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Adhesions | What are adhesions | Adhesions-related readmissions | Gynaecological priority procedures | Colorectal priority procedures | Medicolegal consequences | Adhesion prevension strategies
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Adhesions are an inevitable consequence of surgery. They develop in 93% of abdominal surgery patients and are the most common cause of intestinal obstruction(2) and are implicated in up to 40% of infertility cases.(3,4) Clearly many of these cases result in readmission to hospital and repeat surgery, which is further complicated by adhesions.(4.5) So adhesions have a massive impact on surgeons, medical services and patients alike.(6)

Indeed surgeons are under increasing pressure to take measures against adhesions as patients have successfully litigated for failure to do so – at an average cost of over £50,000 a time.(7) Meanwhile the lack of an adhesion-prevention strategy is predicted to cost the UK medical services an additional £500 million (€705 million) over the next 10 years.(8)

With a number of adhesion-prevention products now available, it begs the question why hospital policy is not changing to reduce adhesions, and what more can be done to improve on good surgical practice.

References
(1) Menzies D and Ellis H. Ann R Coll Surg Engl 1990; 72: 60-63
(2) Menzies D et al. Ann R Coll Surg Engl 2001; 83: 40-46
(3) Lower AM et al. Br J Obstet Gynaecol 2000; 107: 855-862
(4) Kavic SM. JSLS 2002; 6: 99-109
(5) Ellis H et al. Lancet 1999; 353: 1456-1457
(6) van der Krabbben AA et al. Br J Surg 2000; 87: 467-471
(7) Pownall M. BMJ 1999; 318: 692
(8)Wilson MS et al. Colorectal Dis 2002; 4: 355-360

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