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Abdominal Adhesions After Appendectomy

HI there,

I'm new here, I'm not sure if this is the right place for this but I'm struggling to find anywhere that it clearly connects to.

Last July I had abdominal pain one Monday, went to the doctors on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday with ever increasing pain as the pills had no effect, on Thursday was refereed to the hospital, left for 24 hour obs and finally had my appendix out. The obs where because other then obviously being in pain I had no signs of an issue.

I was home Sunday afternoon and while tender was feeling better. Recovery progressed steadily and but the end of week one I was walking without a stick again. Week 2 I was able to do my kids school runs (10m drive) and all was seeming on the mend, I was still avoiding anything strenuous.

In the beginning of week 3 I very suddenly had sharp pain again exactly where my appendix was, almost identical in feeling to the original appendicitis. I went to the doctors and was told it was just "healing pain". It persisted for a month before I was sent to the hospital to be seen and was told after a 5 min chat "healing pain", possible Adhesion

Its now March, over 7 months after the operation. I've finally got a second referral as I've been in pain for the last 6 months. Before this I did outdoor work, gardening, building, hill walking... I was very active. Since this I've been all but house bound. The grass hasn't been cut in months, thankfully its winter. I've had to give up all outdoor hobbies and activities, I cant even play on the floor with my kids as getting up is very painful.

Painkillers don't seem to work very well, the only one that does, only works as its side effect puts me to sleep, but I cant even take that now as for some reason the drowsie effect lasts overnight and through to the following evening, meaning i cant drive or look after my kids.

I found that eating make it a lot worse so now only eat dinner every 2-3 days, which while lowering my generic pain also means I've lost muscle mass, its a no-win feeling. This also haled with another condition involving going to the toilet as the tank fills a lot slower. I have to still take a weekly high dose of meds to clear the system else the pain increases even further on my right lower abdomen.

Ive been to the doctors so much for help that I feel like I should get a loyalty card, and feel guilty going back when I know they cant help and others could use that appointment for getting help that the doctors could supply.

I even tried ignoring it when one possibility was suggested that it was neurological and not actual damage. I can ignore it for about an hour but the continual increase in intensity always wins out and I then pay for it for days.

My pain is strange. Its like being sick 247, a dull pain across my entire lower abdominal area. A very sharp pain from the site of my appendix up about 6 inches, which gets exponentially worse the more I try and ignore it. If my bowel isn't playing ball, I get a second stabling, throbbing pain in my lower right side extending up as far as my lowest rib, this subsides once the bowel starts doing its job again.

Ive been out of work for 6 months now, I'm currently self employed so don't get income support, and the lack of hobbies is driving me up the wall as I cant distract from the pain.

+Does anyone have any experiences like this?

+Can this really be healing pain? does healing pain not get better while healing?

+If they determine its adhesion, will they try and fix it or keep giving me pills that are making me feel even worse?

My last hospital trip was a 2 hour wait for a 5 min chat that felt like a fob off, I'm concerned that it will reoccurred as they wont see this as impacting as it is.

Anyone have any words of wisdom?

Thanks, and sorry for the essay.

8 Replies

i have a little experience with adhesions after having an hysterectomy and also a large operation just over two years ago. it can take a long time for the nerves to knit together again and if you constipated its pressing on nerves all along the bowel lines and we are attached by those nerves at the back and the front. i had a terrible time before my hysterectomy many years ago and was terrified of going under and would not let them give me it untill many years later. inside i was all stuck together with infection. so i am covered with adhesions where my tubes were stuck to the bowel through infection. i was for ever on anti biotics as i kept getting infection as i had pid. pelvic inflamattory disease. when i get constipated i get pains in my sides that ache. however you should still get things checked out and dont just accect that it is adhesions. if you have scar tissure its good to massage that area as often as you can with oil and stretch the skin and the belly as this all helps. doing stretching exercises in general is good as it gets the blood to the parts that need it. so does the massage that you can do yourself. drink plenty water as that helps keep the system running smoother.even if you had keyhole surgery and have no scars as such you can still massage the tissue under the skin and give it a stretch do it frequently as it all helps.exercise is good for pain especailly stretching and if your loosing muscle mass its not good. look on utube for exercise for after appendectomy.

i hope this little link with advice and exercise will help you. livestrong.com/article/4372...

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Yep I had my appendix removed, however I ended up being very poorly as I wasn't registered to see a doctor up until the point I just ready to give up on life, I ended up just making an emergency appointment with a locum and next thing I know I just got in a taxi to the hospital after a doctor said here's some paracetamol, er no, my appendix had ruptured with a abcess, so I was hospitalised for over 3 weeks, and advised not to work for another 3 months, so the healing process was over, but then I had the worst pain again same area, but this time it was stomach adhesions, so apparently when I was operated upon they washed the inside of my bowels out with saline solution, to get rid of the pus etc, I believe this can wash the natural fluids inside the stomach away, like a car with no engine oil, so I had to be starved for a week in order for the bowels to come back online, otherwise it was a day with the surgeon, thank goodness my stomach decided to start up, I've not had this problem since and that was over 10 years ago, we are all different and heal in different ways, I don't know if you are expecting to much to stay fit, it's major surgery so, gently gently and a healthy diet with plenty of fluids , good luck.


