Adhesions are bands of fibrous tissue. They can connect the loops of the intestines to each other, to nearby organs or to the wall of the abdomen. They can pull sections of the intestines out of place. This may block food from passing through the intestine.
Sometimes adhesions are present at birth. But most of them form after surgery on the abdomen. Some adhesions don't cause any problems. But when they partly or completely block the intestines, they cause symptoms. These can include crampy abdominal pain, vomiting, bloating, an inability to pass gas and constipation.
Some adhesions go away by themselves. If they partly block your intestines, a diet low in fiber can allow food to move easily through the affected area. In some cases, surgery may be necessary to remove the adhesions. But surgery to correct adhesions can increase the risk of more adhesions.
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
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|Date last updated: 29 August 2008
Topic last reviewed: 12 May 2008