An abdominal scar and pregnancy

I have a surgical scar on my stomach: how will this affect me during my pregnancy?

This reasonable and very understandable concern affects many people – and there are many women who very much want a child despite uncertainty caused by having had an abdominal operation.

Why should I, a male and not a professional medical worker, be writing about this?

Being male I am very hesitant to address this question – so here’s why I’m posting this… Continue reading “An abdominal scar and pregnancy”

Scars that strangle

Readers of this post may well know what adhesions are, but just to be sure, let’s start at the very beginning…

What are adhesions?

Adhesions are bands and webs of tough, fibrous and inelastic scar tissue which develop after tissue damage resulting from injury, surgery, an internal infection, endometriosis, some chemotherapy, or radiation therapy.  They can affect the functioning of muscles, joints, and ligaments, but cause most problems in the abdomen and chest where they can grow between our organs and the abdominal wall, or restrict the movement and work of our organs, causing pain and possibly restricting their function.

Adhesiolysis01.jpgAbout 10% of all people develop adhesions naturally (without surgical or other damage), but it is estimated that they occur in over 90% of people who have abdominal or chest surgery – which means many of us! So we may be thankful that they cause significant problems for only a minority – but that’s small comfort if you belong to that minority.

These problems range from unsightly sunken scars and pain to life-threatening abdominal blockages.  Adhesions cause 60 – 70% of small (upper) bowel obstructions in adults and can be the cause of chronic pelvic pain.

Some of us who have had infant surgery for infant pyloric stenosis, or for that matter any of a list of the diseases of the abdomen and chest may find that Continue reading “Scars that strangle”

“No brain – no pain” That’s insane!

Confused09Can a baby remember trauma experienced in her or his first years?

In times past the answer was an immediate and insistent “No”.

Before about 1990 it was commonly believed that because virtually nobody can recall and describe any event from early childhood, let alone early infancy, be it happy or troubling, a baby makes and keeps no record of anything before what we can later recall and express in words.

This of course sounded very reassuring and comforting!

  • The serious mistakes some parents make when a baby is very young – hey!  “They leave no memory, no record, no damage.”
  • Family, life and health dramas which a little one survives – “No need to worry about it affecting baby.”
  • Separation from mother, adoption, foster relationships – “None of this will affect let alone harm a little one.”
  • Will we have our baby son circumcised “so he looks like his dad”?  “Go ahead, I’m fine, no worries!”
  • My baby needs life-saving surgery but anesthetising a baby is risky – “Just go ahead, she won’t really suffer.”
  • A baby’s screams (obviously from extreme pain) under the knife upsets a young theatre nurse – “Hey, he won’t remember anything.”

Continue reading ““No brain – no pain” That’s insane!”

Is there a link between infant Pyloric Stenosis and later abdominal trouble?

Most General Practitioners (GPs) will reject any link out of hand.  Some GPs have even been known to ask their patient (or client) what “PS” (pyloric stenosis) is.

patient and doctor talkingWe can be sure that every medical textbook and training includes at least a page or part of a lecture on PS, which is the most common reason for non-elective surgery on infants in their first months and years.  But who can blame a medical student for not remembering everything they are told and read over six or more packed years? Let alone what is currently known about a condition most GPs will encounter only rarely? Continue reading “Is there a link between infant Pyloric Stenosis and later abdominal trouble?”