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Surg Innov. 2010 Sep;17(3):183-8. doi: 10.1177/1553350610379869.

Adhesion prevention and reduction: current status and future recommendations of a multinational interdisciplinary consensus conference.

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Wayne State University, Detroit, MI, USA.


Adhesions can be found after virtually every abdominopelvic operation performed through standard laparotomy as well as by laparoscopic approaches. Adhesions can be completely asymptomatic or can cause significant morbidity and mortality including strangulation, obstruction, and necrosis of bowel loops and/or infertility and organ injury during repeat abdominal surgery. Perhaps because of the multifactorial nature of adhesion development, prevention has been very limited. Three anti-adhesion products are commercially available, none of which has been universally accepted as a panacea. Part of the obstacles with adhesion management is the lack of an objective clinically relevant classification to allow their study. Because a single band can cause a life-threatening bowel obstruction, whereas extensive dense intra-abdominal adhesions may be asymptomatic, neither the mere presence or absence of adhesions nor their extent if present is totally adequate endpoints. Adhesions are a major health care burden, and their reduction is a significant unmet need in surgical therapeutics facing all surgeons. Of all the parameters assessing adhesions currently available, the authors believe that adhesion incidence (presence or absence) is the most relevant endpoint with a direct clinical implication. The authors endorse the development of a validated, clinically relevant scale to assess intra-abdominal adhesions. Given the present limitation of objective assessment of adhesions and prediction of their clinical effect, the authors also advocate, when appropriate, the use of one of the Food and Drug Administration-approved adhesion barriers. Further research is required to develop safe and effective anti-adhesion methods as well as better assessment tools for their efficacy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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