Thursday, September 28, 2023

What Helps Constipation After Surgery

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Be Patient If You Cant Immediately Have A Bowel Movement

How to Manage Constipation After Surgery

It is a very frustrating feeling whenever you are constipated, and it is even worse when you are recovering from hernia surgery and constipated. That is why the best advice we can give is to try and prevent constipation before it begins. Make sure you are eating fiber-rich foods and drinking plenty of water in the days leading up to your surgery, and continue to do so after your surgery. Also, talk with your surgeon about taking a stool softener after surgery. They should be fine with this and if so, it can go a long way in preventing constipation. If you do get constipated, do not try and strain to have a bowel movement though as this could do damage to your recently repaired hernia. Do your best to relax, try some of these tips and hopefully you will be able to have a bowel movement soon after.

For Serious Constipation There Are Options

If your constipation is severe and does not improve withchanges to your diet and lifestyle, there may be other options that you candiscuss with your doctor. Surgery is the very last option.

A wide range of laxatives are available, plus there arepro-motility drugs that a doctor can prescribe. Sometimes at-home remedies canbring relief, too, like dietary vegetable or mineral oil to lubricate thebowels.

Heres the bottom line: Try simple fixes first, but if theyfail, dont suffer needlessly. If you think your bowel movements are not whatyou would consider normal, discuss it first with your primary care physician, whocan talk with you about treatments or refer you to a specialist who can helpget your bowels moving again.

What Can I Take For Constipation After Gastric Sleeve

Gastric sleeve constipation relief can be obtained with a combination of natural remedies, over the counter laxatives and prescription medications. Depending on the severity of your condition and the post-operative stage you are in, your surgeon can make the appropriate recommendations for relief from constipation after bariatric surgery. Here are a few tips to consider:

  • Drink at least 64 oz. of water and other fluids every day to enable softer stools after gastric sleeve.
  • Include sufficient fiber in your diet, and if necessary, take fiber supplements so as to consume 15g of fiber per day.
  • Use over the counter laxatives when needed and take to follow the label instructions for safe results.
  • If you have no bowel movements after gastric sleeve for 4 or more days, call your bariatric support team for advice.

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What To Eat Before And After Surgery

Following a high-fiber diet before surgery can reduce your overall risk of constipation. That in turn may help you avoid constipation after surgery.

You should also drink plenty of fluids, preferably water, in the days leading up to surgery and after.

You may also want to add prunes and prune juice to your postsurgery diet.

A high-fiber diet may include:

  • the diet you usually follow
  • the time you spent under anesthesia or using narcotic pain relief

Stool softeners and fiber laxatives usually bring relief within a few days. If these dont work, ask your doctor about other options.

If your doctor prescribes stimulant laxatives and suppositories, but these dont work within 24 hours, ask for further advice.

Pooping After Gastric Sleeve

Constipation After Gastric Bypass Surgery

Pooping after gastric sleeve surgery can become somewhat uncomfortable if you are experiencing infrequent or irregular bowel movements. If this condition persists or becomes severe, it can affect your health as well as quality of life. Consult with your surgeon for safe and non-invasive solutions to constipation after bariatric surgery. Here are some of the signs of abnormal pooping after VSG.

  • The frequency of bowel motions has significantly reduced compared to your pre-operative condition.
  • The stool is hardened and you usually need to strain your muscles to pass the stool painfully.
  • You feel bloated, uncomfortable, or fatigued through the day, or experience less hunger when constipated.
  • The poop is of different color or passes with an unpleasant odor each time after your gastric sleeve surgery.

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Bowel Function After Surgery

Gas pains are common after surgery. These can feel like sudden, sharp pains in the abdomen or pelvis. If you are very uncomfortable, try to hold your tummy and massage it slightly. This may help the trapped gas release. It is normal to gently push to start a bowel movement. Do not be afraid to do this after surgery.

You have been asked to take a stool softener called docusate sodium for the next six weeks, so you do not have to strain excessively during bowel movements. Start taking this medication two times a day, then increase or decrease the dose to keep your stools soft. You may take up to four of these pills each day.

If you do not have a bowel movement for more than two days, you become constipated, or your stools remain hard, you should stop taking the Colace and begin taking Peri-Colace a stool softener with a mild laxative.

Take two Peri-Colace the first day then take one or two pills a day to keep your stools soft. You may get Colace and Peri-Colace at your pharmacy and do not need a prescription.

Why Does Anesthesia Cause Constipation

Constipation after surgery is caused by a combination of factors. General anesthesia slows down your digestive system, and the slower it is, the harder your stool. You may be given other medications during surgery that also slow your gut. And some pain medications like opioids, given after surgery, also slow digestion. In addition, not eating or drinking before and after surgery, lying in bed, and being inactive all can contribute to constipation.

