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Kassia

Dr. Hive - scar tissue/adhesion discomfort

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I've had five abdominal surgeries - three laparoscopies and two c-sections (big ugly vertical scar due to emergency).  Recently, I started having infrequent sharp pains right at my navel where the top of my scar is - almost like a pinprick or a pinch, but it would go away quickly.  Today I started getting them early in the morning and they've lasted all day.  They seem to happen when I'm standing and not so much if I'm sitting.  Has anyone experienced this?  I assume it's just adhesions/scar tissue because I've been told I have adhesions in that area.   

 

Also, I had an intestinal blockage last year that the doctors suspect was caused by abdominal adhesions, but this feels totally different than that did.  This is just annoying, but I was wondering if it's normal.  

 

ETA- my last surgery was 13 years ago.

 

 

Edited by Kassia

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I get those too, incidentally in the same spot. I've had an appendectomy and hysterectomy with a long zipper as well.

Someone told me to massage the area with some jojoba oil and take systemic enzymes between meals. They are supposed to break up protein formations which scar tissue evidently is. Come to think of it, I have not felt anything in a while.

Edited by Liz CA
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Possibly TMI, but I have had nine abdominal surgeries now - last one this summer removed a bit of small intestine that was just all squished up from scar tissue at the site where I had had a colostomy for a few months after a bad car crash. I have had pains similar to what you describe off and on at that site - like you, figured it was scar tissue or an adhesion being pulled a bit. But I ended up with more pain that came in waves and turned out the scar tissue had mangled my innards to the point of an obstruction. If you are still, well, passing gas and poop, then it is probably not an obstruction.

 

I had a massive benign fibroid removed decades ago, a few months before I got preg. with twins. As those babies grew and I expanded, the adhesions got pulled and I ended up in the ER swearing like a dock worker. Someone had the sense to pull my surgery records and figured out it was adhesions from the surgery, which while it did not help the pain, helped me not worry it was something dire that would harm the babies.

 

A sharp quick pain like you describe might even be a tiny surgical staple poking something? If it keeps up, I would ask the doctor - perhaps a scan of some sort to "peek under the hood"? Problem with getting cut open to have adhesions trimmed away with then THAT surgery can cause adhesions.

 

Good luck!

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Possibly TMI, but I have had nine abdominal surgeries now - last one this summer removed a bit of small intestine that was just all squished up from scar tissue at the site where I had had a colostomy for a few months after a bad car crash. I have had pains similar to what you describe off and on at that site - like you, figured it was scar tissue or an adhesion being pulled a bit. But I ended up with more pain that came in waves and turned out the scar tissue had mangled my innards to the point of an obstruction. If you are still, well, passing gas and poop, then it is probably not an obstruction. I had a massive benign fibroid removed decades ago, a few months before I got preg. with twins. As those babies grew and I expanded, the adhesions got pulled and I ended up in the ER swearing like a dock worker. Someone had the sense to pull my surgery records and figured out it was adhesions from the surgery, which while it did not help the pain, helped me not worry it was something dire that would harm the babies. A sharp quick pain like you describe might even be a tiny surgical staple poking something? If it keeps up, I would ask the doctor - perhaps a scan of some sort to "peek under the hood"? Problem with getting cut open to have adhesions trimmed away with then THAT surgery can cause adhesions. Good luck!

 

Definitely not TMI - this is info that I'm looking for.  I did a little research after posting my question and see that it could be early symptoms of a small bowel volvulus.  :(  I had volvulus in both the large and small intestines which caused a total obstruction last summer and was told there is a high chance of recurrence.  I guess I'll see how it is over the weekend and call on Monday if it's still bothering me.  I'm upset because we have a high deductible and I met my out of pocket last year with the obstruction and don't want to start all over again.  

 

I should have mentioned that my last surgery was 13 years ago - I am going to edit my post to add that.  

Edited by Kassia

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i have adhesion pain from my two c-sections and the pain is exactly like you described. Quick, sharp, intense pain that fades fast. 

