Smooth operation

Knowing the genetic makeup of tissue that forms around organs after surgery could prevent the painful adhesions. Readmit

The makeup of a painful scarlike tissue that forms around organs after surgery has been identified, and so has a potential treatment for the complication.

Researchers examining the tissue, called surgical adhesions, in mice found treatment with a combination of antibodies can reduce the condition’s severity. They published their findings Nov. 28 in Science Translational Medicine.

Surgical adhesions arise when a substance called mesothelium is agitated during surgery. The slippery substance covers organs to keep them from attaching to each other or the abdominal cavity. When it’s disturbed, fibrous connections form between surfaces.

Irving Weissman, MD, professor of pathology and of developmental biology, who shared senior authorship of the study, said that though the study was of mice, “We found similar characteristics in adhesions from patients, which makes us think this approach could be translated into the clinic.”