
  • Postoperative ileus (the intestines slow down/stop working for several days)
  • Recurrent small bowel obstruction
  • Intestinal injury

(This is only a partial list of potential complications)

Pre-operative preparation

  • May include blood work, urinalysis, abdominal x-rays, and an abdominal CT scan.

Average hospital stay:

  • Varies amongst patients, but the average patient stays hospitalized for about 1-5 days without surgery and 4-8 days with surgery.

Type of anesthesia required:

  • Laparoscopic surgery requires general anesthesia which blocks pain and keeps you asleep throughout the entire surgery.

Recovery period

Once you have undergone laparoscopic surgery, your recovery period is usually shortened when compared to conventional open surgery. Most patients can usually go home within 1 to 2 days after the procedure although every case is different. You will be given pain medication along with a laxative to prevent constipation. Your activity may be limited to light lifting (no more than 20 lb) for one month.