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How To Stimulate Bowels After Surgery?

Reviewed by
MBBS Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery, MS - General Surgery, Mini Fellowship in Bariatric Surgery
General Surgeon, Meerut  •  33 years experience
How To Stimulate Bowels After Surgery?

For people recovering from a back surgery, constipation is quite common and causes discomfort or pain. There are several aspects of a back surgery which may lead to constipation. They include anaesthesia, changes in diet, stress and the use of some pain relieving medicines.

Symptoms:

  1. The symptoms of constipation are:
  2. Pain and bloating in the abdomen.
  3. Nausea and vomiting.
  4. Hard stools and the inability of bowel movement.

Ways to prevent constipation:
Here are several simple ways by which you can prevent or minimize pain or discomfort due to constipation after a back surgery.

  1. You should increase your daily activities as early as possible after a back surgery. You should walk regularly.
  2. You must reduce the use of narcotic medicines and use only what is needed for controlling pain. Narcotic medicines slow bowel movement and cause constipation. Use non-narcotic pain relieving medicines to prevent constipation.
  3. You can use fiber laxatives, stool softeners or combination products after a back surgery to prevent constipation.
  4. Drinking a lot of water and non caffeinated fluids is very important. You should also have apple cider juice and prune juice, which are effective natural laxatives.
  5. You should eat natural fiber-rich food for intestinal stimulation. These include whole grains, cereals, fresh fruits and vegetables. It is best to avoid cheese, meat and processed food. Instead of large meals, you must have frequent, small meals throughout the day.

Medicines for constipation:
Non prescription medicines can be taken for preventing or treating constipation after a back surgery.
Here is a list of some effective medicines that relieve constipation:

  1. Bulk fiber laxatives, which add bulk to stool and encourage water to stay in the colon. These medicines need up to three days to show effect.
  2. Stool softeners or emollient laxatives help in softening stool by making fluids mix with them.
  3. Stimulant laxatives take action by stimulation of bowel contractions for moving stool out. They are effective and start working very quickly.
  4. Combination laxatives perform the functions of laxatives and stool softeners together.
  5. Suppositories also perform the dual function of stool softening and acting as laxatives. The colon gets contracted, and stool is pushed out and as the stool gets softer, it can pass easily.
  6. Enemas perform the function of bowel movement stimulation. Liquids are injected into the rectum, up into the colon. This stimulates the colon, and stool is passed.

Constipation occurs commonly in patients after undergoing a back surgery. This may cause utter discomfort and pain. You should take proper precautions and remedies in case of constipation after a back surgery.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult a specialist & get answers to your questions!
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