Laparoscopic Lysis of Adhesions



UW Health surgeons at UW Hospital and Clinics in Madison, Wisconsin, perform a laparoscopic lysis of adhesions, a minimally invasive surgery to remove scar tissue.


The Procedure


Scar tissue occurs predominantly in the abdomen and pelvis and can result from post-operative healing or from infections including endometriosis, diverticulitis, appendicitis, and Crohn's disease. Scar tissue is often painful and can cause an array of complications including bowel obstruction and sometimes infertility.


The surgery is performed using a laparoscope, a small lighted camera that can see inside the body, and with other small instruments inserted through a few small incisions in the abdomen. While the patient is under general anesthesia, the surgeon will carefully cut away the scar tissue and remove it through one of the small incisions. Once all of the scar tissue has been removed, the surgeon will suture or stitch the small incisions closed. The surgery takes approximately one to three hours.


The Difference of Minimally Invasive


There are numerous benefits to having this procedure performed laparoscopically rather than with the traditional open method:

  • Faster recovery, patient may return home the same day or the day after the surgery, return to light activities after eight to 10 days and return to all activities after 15 days. By comparison, open procedures require two or four days longer in the hospital and four to six weeks of recovery time before returning to normal activities.
  • Less pain post-operatively
  • Fewer post-operative complications
  • Cosmetic appeal, rather than one long incision across the abdomen, small, barely visible incisions are placed in or below the navel and on the sides of the abdomen.