Common symptoms of problems with abdominal scar tissue include severe pain in the abdomen, nausea and vomiting, abdominal swelling, lack of ability to pass gas and few or absent bowel movements, according to Drugs.com. Dehydration may occur, in which the patient exhibits extreme thirst; dry skin, mouth and tongue; infrequent urination; accelerated heart rate; and depressed blood pressure. Abdominal scar tissue usually doesn't cause symptoms, but if the bowel becomes strangulated, extreme pain, fever and symptoms of systemic illness develop.
Abdominal scar tissue sometimes forms following abdominal surgery or peritonitis infection or due to the presence of endometriosis in women, explains Drugs.com. It causes the abdominal organs to stick together, which may cause no symptoms or intermittent symptoms. If a portion of the bowel twists around the scar tissue and cuts off blood circulation to a part of the bowel, that section of the bowel becomes strangulated and begins to die, triggering a life-threatening emergency. Surgery is necessary to alleviate the bowel obstruction.
Imaging tests cannot detect abdominal scar tissue, though they can diagnose intestinal obstruction, advises MedicineNet. Because abdominal surgery both causes and remedies abdominal scar tissue, the problem sometimes recurs, notes Drugs.com. As of 2015, there is no way to prevent abdominal scar tissue from developing, so surgeons only advise abdominal surgery when absolutely necessary.