Surgical Takedown of Scar Tissue Causing Intestinal Obstruction

Scar tissues, also called adhesions, are areas of inflammation that form as part of the healing process. However, sometimes adhesions are a complication of surgical treatment where they form between the intestines and the inner lining of the abdominal cavity or with other internal organs such as the liver or gallbladder. Adhesions may be caused by incisions made on abdominal organs, handling of tissue during surgery, leaving foreign objects (such as a piece of gauze) in the abdomen, radiation treatments, or certain gynecological conditions. Adhesions can cause a loss of free movement between the loops of the intestine, adherence to other tissue or organs and twisting in areas, which can obstruct the flow of intestinal contents. This can produce symptoms such as abdominal pain or discomfort, reduced stool and flatus production and nausea and vomiting, and may require surgical takedown or removal.

Surgical takedown is performed either by open (involves a large abdominal incision) or laparoscopic (involves smaller incisions and passing a lighted camera tube and small instruments through them) approach, to cut or destroy the scar tissue. It is important to understand that the scar tissue can recur, however the laparoscopic technique is associated with fewer recurrences of adhesions.