Thursday, October 2, 2008

Women Unaware of Adhesion Risks

Maybe that's because cesarean *surgery* has become so commonplace, that women don't realize that there are major risks associated with it? Maybe because women now are so conditioned to believe that a cesarean is simply another way to have a baby? It deeply, deeply saddens me that cesarean risks are so downplayed. And ahdesions may not seem like a huge deal - until you've experienced a particularly bad bout of adhesions breaking up...feeling like dozens of rubber bands snapping inside of your body. :(

And seriously? They're offering free copies of "Guide to preparing for gynecologic surgery"?!?!? How about a guide on how to PREVENT gynecologic surgery? Where's that free copy?


Wednesday, October 1, 2008*
5:41:00 PM EDT New Survey Reveals Women Are Unaware of the Dangers of
Surgical Adhesions

*Red Bank, NJ* - Although more than half of the country's women will have
some type of pelvic surgery and are therefore at risk for surgical
adhesions, a survey released this month by the not-for-profit National
Women's Health Resource Center (NWHRC) finds that women are largely unaware
of the health risks associated with adhesions.

Surgical adhesions occur when tissue in the abdominal cavity adheres, or
gets stuck to other tissue. Adhesions commonly form following pelvic
surgeries, such as hysterectomy, tubal ligation, cesarean section, and cyst
removal. Left untreated, adhesions can cause infertility, abdominal pain,
and bowel obstruction.

The survey of 1,000 women showed respondents strongly believe women should
be informed about surgical adhesions prior to surgery (69%). Conversely, an
overwhelming majority of women (80%) who had pelvic surgery were not
informed about adhesions prior to their surgery. Of the women in the survey
who suffer from adhesions, seven out of ten (70%) say they would have taken
special precautions to protect themselves from getting adhesions if they had
been aware of possible adhesion-related complications.

Susan Jones*, a human resources director and mother of three from McLean,
Virginia, has experience with the long-term effects adhesions can have on a
person's health. All of Jones's children were delivered by cesarean section.
Due to adhesions caused by these three surgeries, she suffers from
reoccurring abdominal pain and has been advised not to have any more
children because of the increased difficulty of delivering a baby surrounded
by such a large amount of scar tissue.

"My first c-section only took about 10 minutes for the doctor to get the
baby out," said Jones. "My second c-section took nearly 45 minutes and my
final c-section took nearly an hour and a half. My doctor had such a hard
time maneuvering around the scar tissue to get to my baby."

"If I had known about adhesions," continued Jones, "I would have talked to
my doctor about what can be done to reduce my risk for getting them."

Like Ms. Jones, half (51%) of survey respondents were not aware that
preventative measures can be taken to lower your risk of adhesions and an
even higher proportion (68%) of women that had undergone surgery did not
know if their surgeon took specific steps to guard against adhesions.

"Preventive measures to reduce the incidence of adhesions are the mainstay
of limiting the complications related to adhesions," stated Dr. Glenn
Schattman, Associate Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Weill
Medical College of Cornell University. "These include using minimally
invasive surgical procedures, meticulous surgical technique, keeping tissues
moist, reducing bleeding and the use of adjuvant adhesions prevention
barriers to keep the tissues from sticking to each other."

"It's important to understand that once adhesions form, they are hard to get
rid of," continued Dr. Schattman. "Adhesions can cause blockages of the
intestines, fallopian tubes causing infertility and pain."

When faced with pelvic surgery, women said they were most concerned about
short-term surgical issues such as the general recovery process (60%),
immediate surgical results (59%) and post surgical pain (59%).

"Along with their immediate post-surgery concerns, women need to make
adhesions part of the pre-surgery dialogue with their health care provider,"
stated Elizabeth Battaglino Cahill, RN, executive vice president of the
NWHRC. "We hope that this adhesion awareness campaign can give women the
tools they need to understand the health risks of adhesions and how to
protect themselves from this life-long internal scarring."

To provide women the information they need about ways to minimize the risk
of surgical adhesions, the NWHRC has developed a one-page fast facts on
adhesions and an in-depth *Guide to Preparing for Gynecologic Surgery*. The
guide includes sections entitled:

- All About Adhesions
- Preparing for Surgery Checklist
- Choosing a Surgeon
- After Your Surgery

To download your complimentary online copy of the *Guide to Preparing for
Gynecologic Surgery*, "Fast Facts for Your Health: Pelvic Adhesions" or to
learn more about the adhesion survey, please visit NWHRC's award-winning Web
site, The survey and campaign materials were made
possible through support from Ethicon Women's Health & Urology, a division
of ETHICON, Inc.

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