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Symptom Checker

Step 4: Read and complete the decision guide to learn more about your symptoms.

Recurring Abdominal Pain

Because you have had a prior surgery, your pain might be caused by abdominal adhesions.

If you have had abdominal or pelvic surgery or if you have had an infection in the abdomen or pelvis, you may have formed scar tissue. Areas of fibrous scar tissue adherent to the bowel or other abdominal structures are called "adhesions." Adhesions can encircle the bowel or pull on the bowel or other structures in the abdomen, resulting in pain.

Other than your surgical history, you have not reported specific symptoms or history that can easily guide a doctor toward a diagnosis for your abdominal pain. Your doctor is likely to initiate your evaluation with some basic tests, such as blood tests and possibly urine tests. If your pain is significant, an x-ray test to view the bowel or a camera test that can view the bowel (such as a colonoscopy or flexible sigmoidoscopy) might be useful.

Some other causes that might be considered to explain your lower abdominal pain include

  • abdominal angina and bowel infarction (a form of atherosclerosis)

  • acute pancreatitis

  • celiac disease (celiac sprue)

  • chronic pancreatitis

  • colon cancer

  • constipation

  • Crohn's disease

  • diverticulosis

  • emotional stress

  • endometriosis (if you are a woman younger than menopause)

  • gas

  • hernia

  • irritable bowel syndrome

  • constipation

  • ovarian cancer

  • ovarian cyst

  • ulcerative colitis

  • vertebral fracture.


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