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A Journal on Obstetrics and Gynecology

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Minerva Ginecologica 2009 February;61(1):57-66

language: English

Prevention of postoperative adhesions

Palaia I., Boni T., Angioli R., Muzii L., Polidori N. F., Andrei N. F., Musella A., De Oronzo M. A., Guzzo F., Benedetti Panici P.

1 Dipartimento di Ostetricia e Ginecologia Università di Roma “La Sapienza”, Roma, Italia
2 Dipartimento di Ostetricia e Ginecologia Università Campus Bio-Medico di Roma Roma, Italia


Postoperative adhesions represent a common consequence in patients who underwent abdominal or pelvic surgery. Such adhesions can be asyntomatic, but they can cause complicances such as chronic abdomino-pelvic pain, secondary infertility, an increase in bowel obstruction risk and more complexity for future surgery, including longer surgery times and an increase in morbidity. Normally, adhesions appear after offences against the peritoneum, causing flogosys, and develop both in new sites, previously not involved, and in sites already interested in adhesiolysis. Previous laparotomy is an important risk factor, as after laparatomy a minimum of 93% of patients present adhesions during a following surgery. Furthermore, the rate of recurrence after adhesiolysis is 85%. Among several strategies employed, valid prevention methods are: using minimally invasive surgery techniques, reducing the incision area, containing tissue dehydration during surgery and an accurate hemostasis. Also, for preventing and reducing adhesions, the usage of NSAIDs, fibrinolytics and anticoagulants, as well as the application of substances acting as a physical barrier, have been proposed. Recently, crystalloid solutions have been introduced, using the hydroflottation principle for intraperitoneal organs. This research aims to analyze causes and epidemiology for postoperative adhesions, with particular regard to gynecological operations and to describe and compare the means available to prevent them.

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