• Constipation after surgery

    Asked by hogfan03 on Friday, March 1, 2013

    Constipation after surgery

    I had a radical hysterectomy this past Monday. I am on Percocet and I am also taking a stool softener, milk of magnesium, drinking lots of water, eating fiber and activia yogurt. How long will it take to get a bowel movement? I am getting uncomfortable and looking for anything to help relieve the pain.

    7 Answers from the Community

    7 answers
    • carm's Avatar

      I can imagine that you must be so uncomfortable. Milk of Magnesia contains these nonabsorbable salts so they help to retain water in your stools. Drinking water always helps because it keeps moisture in your stool which prevents it from softening. Stool softeners work really well by combining with the stool to make it oiler or more slippery so that it passes much easier. What works against you is the Percocet, Pain meds like these increase the heart rate but slow the gut motility. As you increase your pain regimen, you must remember to increase your bowel meds. Try colace, docusate sodium,or DSS which are stool softeners and I know this may sound crazy, but try not to lay on your left side if possible. Stool moves from right to left and so you want to put body weight pressure on the right side to help move it along. Also, try to stay active as more movement increases movement. Good luck, Carm RN.

      over 4 years ago
    • nancyjac's Avatar

      Probably until you stop taking the percocet. I finally decided the pain from the constipation was worse than the pain from the surgery that I was taking the percoset fot and stopped taking it. That first bowl movement was explosive and painful but I was fine after that.

      over 4 years ago
    • Nomadicme's Avatar

      That happened to me! Had no idea. I was praying for a movement. It took 10 days post surgery, I was so relieved. One thing you haven't tried is glycerine suppositories. I wasn't able to hold them long enough, or maybe get them in far enough, so something came out but nothing significant (it did help in not hurting when I did finally go).
      After that I took milk of magnesium right after surgery, and I was fine.

      over 4 years ago
    • SpunkyS's Avatar

      and you just may have to use a dulcolax suppository to get things moving. 3 to 4 days should be the max without a BM. Sometimes the bowel is so insulted from surgery it just doesn't want to get moving and needs an irritant not just a softenenr.

      over 4 years ago
    • SueRae1's Avatar

      I had a similar issue after my nephrectomy in 1995 and my oophorectomy/appendectomy in 1976. I think it took about a week to get back to normal. Any abdominal surgery can cause this issue. not to mention general anesthesia As others have mentioned the percocet is adding more stress to an already vulnerable area. If possible try to get in some light walking, as activity helps move things along. Also, too much fiber can be as bad as too little. You may want to talk to your surgical team and let them know what's going on.

      over 4 years ago
    • CAS1's Avatar

      I am not fond of the fiber stool stuff. High fiber foods yes but not the Miralax because as already said these things can cause lots of blockage and they do.

      I highly reccomend Acidophilus caps 2 per day until bowel which should happen within a couple days. Then maintain with 1-2 per day. Can be found in the vitamin section. Keep taking along with your daily vitamins.

      And yes, the walking is critical to get your body to heal itself in many ways.

      over 4 years ago
    • karen1956's Avatar

      I can't take the narcotics...they constipate and bloat me...the last time I took them following surgery, by 4 days post surgery I looked 6 months pregnant and went to the ER....I only take ibuprofen.....Before my last surgeries I took colace, and bought magnesium sulfate in case i needed it but if I stay away from naracotics I do much better....

      over 4 years ago

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