Three Methods for Reducing Post-Surgery Adhesion Formation
Last updated: January 2022
Surgery can be a helpful and necessary tool for many of us with endo, but it also comes with risks, including possible nerve damage or hypersensitivity, and adhesion formation.1
What are post-surgery adhesions?
Adhesions are web or elastic band-like structures, made from collagen, that wrap around organs and wounded areas to protect us from infection and to support the healing process.
The problem is, they can often go too far and start sticking to surrounding organs and surfaces, causing immense pressure, significant pain and affecting the mobility and function of these organs, muscles, and tissues.
In my personal experience, and from what I’ve witnessed with clients, we’re often not educated about post-surgery adhesions and so we don’t know how to prevent them or how to treat them once they’ve taken hold, but adhesions develop in 55% - 100% of people who have pelvic surgery, so this is an issue that can’t be ignored.2
In fact, if you have major abdominal surgery, for example, you are having more extensive surgery for your endo rather than standard laparoscopy. Then the chance of developing adhesions is around 90%.2
Not only do these adhesions cause pain, but they also significantly increase the risk of developing small intestine bacterial overgrowth, a gut condition that is currently estimated as affecting up to 80% of the endo community and might be one of the leading culprits of the endo belly.3
What can you do about adhesions?
The first strategy that I suggest to clients is to try a form of at-home arvigo massage. If you can do it post-surgery, once your scars have healed, that is one of the best times to get started. If your surgery was a while ago, it will still help.
Arvigo massage is a type of pelvic and abdominal massage that improves circulation and aids with pelvic pain, painful periods, digestive issues (especially constipation and bloating), and clearing away scar tissue.
It is a gentle form of massage, so it is not going to be making a huge dent in the adhesions, but will be aiding the body to clear away scar tissue over time. It will also help stimulate motility in the gut, meaning that they’ll be a lesser chance of SIBO developing.
I always like to pair an at-home massage with visceral manipulation. Visceral manipulation is a form of manual therapy which was designed by a physical therapist named Jean-Pierre Barral.
Manual therapy is a type of hands-on massage work, usually performed by physical therapists, that mobilizes parts of the body and organs and kneads/massages particular areas of tightness and discomfort. Visceral manipulation is particularly helpful for freeing up organs and areas which have become stuck, frozen, or tense from adhesion formation.
It is a favorite of Dr. Siebecker’s for SIBO patients who have adhesions. You’ll need to see a trained visceral manipulation professional to try this option.
Clear Passage Therapy
Lastly, we have the ultimate in manual therapy for adhesions. Clear passage therapy was specifically designed for breaking down adhesion formation and treats endometriosis, SIBO and adhesions post-surgery, among other causes of adhesion formation and scar tissue.
They actually have research proving their effectiveness for endometriosis and can actually negate the need for surgery. This all, of course, depends on the person.
It can significantly improve fertility and dramatically reduce pain, during menstruation, sex, and on a day-to-day basis.4,5 Clear passage therapy can be a lot more costly, but if you have the budget, it’s worth considering.
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