From the website of the International Adhesions Society:
Chronic pelvic pain and/or associated intestinal disturbance are a major cause of misery for thousands of patients. Often in constant pain, the patient experiences loneliness, hopelessness, frustration and desperation with thoughts of suicide. Although ADHESIONS are often (but not always) the cause of this pain, treatment for adhesions is not performed either because the surgeon does not believe that adhesions can cause the problem, or because lysis of adhesions is considered too difficult or futile.
What are Adhesions?
An ADHESION is a type of scar that forms an abnormal connection between two parts of the body. Adhesions can cause severe clinical problems. For example, adhesions involving the female reproductive organs (ovaries, Fallopian tubes) can and do cause infertility, dyspareunia (painful intercourse) and debilitating pelvic pain. Adhesions involving the bowel can cause bowel obstruction or blockage. Adhesions may form elsewhere such as around the heart, spine and in the hand where they lead to other problems.
Adhesions occur in response to injury of various kinds. For example, non-surgical insults such as endometriosis, infection, chemotherapy, radiation and cancer may damage tissue and initiate ADHESIONS. By far the most common kind of ADHESION is the one that forms after surgery. ADHESIONS typically occur at the site of a surgical procedure although they may also occur elsewhere.
Adhesions and Chronic Pelvic Pain (CPP)
ADHESIONS are believed to cause pelvic pain by tethering down organs and tissues, causing traction (pulling) of nerves. Nerve endings may become entrapped within a developing adhesion. If the bowel becomes obstructed, distention will cause pain.
Some patients in whom chronic pelvic pain has lasted more than six months may develop “Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndrome.”
Adhesions and Surgery
Adhesions are an almost inevitable outcome of surgery, and the problems that they cause are widespread and sometimes severe. It has been said by some that adhesions are the single most common and costly problem related to surgery, and yet most people have not even heard the term.
Menzies and Ellis (1990) found that 93% of patients who had undergone at least one previous abdominal operation had adhesions, compared with only 10.4% of patients who had never had a previous abdominal operation.
Furthermore, 1% of all laparotomies developed obstruction due to adhesions within one year of surgery with 3% leading to obstruction at some time after surgery.
Lastly, following surgical treatment of adhesions causing intestinal obstruction, obstruction due to adhesion reformation occurred in 11 to 21% of cases (Menzies, 1993).
The problem with adhesiolysis is that ADHESIONS almost always reform, and so the procedure is sometimes self-defeating.
In addition, the presence of adhesions makes surgery more hazardous, because of the risk of injury to the bowel, bladder, blood vessels and ureters.
Thank you, http://joynpain2.wordpress.com, for pointing out this frequently misdiagnosed chronic pain problem.