Hi , my appendix ruptured too , about a month ago. One minute diagnosed as mild appendix, the next I woke from surgery to be told they couldn’t remove appendix, because it had burst and was on top of my bowel. They washed me out , removed pus etc. I was in hospital for 10 days. Ive been athome for nearly a month post surgery and all of a sudden I’m getting pain again lower right side, feeling sick, gurlgling noises again in colon. Reflux .Feels like it’s coming back again? Did this happen to you? Or was it a different pain?

Interested to know how long recovery is supposed to be. They were very casual when I was discharged, gp told me months....


It was many years ago, and trying to remember that far back would be difficult for me to remember, however I do remember having a nasal tube that was put down into my stomach because of the excess acid so clearly I must of been having issues with the reflux side of things, the pains were very severe and it felt like really bad cramps, as for going to work again if you had open surgery rather than key hole I myself was told 3 months off work, I had let my condition go on to long and my weight had dropped down to ten stone, where I was normally around 13 stone, I thought I had something more sinister and thought that my time was up, how wrong I was, definitely do keep an eye out for other symptoms possibly the runs as well, we all have different pain thresholds so if you feel you are getting worse always consult your doctor, and take things easy, don't be doing anything strenuous, and have a healthy diet with protein to repair your body, good luck hope things work out well for you, thanks.


Many thanks for your reply. Appreciate you filling me in re yr experience. I had a mixed up op, as they went in thinking it was a laprostic surgical removal, then changed their minds, cut some of me open 4 inches or so, then decided they couldn’t remove it. Stuck me on drips to get rid of infection, told me I need CT scan / conoloscopy to see if another op needed. I had hoped it would be over, but wondering now the pain is back. Hopefully it’s not a sign, just nerve recovery etc.

I will bear in mind your tips/ signs it’s going pear shaped . I too didn’t realise how ill I was, Hospital initially treated me casually too, no I may have high pain threshold too.


Hmm, to be honest with you Im just presuming that my appendix was removed as I had a abcess that had ruptured in the area, and I also had the surgical holes but I'm not sure if this is just so the surgeon has a better idea on what's going on inside the body,my site wound goes straight through my belly button and is around 6 inches long, who would of thought such a useless piece of flesh could cause so much grief, and it's ironic that my grandmother died with a burst appendix, so it's a serious condition to have, it's major surgery and just because you may have only a small wound it's not to be underestimated, as you may have been feeling ill for a considerable length of time, so the body is already weakened and having surgery this impacts your length of recovery, it was over two weeks before I even had a bowel movement, and in total was hospitalised for 3 and a half weeks,and even after being discharged I ended up with a secondary infection, and another course of antibiotics, so definitely take things easy, I think folk have got the wrong idea that having your appendix removed is a walk in the park especially if it's a rupture, it's so important not to rush around or do any heavy lifting etc, let your body heal, and slowly you'll get your strength back, thanks.


Sounds like you have had a really tough time with your recovery. It’s a totally unexpected, debilitating experience at the best of times. Yet alone your experience.

Most people I know who had relatively easy appendectomies, had a tough time to get taken seriously and get the appendix removed, and took time to recover. I woke from my op being told it didn’t go well. Depending on which consultants I spoke to, I would get differing feedback eg some said they couldn’t remove the appendix as it had formed an abscess on top of my bowel, which was large. Others would say it had ruptured, but luckily the abscess protected other organs etc. Either way , the best they could do was clean out the infection, and pump me with IV antibiotics for at least a week. The op took 3 hours. I would then need a series of scans post discharge to assess if I need another op, a more invasive bowel op. Hopefully not and everything has gone. Unfortunately, I won’t have answers in the short term. I’ve had 2 bladder infections since leaving hospital.both have floored me. I also developed a severe inner ear imbalance during my time in hospital.( Balance, dizziness, tinnitus,double vision ) Although my gp has suggested months of recovery, I am under pressure with work, my job may not be around if I don’t get back to it in a few weeks . It is part time, so hoping that may be ok, but doubt It at the moment . Something to aim for I guess!


See a sports therapist. They hopefully should be able to give sound advice. One could view your operation as a sports injury in regard to some of the issues you are having.

Also google "Thomas Myers". He is an expert on fascia. Some of your issues could be fascia related.

Was anything left inside at the time of surgery? Have you an infection? Do you have something else at the operation site?

Google implies that you should not be having a problem this long after the operation. However, I am not knowledgeable on this issue so I have no idea how accurate Google is. I do know from experience that nerves can get stuck in tissue and cause pain on movement. My Alexander Teacher has referred to needing to stretch nerves.


I have come across this which may be of interest.

Nerves regrow slowly. Nerves may have been cut during your operation. When they regrew muscles started to contract causing pain and discomfort.

What I have mentioned may have some rightness or may be wrong. You can only determine this by investigation.

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