What are Adhesions?

Abdominal Adhesions are a widespread problem.

Up to 93 per cent of people who have abdominal surgery go on to develop adhesions. Abdominal adhesions also occur in 10 per cent of people who have never had surgery. What Are Adhesions?

An adhesion is a band of scar tissue that joins two internal body surfaces that are not usually connected. Organs or tissues within the body stick (adhere) to other internal surfaces.

Adhesions develop as the body attempts to repair itself. This normal response can occur after surgery, infection, injury (trauma) or radiation. Adhesions may appear as thin sheets of tissue similar to plastic wrap, or as thick fibrous bands.

Adhesions can affect the female reproductive organs (ovaries, fallopian tubes), the bowel, the area around the heart, the spine and the hand. They can cause a range of problems including infertility, dyspareunia (painful intercourse), pelvic pain and bowel obstruction or blockage. Adhesions can also lead to a complex set of problems called adhesion-related disorder (ARD).

Although a majority of adhesions are painless and do not cause complications, adhesions cause 60 to 70 per cent of small bowel obstructions in adults and are believed to contribute to the development of chronic pelvic pain.

Adhesion Related Disorder”(ARD)

ARD is a group of symptoms that may occur as a result of adhesions. A person with ARD will usually experience chronic abdominal pain.

Typical adhesions form within the first few days after surgery, but symptoms can last for months or even years. Symptoms may be mostly in one area of the abdomen, but are often generalised, vague, ‘crampy’ and difficult to define. This means ARD can be difficult to diagnose.


Symptoms of ARD may include:

  • chronic pain
  • infertility
  • bowel obstruction and an inability to pass gas
  • urinary bladder dysfunction
  • pain and difficulty having a bowel movement
  • pain on movement such as walking, sitting or lying in certain positions
  • emotional disorders such as depression, thoughts of suicide or hopelessness.
  • Other intestinal problems may include constipation, obstruction, or alternating constipation with diarrhoea from partial obstruction.


Women may experience gynaecological problems, which can add to the anxiety and self-esteem problems that may already be experienced by women who suffer with this disorder.

Symptoms of ARD can be mistaken as a sign of another condition. These can include a whole host of other possible diagnoses such as chronic fatigue syndrome, endometriosis, irritable bowel syndrome, fibromyalgia, depression and anxiety.

Please consult your doctor or medical professional if you are unsure or experience and of the above symptoms.

Please download this Risk, Diagnostic and Treatment Fact Sheet, Curtesy of Betterhealth Vic Adhesions.Pdf Fact Sheet


Adhesions & Why You Need to Massage

We know that 93% of patients will develop adhesions, however they will not be problematic for everyone but prevention is always your first step in reducing the risk and many Specialists recommend massaging the scar as a way to break up scar tissue.

Belly bands is addressing this issue and work with health specialist to increase awareness of adhesions and have created a Free Massage Guide which contains scar massage tutorials that can be done in the comfort of your own home in less than 5 min a day.

We highly encourage all our customers both men and women to be proactive in their recovery and to talk with their health specials regarding the long-term prevention of post surgery adhesions.

We Recommend - Buying Deluxe Recovery Kit! 




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* As a general rule you should consult your doctor before wearing any compression garment. Belly Bands products and information provide are to be used in conjunction with Doctors Care and does not substitute for Medical 

If you have any questions, fever or signs of infection please contact your doctor before wearing a compression band.