Infertility and intestinal obstruction are well-known complications, arising from adhesion formation after intra-abdominal operations. Basic principles of adhesion formation have been found through animal studies. In addition, examination of agents for the prevention of adhesions can be easily made using experimental studies. However, lack of uniformity in study design makes assessment of the efficacy of any prophylactic regimen difficult. In this review, the material and methods used in experimental studies designed for adhesion formation or prevention were evaluated in detail, with experimental studies published in the literature from 1960 to 2003 being evaluated. Several methods for adhesion induction have been described in the literature. Severity of the adhesion varies from method to method, with the main problem being the lack of uniform expression of study results. Extensive use of complex adhesion classification systems should be used to resolve this discordance between experimental studies.