Thank you for an excellent article...and a couple of questions...

by Grateful Reader
(Florida, USA)

I have recently been diagnosed with adhesions. I had a long, complicated (4-hour-plus) robotically-assisted laparoscopic left renal diverticulectomy about three years ago. The diverticulum was huge, about the size of a football.

The surgery was complicated due to a previous erroneous ablation of the diverticulum with alcohol. (The interventional radiologists thought it was a cyst so they ablated it; by the way this error can be prevented by making sure that the CT scan is done with contrast so that you can tell that the diverticulum is communicating with the collecting system.) Anyway, I suffered a lot of pain and infection after the ablation, and the surgery was to salvage what could be salvaged of my kidney. The surgery was successful in that a portion of my kidney was saved; however I did receive a "door prize" hernia from an improper surgical wound closure. I have not had the hernia surgically repaired as up to now it only hurts when I bend over and/or try to lift something I shouldn't be lifting.

A few months after the surgery I started having abdominal pain (on my left side only) after meals. The pain is generalized in location, sometimes there are spots that were more painful than others. There is also a feeling of pressure or feeling very full, sometimes after only eating a small amount or drinking a glass of water. I was diagnosed with GERD and took Prilosec for months; there was little change. Sometimes the pain lasts for hours, and the severity seems to be loosely related to how much I try to eat.

I have had other major surgeries (knees), but this has been the only surgery performed in my abdomen. CT of my abdomen and pelvis shows only a small kidney stone in my right kidney that isn't obstructing anything, and uterine fibroids that I have had for a long time. I have recurrent stones in both kidneys and when that particular pain hits, it has its own signature.

Just a few weeks ago my family doctor said that he felt I had adhesions from my surgery that were causing my pain after meals. This is the first time anyone talked to me about adhesions. Now I have a couple of questions. One is, will this continue to get worse (it's already at the point that sometimes I don't want to eat because I am anticipating the pain? Should I consider surgical treatment of the adhesions, or does that just cause more adhesions? Is there any effective medical treatment for the adhesions? Should I be eating a certain way (I already eat small, low-protein meals because of my reduced kidney function). So far my kidney function remains good; I have about 20 percent function in the left kidney and about 70 percent function in the right.

I would appreciate any and all helpful input you have on this topic. Thank you so much in advance for your kindness.

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