 

When the pain changed and became more constant and more frequent I asked my pcp for an exam/ultrasound and nothing turned up.....but a month later I had to have my appendix out when it ruptured.  The pcp says it wasn't related and that it was adhesion pain. The surgeon says you can get intermittent pain when the appendix starts to get clogged.  Because of how the appendix pain can present as a traveling pain, the pain isn't always in the location of the appendix. My appendix was really high and abnormally shaped and coincidentally didn't show on the PCP ultrasound.  The surgeon says he really thinks the  pain that I was asking my doctor about, was my appendix.   

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I would probably wait a week just to be sure it's not a GI issue and then if it was ongoing schedule a checkup just to be sure. It is most likely adhesion, but it could also be all manner of other things - intestinal issue, ovarian issue, early symptom of pregnancy, problems with gallstones, liver, pancreas, etc, all of which could be serious.

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I have terrible issues from adhesions. Pain. Oh my. And, oddly, migraines seem connected. I have been in the er for it, too.

 

4 laps, hysterectomy, cholestectomy. Last one in ‘05.

 

My doc learned about visceral manipulation and started doing it. I was one of the guinea pigs. Oh wow. It’s like a strange massage.

 

It has changed my life for the better.

 

It seemed hokey to me at first, but huge difference.

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I would probably wait a week just to be sure it's not a GI issue and then if it was ongoing schedule a checkup just to be sure. It is most likely adhesion, but it could also be all manner of other things - intestinal issue, ovarian issue, early symptom of pregnancy, problems with gallstones, liver, pancreas, etc, all of which could be serious.

Hadn't thought of these - do what Katy said!

 

Now, can we start a thread bemoaning the wonders of the NG tube???? :-(

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Hadn't thought of these - do what Katy said!

 

Now, can we start a thread bemoaning the wonders of the NG tube???? :-(

 

Go for it.  I could go on for hours.

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Now, can we start a thread bemoaning the wonders of the NG tube???? :-(

 

I don't even want to think of that instrument of torture.  It's the worst.  I'm more scared of that than anything else involved with an obstruction.  

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Never mind the awfulness of having an NG tube shoved inside one awake and unmediated - I HATE that 48 hours later, almost to the minute, I will be gagging while nurses stand there going "Only the doctor can remove it - we don't know when she will do rounds". Seems 48 hours is all my body can tolerate. There comes a point where all the ice chips in the world can not stop the gagging.The only reason I don't yank it out myself before doc arrives is I bet the nurses would shove it right back in. Still, once doc does arrive"Oh, it that still in?" I pull it out before she can even get her gloves on :-)

 

Four NG tubes so far - two I woke up from surgery and they were in place, two I got in ER :-(

Edited by JFSinIL

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Never mind the awfulness of having an NG tube shoved inside one awake and unmediated - I HATE that 48 hours later, almost to the minute, I will be gagging while nurses stand there going "Only the doctor can remove it - we don't know when she will do rounds". Seems 48 hours is all my body can tolerate. There comes a point where all the ice chips in the world can not stop the gagging.The only reason I don't yank it out myself before doc arrives is I bet the nurses would shove it right back in. Still, once doc does arrive"Oh, it that still in?" I pull it out before she can even get her gloves on :-)

 

Four NG tubes so far - two I woke up from surgery and they were in place, two I got in ER :-(

 

Oh, that is horrifying!  I've only had one so far and I was knocked out when it was inserted.  I can't imagine being awake when they put it in.  I was told they had a very tough time inserting mine and it wasn't even in right (they blamed my short torso?).  I felt like I was gagging almost immediately.  Such an awful experience.  My nurse removed mine, but took her time getting to it and the doctor scolded her.  I don't think I could allow them to do it while I was awake.   :grouphug:  :grouphug:  Big hugs to you.  

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Hah.  i thought we were going to talk about the challenges of having a child with an NG tube.  And for the record you can always pull it out and refuse to put it back in until you talk to a doctor.  You don't lose rights as long as you're conscious and capable in the hospital.

