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severe constipation 3 months after surgery

Posts: 2
Joined: Jul 2006

without medication (rx or otc), daily constant urge to evacuate but results are little to no bowel movement. laxatives/stool softener mandatory for bowel movement but results in uncontrollable diarrhea, which then too requires medication (otc) to control. Surgery was successful and follow-up appts have found no further or additional problems.

is this the norm? any suggestions on how to proceed or ideas on what to do?

thank you

KathiM's picture
Posts: 8077
Joined: Aug 2005

Water water, water, water, agua, whatever you call it.....
STILL, 1 1/2 years (almost) post-op, if I don't drink enough water, I get constipated...and it ISN'T PRETTY to remedy the situation. I'm not talking coffee, or tea, or soda...just plain old water...ice if you want. I normally drink 2 quarts a day, along with my juices (100%), coffee, and milk.
I enjoy regular bowel sessions otherwise...fully formed, 2 times a day...and I don't have a rectum or sig colon...
Also, I eat 5-6 smaller meals, instead of 3 big ones...things aren't hitting the plumbing in such big amounts.
Hope this helps.
Hugs, Kathi

Posts: 2
Joined: Jul 2006

It helps, absolutely! I will pass the information along. You've been very helpful, Kathi, and I thank you.

Posts: 1961
Joined: Aug 2003

Sorry to hear about this difficulty. Surgery can certainly result in changes, and it can take a while to readjust. I try to stay away from laxatives/immodium and such. I try to figure out what foods/drinks have a softening vs. hardening effect on me, and work with that. And water is a good idea!! Good luck with this.

Posts: 59
Joined: Mar 2006

I had trouble for months after surgery and during chemotherapy with constipation. For some time I used senecot but it was a little harsh. Later I used the prescription powder (stirred into a glass of water at bedtime) called Miralax. It solved the problem. After chemo I eventually was able to lower the amount until I don't need it anymore. Ask your Doc for some-it is gentle and greatly improved my daily comfort.

markatger's picture
Posts: 315
Joined: Feb 2005

Hi CinE

I have had problems going to at times and it feels like I have to go often. It was weird not what I was expecting. I thought I would have more diarrhea.

I try to focus on diet and supplements too. I was told magnesium can help you evacuate. It can actually give me diarrhea a little. There are some other more gentle laxatives both foods and supplements. Prunes of course, including prune juice.

Here's web site that talks about foods that are good to solve constipation


Best wishes,

Joy1216's picture
Posts: 293
Joined: Mar 2006

My surgery was four months ago. I met with the dietitian at the cancer center and she recommended 30-45 minutes of exercise per day 4-5 days/week; 3 tablespoons of ground flax seed daily; 64 oz. of water; 25-30 grams of fiber/day; 2-4 servings of fruit, 3-5 of veggies, and 6 servings of whole grains. She also recommended a low fat diet, multivitamin (Centrum Silver), and calcium with vitamin D. Believe me, constipation is not a problem any more! I would recommend a dietitian who specializes in cancer patients.

nanuk's picture
Posts: 1362
Joined: Dec 2003

you might also try the all-veggie laxative Senna,
which is sold under the Equate (wal-Mart) brand..

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