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Optimizing the Prevention and
Management of Postsurgical Adhesions

Release Date: December 1, 2012
Expiration Date: September 1, 2014

Jon Gould, MD
Chief, Division of General Surgery
Alonzo P. Walker Chair in Surgery
Associate Professor of Surgery
Medical College of Wisconsin
Senior Medical Director of Clinical Affairs
Froedtert Hospital
Milwaukee, WI

Michael J. Rosen, MD
Associate Professor of Surgery
Division Chief, General Surgery
University Hospitals Case Medical Center
Cleveland, OH

Adhesions are the most common complication of abdominopelvic surgery, developing postoperatively in 50% to 100% of all such interventions. They can lead to serious medical complications, substantial morbidity, high monetary costs, large surgical workloads, dangerous and difficult reoperations, and an increasing number of medicolegal claims. An official definition of the condition has not been established, and an unequivocally effective prevention method has not been identified. A standardized classification for adhesion assessment and scoring also is lacking, as are guidelines for diagnosis and management. To close these gaps, clinician education is necessary.

The goal of this educational activity is to provide surgeons with up-to-date, clinically useful information concerning the prevention and management of postoperative adhesions.

At the conclusion of this activity, participants will be better prepared to:

  1. Review the pathophysiology and complications of postoperative adhesion formation.
  2. Summarize current strategies used to prevent postoperative adhesion formation.
  3. Describe the various types of barrier materials used to prevent postoperative adhesion formation.

This activity should take approximately 60 minutes to complete.

Monograph (print and online)

The intended audience for this educational activity includes general surgeons, vascular surgeons, colon and rectal surgeons, critical care surgeons, surgical oncologists, trauma surgeons, and thoracic surgeons.

This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the Essential Areas and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint sponsorship of the Medical College of Wisconsin and Applied Clinical Education. The Medical College of Wisconsin is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

The Medical College of Wisconsin designates this enduring material for a maximum of 1.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™. Physicians should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

There are no fees for participating in or receiving credit for this activity. To receive CME credit, participants should read the preamble and the monograph and complete the post-test and evaluation. A score of at least 70% is required to complete this activity successfully. One retake is allowed.

The Medical College of Wisconsin ensures independence, balance, objectivity, scientific rigor, and integrity in all of its continuing education activities. Parties involved in content development must disclose any significant relationships with commercial interests whose products or devices may be mentioned in an activity or with the commercial supporter of an activity. Identified conflicts are resolved by the Medical College of Wisconsin prior to accreditation.

Jon Gould, MD: Nothing to disclose

Michael J. Rosen, MD: Nothing to disclose

Applied Clinical Education planners: Nothing to disclose

This educational activity may contain discussion of products that are not FDA-approved for use in the prevention and management of surgical adhesions. Readers should refer to the prescribing information/package insert for all products for a complete review of approved indications, contraindications, and warnings.

This course is designed solely to provide the health care professional with information to assist in his or her practice and professional development and is not a diagnostic tool to replace professional advice or treatment. The course serves as a general guide to the health care professional, and therefore cannot be considered as giving medical, legal, or other professional advice in specific cases. The Medical College of Wisconsin, Applied Clinical Education, and the faculty specifically disclaim responsibility for any adverse consequences resulting directly or indirectly from information in the course, for undetected error, or through readers' misunderstanding of the content.

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Sponsored by

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Supported by an Educational Grant from

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Copyright © 2012 Medical College of Wisconsin and Applied Clinical Education. No part of this syllabus may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission except in the case of brief quotations included in articles or reviews.