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I would wait a few days, and if the pain doesn't resolve, especially with a little massage, I would see a doctor.

 

I had some bruised feelings around my c-section scar as it healed.  I'd do some massage, and the feelings would go away, but occasionally they come back.  I assume that it's some adhesions, and when I break them up, they feel a little more sore for a bit and then feel better.  That's what the women on my support group have said too.  

 

But I kind of run with the "if it's NBD, it'll get better on its own, and if it is a big deal, it'll get worse, and then I'll go see a doctor."

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Hah.  i thought we were going to talk about the challenges of having a child with an NG tube.  And for the record you can always pull it out and refuse to put it back in until you talk to a doctor.  You don't lose rights as long as you're conscious and capable in the hospital.

 

I'm sorry for all of you who have had kids with NG tubes.  I would much rather suffer through it myself than have one of my children have to go through it.   :grouphug:

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I have found some relief using this magnesium lotion. It's not a quick fix, and the pain has not gone away completely, but it's much less intense and more manageable. I just slather it all over my abdomen and try to massage the adhesions like I had done in physical therapy.

 

I was surprised that my pelvic floor therapist was able to help me with this. Also there is some sort of injection that can help with adhesions. I never followed through, but my urogynecologist does the injections.

 

https://www.amazon.com/Magnesium-Lotion-Life-Health-Products/dp/B00K5QUAIG

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They sell magnesium lotion at Walmart, it's in the pharmacy in the same section as epsom salts.  I think it's Dr Scholls brand.  I think it's about $6.

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I hope you feel better and it is nothing serious.  20 years ago this summer I had a bowel perforation caused by a laparoscopic surgery....the surgeon didn't know he perforated my bowel.  OVER 48 hours later stool started pouring out of my belly button.  I almost died due to severe necrosis and extensive peritonitis.  I still remember my surgeon (not the one who perforated my bowel...but the angel who saved my life with emergency surgery) telling me that had I waited 12 more hours I would not have lived.  My husband was told that i "was at death's door".   Anyway,  month later, my surgeon commented that she was very surprised I wasn't having pain and complications from adhesions.  I am grateful that I still haven't had any problems.  I can only imagine what my insides look like due to everything.

 

NG tubes........no thank you!  I was hallucinating and pulled mine out.  They promptly reinserted it.

 

PSA:  For those of you approaching colonoscopy age and have had similar types of bowel surgery:  I had a FIT test done instead of a colonoscopy.  It looks for blood that is caused by bleeding tumors/polyps.  It must be done every year and if it comes back positive a colonoscopy is recommended.  Colonoscopies are higher risk and more complicated when you have had bowel surgery.  My pcp said that she would not recommend one in my case.  While obviously FIT is not as thorough and good as a colonoscopy, it is better than nothing.  I am terrified to have a colonoscopy and not sure I would ever consent to one.  So this was a very good and zero risk compromise.

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I hope you feel better and it is nothing serious.  20 years ago this summer I had a bowel perforation caused by a laparoscopic surgery....the surgeon didn't know he perforated my bowel.  OVER 48 hours later stool started pouring out of my belly button.  I almost died due to severe necrosis and extensive peritonitis.  I still remember my surgeon (not the one who perforated my bowel...but the angel who saved my life with emergency surgery) telling me that had I waited 12 more hours I would not have lived.  My husband was told that i "was at death's door".   Anyway,  month later, my surgeon commented that she was very surprised I wasn't having pain and complications from adhesions.  I am grateful that I still haven't had any problems.  I can only imagine what my insides look like due to everything.

 

NG tubes........no thank you!  I was hallucinating and pulled mine out.  They promptly reinserted it.

 

PSA:  For those of you approaching colonoscopy age and have had similar types of bowel surgery:  I had a FIT test done instead of a colonoscopy.  It looks for blood that is caused by bleeding tumors/polyps.  It must be done every year and if it comes back positive a colonoscopy is recommended.  Colonoscopies are higher risk and more complicated when you have had bowel surgery.  My pcp said that she would not recommend one in my case.  While obviously FIT is not as thorough and good as a colonoscopy, it is better than nothing.  I am terrified to have a colonoscopy and not sure I would ever consent to one.  So this was a very good and zero risk compromise.

