Can scar tissue cause abdominal pain?

Yes! Scar tissue can be a very common cause of abdominal pain. After operations involving the abdomen, scar tissue forms as Image 28 - -surgery-adhesionspart of the healing process. Scar tissue is simply an area of fibrous tissue which forms after an injury to an area.

After surgery in the abdominal cavity, the formation of scar tissue may lead to adhesions. Adhesions are when scar tissue inside the abdomen causes tissues / organs to become connected. It is estimated around 90% of patients who undergo open abdominal surgery go on to develop adhesions (Liakakos et al. 2001).

Many adhesions do not cause any problems, however some can prevent organs or tissue from moving freely resulting in abdominal pain. In severe cases, adhesions can cause obstruction of the bowel (small or large intestine) and require surgical intervention in order to relieve the obstruction.


Liakakos, T; Thomakos, N; Fine, PM; Dervenis, C; Young, RL (2001). “Peritoneal adhesions: etiology, pathophysiology, and clinical significance. Recent advances in prevention and management”. Digestive surgery 18 (4): 260–73


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