November 28, 2023
CHICAGO: The American College of Surgeons (ACS) is launching a new initiative focused on the pervasive issue of surgical adhesions, generously supported by a donation from the Carlino family to the ACS Foundation. This project signifies an important step towards unraveling the complexities associated with surgical adhesions—which are a common, yet often overlooked, surgical complication affecting an overwhelming majority of patients undergoing abdominal and pelvic procedures.
"We have personally witnessed the profound impact of surgical adhesions on individuals' lives and recognized an urgent need for advancement in this field. Our commitment is driven by a desire to safeguard other families from the pain and complications that arise from these postoperative conditions,” said Peter Carlino. “We are looking forward to ACS leading the way in creating greater understanding on this complex issue so that we find a way to bring relief to all who suffer from these painful adhesions.”
Adhesions occur in up to 93% of patients who undergo one or more abdominal or pelvic surgeries.*
Surgical adhesions are fibrous bands of scar tissue that can form between tissues and organs after surgery. They are a common complication after surgery and can cause pain, discomfort, and even serious health problems. Adhesions can form between organs, such as the intestines or ovaries, or between organs and the abdominal wall, leading to issues like chronic pain, bowel obstruction, and infertility.
Although a topic of extensive research, with over 10,000 publications to date, there remains an evident lack of consensus on standardized prevention and treatment strategies. This fragmentation in the scientific community has prompted the need for a comprehensive, systematic approach to assimilating existing research and identifying knowledge gaps.
The ACS’ Division of Research and Optimal Patient Care will lead this innovative project, beginning with a meticulous literature review to establish a robust understanding of the current landscape of surgical adhesion science and highlight areas for further exploration.
“Our objective goes beyond mere understanding,” said Clifford Y. Ko, MD, MS, MSHS, FACS, FASCRS, Director of the ACS Division of Research and Optimal Patient Care. “We aim to unify, strategize, and spearhead a concerted effort in addressing surgical adhesions, employing a research-backed approach to formulate effective, accessible interventions to bring relief to patients who suffer from these complications.”
Following the review, the initiative will assemble a summit, leveraging the collective expertise of renowned surgeons and researchers. This collaborative effort is designed not only to foster unity in addressing surgical adhesions but also to develop practical, cost-effective strategies for patients across diverse socioeconomic backgrounds.
Central to this ambitious project's creation are Peter Carlino and his wife, Marshia, who are committed philanthropists in medical research and patient care advancements. Their generous $1 million donation underscores their dedication to confronting formidable healthcare challenges and their enduring support for clinical and scientific excellence.
"The Carlino family's contributions to the realm of healthcare have been invaluable," said H. Randolph Bailey, MD, FACS, Vice Chair of the ACS Foundation. "This new initiative to increase the understanding and treatment of surgical adhesions aligns seamlessly with their vision of enhancing patient care through investing in pioneering research."
“The vexing problem of surgical adhesions challenges all of us who operate in the abdomen. This visionary contribution from the Carlino family empowers us to expand our research, convene the brightest minds in the field, and develop innovative strategies that are not just theoretically sound, but also pragmatically applicable. Addressing adhesions more effectively will enhance the quality of life for surgical patients everywhere,” said Patricia L. Turner, MD, MBA, FACS, ACS Executive Director & CEO.
Through the Carlino family's generosity and the ACS’ commitment, the project will provide hope for those affected by surgical adhesions. It embodies a promising venture toward alleviating the physical and emotional toll associated with postoperative complications. Peter Carlino looks forward to the new initiative, saying, “By working with the American College of Surgeons, we believe it is possible to change the narrative around surgical adhesions, bringing hope to countless patients across the nation.”
More information about the ACS surgical adhesions improvement project will be available soon on the ACS website.
*Watanabe J, Ishida F, Ishida H, et al. A prospective multi-center registry concerning the clinical performance of laparoscopic colorectal surgery using an absorbable adhesion barrier (INTERCEED®) made of oxidized regenerated cellulose. Surg Today. 2019 Oct;49(10):877-884. doi: 10.1007/s00595-019-01816-7.
The American College of Surgeons is a scientific and educational organization of surgeons that was founded in 1913 to raise the standards of surgical practice and improve the quality of care for all surgical patients. The College is dedicated to the ethical and competent practice of surgery. Its achievements have significantly influenced the course of scientific surgery in America and have established it as an important advocate for all surgical patients. The College has approximately 90,000 members and is the largest organization of surgeons in the world. "FACS" designates that a surgeon is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons.