Doctors and providers who treat this condition


Abdominal Pain, Adhesions From Prior Surgery (Child)

When surgery is done on the abdomen, bands of scar tissue often form. These are called adhesions. Many adhesions cause no symptoms or only mild abdominal pain. However, some adhesions partially block the intestine and cause more serious abdominal cramping and pain. In rare cases, adhesions completely block the intestine. This can cause severe abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting, bloating, constipation, and inability to pass gas. This is serious and needs immediate medical treatment.

If adhesions are not blocking the intestine, they usually cause no health problems. Adhesions often go away by themselves and need no treatment. Medications may be given to help relieve pain and inflammation. If adhesions are partially blocking the intestine, a low-fiber diet can help relieve symptoms. In severe cases, surgery is required to remove the adhesions.

Home Care:

Medications: The doctor may prescribe medications for pain and inflammation. Follow the doctor’s instructions when giving these medications to your child.

General Care:

  1. If prescribed, have your child eat a low-fiber diet, as advised by your doctor. Try applesauce, cooked cereals, or mashed potatoes.

  2. Encourage your child to take small bites when eating and completely chew all food before swallowing.

  3. Comfort your child as needed. Try to find positions that ease your child’s discomfort. A small pillow placed on the abdomen may help provide pain relief. Some children may be distracted from pain by listening to music or having someone read to them.

  4. Monitor your child carefully for worsening symptoms. If signs of an intestinal blockage develop (see below), get medical help right away.

Follow Up

as advised by the doctor or our staff.

Special Notes To Parents:

Learn to recognize your child’s normal bowel pattern. Note color, consistency, and frequency of stools.

Get Prompt Medical Attention

if any of the following occur:

  • Fever greater than 100.4°F (38°C)

  • Symptoms of blockage, such as severe abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting, or constipation

  • Bloody stools

  • Inability to pass gas; absent or infrequent bowel movements

  • Swelling of the abdomen

  • Refusal to drink or eat


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