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Endometriosis UK
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Adhesions advice please - Thought my endometriosis was back!!!

I had surgery 7 years ago for extensive endometriosis. Until a year ago I was pain free with no periods after taking Zoladex and a range of progesteron only pills. Last year I developed severe pelvic pain again and a range of other symptoms. Thinking it was a reoccurence of my endo I had a laparoscopy 2 weeks ago. Both ovaries were stuck to the pelvic wall with cysts, my omentum was stuck and my rectum was stuck to the pouch of douglas. Both ovaries were released during surgery and another "patch" was excised and the cysts drained. The pouch of douglas and omentum were left. After surgery I was spoken to like they thought it was a return of endometriosis but after just getting the results of the histology no endo is present. I am obviously pleased that it has not returned but confused that I seem to have suffered exactly the same symptoms over the past year. I wondered if any one else had suffered with adhesions like this that cause severe pain and what has been done about them if anything. I am having an MRI just to check that the pouch of douglas shows no endo aswell but I suspect that it is probably just adhesions aswell. Any advice or knowledge much appreciated.

5 Replies

Sorry I am not being helpful, but this is interesting for us Endo ladies to read too.

My last laparoscopy was over two years ago and I am convinced that the endo is back, so I need to keep in mind that it could also be something similar to you.

I would have thought that your doctors would come up with an explanation for this? Haven’t they seen it before? Could it be just scar tissues that heal sealing together?


It surprising just how much adhesions can hurt when the pelvic organs are stuck together with superglue.

You cannot have too many surgeries as each encourages yet more wretched adhesions to grow, but neither can you stop them growing because they are formed automatically to protect you (ironically) from future damage.

there are various barriers methods that can be used in surgery between organs to stop them gluing to one another. The adhesions will still grow till they hit the buffers and that does buy you bit longer before the adhesion growth works its way round the barriers.

It doesn't stop growing -which is the biggest problem.

One of my Aunts now approaching her 80s and had a hysterectomy in her 30s has had a life time battle with adhesions, some days she's practically bent double as she walks, other days she can be standing tall as normal, all depending on adhesion pains.

7 years is a pretty good innings between surgeries for adhesions, and if they have now freed up your main organs you should be feeling a lot more comfy once the op pains have died down.

Adhesions can get so mature they have their own blood supply like a living cobweb of sticky glue.

Now there are some websites and programs advertised on th internet which claim to have methods for stretching and preventing adhesions causing pain by doing certain yoga type exercises - I cannot vouch for them but it may be worth while investigating so long as you don't part with money you canot afford to lose.

Some ladies on the forum are currently giving Serrapeptase a trial run for themsleves to see if that improves adhesions as claimed by far eastern homeopathic practitioners.

Again do your home work before deciding if that's something you want to try.

On the plus side for all the damage and pain caused by adhesions- it is preferable to have adhesions over endo lesions, so in that sense the results of the lap op are good news.

Hope your recovery goes well and your back to rights in no time.


MRI will not show endometriosis unless it is significant in size and on the bowel. The fact that the omentum is stuck in the pouch of douglas may mean endo there, between the two surfaces. But the fact that you were pain free for 7 years is positive and adhesions may be the issue


Yes, you are right and thank you for your reply. I have been told that the adhesions are from the previous surgery and are pretty much in the same places. When endo is severe I have been told that after surgery it is quite common for adhesions to happen pretty much straight after in some cases. My bowel was never stuck before but I did have pretty bad endo in the pouch of douglas so it's not a surprise that it is now stuck because of scar tissue. The omentum which is some kind of lining over your organs is certainly a new one for me! I just think that I am surprised because I never realised ahesions could be so extensive and cause the pain and symptoms I experienced before. Although I had endometriomas in my ovaries before they obviously still seem to develop cysts even with no periods! If you are experiencing pain again I would definitely go and see someone. I promised myself I would never go through what I and many others go through (over 10 years to be diagnosed with endo)again and pushed for this recent laproscopy because my quality of life deteriorated so rapidly over a year. It appears that adhesions can still cause similar problems eg ovaries, bowel sticking, twisting, fertility etc as endo in some cases.


Hello there

I went in a few weeks ago to remove a cyst and but they couldn't operate as I have extensive adhesions. They aren't sure if I have endo too. I was really shocked too as I didn't realise. The adhesions must have been from an op I had 5 years ago to remove a large fibroid - it was a long op then as they couldn't get at it easily and I lost a lot of blood - so I think my body went into overdrive to protect everything. I don't know if I have endo - I'm not sure if they took a sample - I hope that they did.

Wierdly I haven't felt in pain since then - only since last summer - when I started to notice back and ovary pains (which turned out to be a large cyst).

The adhesions are wrapped around my bowels which might be the reason for my strange bowel movements!

Anyway I'm seeing a surgeon in a month and will ask him about adhesion prevention and I don't want surgery to make things worse, but at the same time I'm not sure if the current adhesions are causing any problems.

Basically I think its really important to ask a surgeon about adhesion prevention. I was looking on the internet and found a report saying that adhesions are a problem as many people have to have more surgery to remove them as a result of previous surgery. The report said that surgeons need to put in place adhesion prevention measures - including barriers and also being gentle!


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