To review the etiology and incidence of and associative factors in the formation of adhesions following gynaecological surgery. To review evidence for the use of available means of adhesion prevention following gynaecological surgery.
Women undergoing pelvic surgery are at risk of developing abdominal and/or pelvic adhesive disease postoperatively. Surgical technique and commercial adhesion prevention systems may decrease the risk of postoperative adhesion formation.
The outcomes measured are the incidence of postoperative adhesions, complications related to the formation of adhesions, and further intervention relative to adhesive disease.
Medline, EMBASE, and The Cochrane Library were searched for articles published in English from 1990 to March 2009, using appropriate controlled vocabulary and key words. Results were restricted to systematic reviews, randomized control trials/controlled clinical trials, cohort studies, and meta-analyses specifically addressing postoperative adhesions, adhesion prevention, and adhesive barriers. Searches were updated on a regular basis and incorporated in the guideline to March 2009. Grey (unpublished) literature was identified through searching the websites of health technology assessment and health technology assessment-related agencies, clinical practice guideline collections, clinical trial registries, and national and international medical specialty societies.
The quality of evidence was rated using the criteria described in the Report of the Canadian Task Force on Preventive Health Care.