Adhesions are fibrous bands that form between tissues and organs, often as a result of injury during surgery.
They may be thought of as internal scar tissue that connects tissues not normally connected.
Adhesions form as a natural part of the body’s healing process after surgery in a similar way that a scar forms. The term "adhesion" is applied when the scar extends from within one tissue across to another, usually traversing a virtual space, such as the peritoneal cavity.
Adhesion formation post-surgery typically occurs when two injured surfaces are in close proximity. This often causes inflammation and fibrin deposits onto the damaged tissues. The fibrin then connects the two adjacent structures where damage of the tissues occurred. The fibrin acts like a glue to seal the injury and builds the fledgling adhesion, said at this point to be "fibrinous." In body cavities such as the peritoneal, pericardial and synovial cavities, a family of fibrinolytic enzymes may act to limit the extent of the initial fibrinous adhesion, and may even dissolve it. In many cases, however, the production or activity of these enzymes are compromised because of injury, and the fibrinous adhesion persists. If this is allowed to happen, tissue repair cells — such as macrophages, fibroblasts and blood vessel cells — penetrate into the fibrinous adhesion, and lay down collagen and other matrix substances to form a permanent fibrous adhesion.
While some adhesions do not cause problems, others can prevent muscle and other tissues and organs from moving freely, sometimes causing organs to become twisted or pulled from their normal positions.
Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Internet. Accessed on January 18, 2016.