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Constipation After Bariatric Surgery

Posted by Jet Medical Tourism® | Last updated Jun 23, 2021 | Bariatric Surgery, Gastric Bypass Surgery, Gastric Sleeve Surgery, Lap Band Surgery

Constipation is a common ailment that can afflict anybody at any age. However, constipation after bariatric surgery is somewhat more troublesome because your digestive system is already delicate after the surgical and metabolic changes. Therefore, its vital that you keep a track of your regular bowel movements after bariatric surgery and take preventive or curative action in consultation with your surgeon.

Contact Jet Medical Tourism® today.

Know When To See A Doctor


Sometimes simple changes are not enough. If yourconstipation doesnt respond to treatments or changes in your diet, and if itlasts for weeks or months, Dr. Zutshi recommends getting yourself checked outto exclude more serious medical causes.

Its especially important to see a professional if you haveother symptoms such as dizziness, fatigue, cramping or spasms.

Chronic constipation can be a sign of conditions such as:

  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Celiac disease
  • Irritable bowel syndrome

Opioid-induced constipation is its own entity and shouldalso be treated by a physician, Dr. Zutshi says.

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Sometimes The Solution Is Simple

Most cases of acute constipation happen because you are noteating enough of the right foods , drinking enoughwater or getting enough exercise. So the fixes are simple: Move more, drinkmore water and add fiber to your diet to add bulkto your stool.

Some people have success taking probiotics, too, which can change the composition of the bacteria in the gut.

Tips To Help You Have A Bowel Movement After Hernia Surgery

The first time I had open hernia surgery, I knew very little going into the process. I was only 18 years old and figured if there was anything I really needed to know or expect, my doctor would tell me before surgery. Luckily, most teenagers bodies can recover from routine surgery procedures rather quickly as long as everything goes as planned.

And for the most part, my hernia surgery recovery went about as smooth as possible. However, there was one huge problem I had that was very unexpected: constipation. Nobody told me beforehand that constipation was common after hernia surgery if you dont plan beforehand. All of a sudden, I felt like I needed to have a bowel movement the night I got home from the hospital, but I couldnt! It was incredibly uncomfortable and I had no control over my bowel movements at the time.

About a year later I was talking with another friend that had hernia surgery a few months earlier, and I had to know: did he get constipated after his hernia surgery too? A little to my surprise, he said yes! When he described how he felt, it sounded exactly like my situation several months earlier after my hernia surgery. So if constipation is so common after hernia surgery and many people that are recovering from hernia surgery experience it, why doesnt your doctor tell you about if beforehand?

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Foods To Help With Constipation After Surgery

Lastly, avoid constipating foods. These might include:

  • bananas

A high-fiber diet may consist of:

  • entire grains
  • fresh fruits
  • veggies

You may need stimulant laxatives, suppositories, or enemas to produce a defecation if you have severe constipation.

According to the clinic experts, prescription drugs that draw water into your guts to stimulate a defecation might be recommended if over the counter laxatives arent enough. Linaclotide or lubiprostone are 2 such medications.

What Helps Constipation In Toilet

3 Ways to Relieve Constipation After Surgery

Try to sit on the toilet for 15 minutes at the same time each day, even if you cant go. It can relax your digestive system and cue your body for a bowel movement. Do this: While on the toilet, you can try to rest your feet on a low stool or raise your knees above your hips. Ignore your bodys signals.

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How Often Should You Poop After Gastric Bypass

Pooping after gastric bypass may become slightly uncomfortable for a few days or weeks following the surgery. Pre op liquid diet constipation may be just the beginning of this condition, which may continue for up to six months post-operatively. If you are concerned about how often you should poop after gastric bypass, here are a few things to know.

  • Bowel movements after gastric bypass will vary between patients, depending on several factors.
  • There is no ideal number of times you should poop after gastric bypass to avoid constipation.
  • For some patients, pooping twice a day is normal, while for some others, pooping once is two days is normal.
  • Change of bowel habits does not necessarily mean constipation after bariatric surgery, and you may determine your own new normal.

Talk To Your Doctor About A Laxatives

Laxatives are a more extreme approach to the stool softener and you should consult with your surgeon before you use a laxative. While stool softeners just soften your stool, laxatives act as a stimulant and force you to have a bowel movement. Laxatives are pretty effective at getting you to have a bowel movement, but they do have side effects. Laxatives should be a last resort and you should check with your doctor before taking one.

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Tips For A Fast Recovery After Surgery

Along with eating healthy after surgery, here are a few tips that can help you get back on your feet quicker.

  • Manage your pain. You will experience pain after your surgery but following the pain medication plan that your doctor gives you can help. Make sure you are able to move comfortably. To help you sleep, you may want to ask your doctor if they recommend you take something before heading to bed.
  • Get adequate rest. Sleep is when your body can repair and heal. Make sure that you set aside time each day for rest. Set up your night environment to be comfortable and calming and allow yourself regular rest periods throughout the day.
  • Get moving. Physical activity is just as important as rest. Do not push yourself to the point of injury. Talk to your doctor or physical therapist about what activities you should be doing. Lying in bed all day can increase your risk of infection, pneumonia, and blood clots. Appropriate amounts of movement will help the flow of your blood, which can improve the healing process.
  • Proper nutrition and exercise can be difficult to maintain when you are on your own. Home Care Assistance caregivers are trained in nutrition and can assist with preparing meals, grocery shopping and even serve as a friendly face to sit with you as you eat, helping make a smooth transition home from the hospital. Our caregivers can also remind you to take your medicine, help set up a sleep-conducive environment, or assist with physical exercises.


