London - A high-tech “cling film” has been developedto combat a common and painful complication of surgery.
Sheets of the film, made from a combination of two sugars, are designed to lower the chances of adhesions — tough internal scar tissue that can form between organs and tissue.
In gynaecological and abdominal surgery adhesions can lead to infertility and bowel obstructions, and in orthopaedic surgery they can restrict movement and cause the patient severe pain.
Scientists from US company Genzyme developed the film from two types of sugar, called sodium hyaluronate and carboxymathylcellulose, which are commonly used in food and cosmetics.
The film keeps tissue and organs apart for around seven days — the period over which adhesions usually form, before turning into a gel and dissolving.
Results from one study show it reduced the need for corrective surgery for adhesions by 43 percent, compared to patients who were not treated with the sheets of film.