 

That is horrifying what happened to you!  I'm sorry, but glad you don't have any other issues.  I can only imagine what my insides look like, too.  I had a botched emergency c-section 24 years ago and every single doctor I see comments on the hideous scar.  My gyn said that my uterine wall is attached to my abdomen.  

 

Thank you for the info on the colonoscopy.  That is important information.  

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That is horrifying what happened to you!  I'm sorry, but glad you don't have any other issues.  I can only imagine what my insides look like, too.  I had a botched emergency c-section 24 years ago and every single doctor I see comments on the hideous scar.  My gyn said that my uterine wall is attached to my abdomen.  

 

Thank you for the info on the colonoscopy.  That is important information.  

 

Thank you.  Oh yes, my scar.  It looks exactly like a butt crack but goes down my front.  I used to be ashamed of it, and while I still don't like it, I see it as a visible sign of how strong I am and how lucky I am.  As Elton John sings in one of the "Lion King" songs....."some of us sail through our troubles and some of us live with the scars".  I am physically and emotionally and mentally scarred.  But every scar is where healing took place and signs that I lived. 

 

I am so sorry that you had to go through a botched c-section.  Thank God my c-section (and all my other surgeries) were without complications.

 

ETA:  just realized your c-section scar was due to emergency.

 

Edited by peacelovehomeschooling

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Thank you.  Oh yes, my scar.  It looks exactly like a butt crack but goes down my front.  I used to be ashamed of it, and while I still don't like it, I see it as a visible sign of how strong I am and how lucky I am.  As Elton John sings in one of the "Lion King" songs....."some of us sail through our troubles and some of us live with the scars".  I am physically and emotionally and mentally scarred.  But every scar is where healing took place and signs that I lived. 

 

I am so sorry that you had to go through a botched c-section.  Thank God my c-section (and all my other surgeries) were without complications.

 

ETA:  just realized your c-section scar was due to emergency.

 

 

My scar looks like a butt crack, too.  I am extremely self-conscious about it - especially since every doctor who has seen it comments on it.  It doesn't bother DH at all and I try to think of it as special since that's how my twin sons were born.  I'm glad you are able to see yours positively, too!  

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Hah.  i thought we were going to talk about the challenges of having a child with an NG tube.  And for the record you can always pull it out and refuse to put it back in until you talk to a doctor.  You don't lose rights as long as you're conscious and capable in the hospital.

 

 

I'm gonna remember this!

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I don't even want to think of that instrument of torture. It's the worst. I'm more scared of that than anything else involved with an obstruction.

As a nurse, that's my least favorite procedure. Especially with kids. :(
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Hah. i thought we were going to talk about the challenges of having a child with an NG tube. And for the record you can always pull it out and refuse to put it back in until you talk to a doctor. You don't lose rights as long as you're conscious and capable in the hospital.

This. If someone's NG comes out, I call the doc and ask if she wants it back in or not.

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Well, I'm still getting the pains so I emailed the nurse and the office called immediately to set up an appt.  I wasn't ready yet so I told them I had to think about it, but I'm really freaked out and don't want anything bad to happen so I am going to make an appointment.  We have a high deductible and I hope this isn't a huge waste of time and money.  :(  Meanwhile I'm stress eating because it's making me so anxious and now I have to worry about gaining weight along with worrying about whatever could be wrong.  

 

I will update if I find anything out.  Thanks for all the replies.  You guys are great.  

 

 

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As a nurse, that's my least favorite procedure. Especially with kids. :(

Doing it to your own kid is worse. They look at you like you’re violating them, which you are :(. Awful awful.

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Doing it to your own kid is worse. They look at you like you’re violating them, which you are :(. Awful awful.

 

We had to force enemas on one of ours.  The ng tube sounds worse, but we had the same feeling of violating them - it was horrifying.  

 

:grouphug:  :grouphug:

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