    Managing Constipation After Surgery

    Tips to Avoiding & Treating Constipation After Spine Surgery

    By Dr. Jemiel Nejim and Inara Nejim

    Unfortunately, constipation is a common side effect of surgery. It can happen for a few different reasons: the anesthesia used during the procedure, pain medications youre taking or how much and what youre eating and drinking.

    Opioid medications are often used to manage pain after surgery, but they commonly cause constipation. Studies show that 40 95% of patients taking these medications will experience this side effect. To minimize it, anesthesiologists at HSS carefully construct a pain medication plan using different types of drugs, including acetaminophen , nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories , opioids, anesthetic medications and medications for nerve pain. This is done to maximize pain relief and minimize the use of opioids, as well as their side effects.

    Steps to Take Before Surgery

    If you have concerns before your surgery about constipation, the best thing to do is to ask your surgeon or care team about it. Some things to try:

    Steps to Take After Surgery

    At HSS, we conduct a thorough medication education session when preparing to send patients home. A nurse goes over all prescriptions, explaining how to take each medication to effectively manage constipation at home. Wherever you have your surgery, be sure you know how to properly take your medications to avoid this side effect before you go home.

    At home, there are a couple of general rules to follow to help prevent or manage constipation:

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    Keep Extra Help On Hand

    Sometimes dietary changes and physical activity aren’t enough to overcome postoperative constipation, so your health care provider may prescribe a stool softener, such as Colace , or recommend an over-the-counter laxative, such as:

    • Senokot
    • FiberCon
    • Milk of Magnesia

    Laxativesespecially stimulant laxativesare most often used only as needed, but stool softeners can be used proactively to head off symptoms of constipation before they begin.

    For all but the most severe cases of constipation, the combination of stool softener and laxative should be sufficient to achieve a normal bowel movement. However, if more help is needed, a suppository, such as bisacodyl , or Fleet enema can be used as well.

    Ways To Prevent And Treat Constipation After Surgery

    If you’re still a few days out from a planned surgical procedure, the good news is that you have time to tune up your colon so it’s better prepared to deal with the side effects of general anesthesia, narcotic prescription drugs, and postoperative inactivity.

    How do you do this?

    Make sure you’re eating a high-fiber diet that’s rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. And be sure you’re drinking plenty of water too.

    The more fiber and fluid you can get into your system prior to surgery, the less chance you’ll have of experiencing hard stools after your procedure.

    If you missed the opportunity to up your fluid and fiber intake prior to surgery, there are still some things you can do to help stave off postoperative constipation.

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    Constipation After Lap Band Surgery

    Constipation after lap band surgery is relatively less common because this procedure does not involve any drastic changes to your GI tract and intestines. However, its still critical to guard against the possibility of constipation after bariatric surgery, especially for the first few weeks and months. Your diet and physical activity will also play a vital role in avoiding constipation.

    Be prepared to follow your bariatric nursing teams guidelines for healthy bowel movements after an adjustable gastric band surgery. Drink plenty of water every day, but avoid drinking with meals or 30 minutes before and after meals. Include adequate dietary fiber in your meals. Your risk of chronic constipation after lap band surgery is minimal because this procedure is reversible at any stage.

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    What Are Normal Bowel Movements


    Normal bowel movements are different for everyone. If you usually have two or three bowel movements a day, three in a week means you are constipated. For some people, though, three bowel movements a week is normal.

    “Normal” stools are soft, formed, and are not painful. Normal bowel movements can also be controlled.

    There is no rule for how often you should have a bowel movement. Constipation is when your bowel movements are less frequent than what is normal for you.

    The longer you go between bowel movements, the harder your stools will be. This is because the stool dries out in the colon as water is absorbed back into the bloodstream.

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    Check If It’s Constipation

    It’s likely to be constipation if:

    • you have not had a poo at least 3 times during the last week
    • the poo is often large and dry, hard or lumpy
    • you are straining or in pain when you have a poo

    You may also have a stomach ache and feel bloated or sick.

    If you’re caring for someone with dementia, constipation may be easily missed. It’s important to be aware of any changes in their behaviour that might mean they are in pain or discomfort, although it’s not always easy.

    Constipation in adults has many possible causes. Sometimes there’s no obvious reason.

    The most common causes include:

    • not eating enough fibre such as fruit, vegetables and cereals
    • not drinking enough fluids
    • not moving enough and spending long periods sitting or lying in bed
    • being less active and not exercising
    • often ignoring the urge to go to the toilet
    • changing your diet or daily routine
    • a side effect of medicine
    • stress, anxiety or depression

    Constipation is also common during pregnancy and for 6 weeks after giving birth.

    Rarely, constipation may be caused by a medical condition.

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