Date of Defense

Spring 2010


Biological Sciences


post-surgery, inflammation, histology


Fibrous adhesions, a by-product of the healing process, often appear post-surgically as a result of peritonitis related to the surgery. These adhesions can be either primarily "scar tissue" or excess "healthy tissue," and are the leading cause of intestinal obstruction in modern medicine. Shockingly, adhesions occur in up to 96% of patients undergoing intra-abdominal surgery. Adhesions can lead to multiple complications other than obstructions such as inadvertent enterotomy at the time of adhesiolysis, chronic pain, and female infertility. Additional complications arise from the adhesions preventing the free movement of organs and causing strangulations. The causes of the peritonitis, and therefore the adhesions, are traced back to three key sources: the trauma caused by surgery, irritants, and infection. New surgical paradigms and new materials may be required to provide the best possible patient outcome.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Open Access