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Avatar universal

Severe Abdominal Pain 2 1/2 months after hysterectomy

My 37 year old daughter had a laproscopic hysterectomy 2 1/2 months ago.  Her recovery seemed normal for the first few weeks.  Since then she has been suffering severe pain in her lower abdomin -- stabbing pain at times, pulling pain at times, constant pain always.  Her GYN sent her for a CT scan, which did not reveal anything.  The GYN wants to "give it some more time."

I have encouraged her to go to an acupuncturist, who happens to be a D.O., too.  He has seen her twice.  He has does some medical manipulation (her hips/pelvis were tilted), pressure point massage, and acupuncture.  So far, nothing seems to help.  She is only able to be "up and around" a couple of hours a day.  

She (and I) is at her wit's end.  What should she expect?  A lifetime of pain?


This discussion is related to pain from hyst. will NOT go away..
3 Responses
82861 tn?1333457511
Did her doctor ever bring up adhesions (scar tissue) as a possible source of her pain?  It's pretty common after any abdominal surgery - even laparascopic.  Has she noticed any changes in bowel habits or her pain getting worse after eating?  If so, that would indicate bowel adhesions.  Some people have a bellyful of scar tissue and never have a problem.  Others may have one strand wrapped around a loop of bowel or other adbdominal structure and be in a world of trouble.

Adhesions start out as soft, flexible, filmy tissue that forms as a normal bodily reaction to any inflammation.  That inflammation may come from infection, surgery, bleeding or conditions like cancer or endometriosis.  As the scar tissue ages, is can become very tough and ropy.  The older and firmer it becomes, the more symptoms (exactly as your daughter has) become noticeable.  Since it's soft tissue, it doesn't usually show up on imaging studies either which means diagnosis is up to a doctor who pays close attention to past surgical history and the patient's reported symptoms.

Final diagnosis is made through another laparascopic surgery which is also therapeutic.  The adhesions are cut to release the structures they're stuck to.  The risk is that more surgery can cause more adhesions to form, but most patients go on with no further trouble.  I've been plagued with adhesions since 1997 from a bad gallbladder, appendix, endometriosis and finally an open hysterectomy that caused the worst of them.  

Your daughter's gynecological surgeon should be more than capable of doing adheliolysis surgery.  If you don't get anywhere with that doctor, a general surgeon can also do it - IF that is indeed what is going on.
Avatar universal
Thanks for your input.  Yes, we are aware of adhesions, but the thought of another surgery is our last option.
82861 tn?1333457511
As serious as your daughter's pain is (only able to be upright a couple hours a day is serious) surgery is about the only option available.  Pain meds won't entirely cover up the pain and they cause their own set of problems long term.  Some people have had luck with a lot of abdominal massage to help bust up adhesions, but that's usually only when they just begin to form - before major symptoms appear.  It all depends on how deep they're located, how hard they are and what they're attached to.  Once scar tissue is formed, it doesn't go away.  The only options are surgery or live with it.  Best of luck to her, and if you discover any new adhesion info please let me know.  It's an all-too-common post-op complication that's been ignored by medical research for far too long.
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