Management, Prevention, and Sequelae of Adhesions in Women Undergoing Laparoscopic Gynecologic Surgery: A Systematic Review

Sara Farag, Pamela Frazzini Padilla, Katherine A. Smith, Michael L. Sprague, Stephen E. Zimberg

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Surgical adhesions can lead to significant consequences including abdominopelvic pain, bowel obstruction, subfertility, and subsequent surgery. Although laparoscopic surgery is associated with a decreased risk of adhesion formation, methods to further decrease adhesions are warranted. We systematically reviewed literature addressing the management, prevention, and sequelae of adhesions in women undergoing laparoscopic gynecologic surgery. We searched PubMed, EMBASE, EBSCOhost, and Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials and found 6566 records. The primary outcome was adhesion formation. The secondary outcomes were abdominopelvic pain, quality of life, subfertility, pregnancy, bowel obstruction, urinary symptoms, and subsequent surgery. After applying inclusion and exclusion criteria, 52 studies remained for qualitative synthesis. Risk of bias assessments were applied independently by 2 authors. There was evidence that Hyalobarrier Gel (Anika Therapeutics, Bedford, MA), HyaRegen NCH Gel (Bilar Medikal, Istanbul, Turkey), Oxiplex/AP Gel (Fziomed, Inc., San Luis Obispo, CA), SprayGel (Confluent Surgical Inc., Waltham, MA), and Beriplast (CSL Behring, LLCm King of Prussia, PA) all decrease the incidence of adhesions. Adept (Baxter, Deerfield, IL) significantly decreased de novo adhesion scores of the posterior uterus. Using an integrated treatment approach to pelvic pain significantly improved pain and quality of life compared with standard laparoscopic treatment. Lastly, Hyalobarrier Gel Endo (Anika Therapeutics, Bedford, MA) placement led to a higher pregnancy rate than no barrier usage. Our findings underscore the need for high-quality trials to evaluate the efficacy of surgical techniques, adhesion barriers, and other treatment modalities on the management and prevention of adhesions and their clinical sequelae. This review was registered on PROSPERO (ID = CRD42017068053).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1194-1216
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Minimally Invasive Gynecology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Nov 1 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Adhesion barriers
  • Adhesions
  • Gynecology
  • Laparoscopy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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