You will have less bowel movements after surgery because you will be eating less food. There is no need to be concerned nor to take anything for it if you are comfortable. “Not going” does not mean you are constipated.
- A feeling of density or heaviness in the lower abdomen
- Increased wind (this can happen post surgery for other reasons too)
- Incomplete bowel motion
- Pellet like stools that are difficult to pass, requiring more pressure
Untreated constipation can lead to:
- Bad breath (different from the bad breath of rapid weight loss)
- Nausea & reluctance to eat
- Compaction – like you are sitting on a hard, dry mass
- Blood in the toilet bowl due to excessive straining
- Inadequate fluid intake – aim for 1500ml+ per day
- Inadequate fibre intake – add a high fibre cereal (8g+ dietary fibre/100g) and 2 slices of high fibre bread each day (2g+ per slice)
- Not enough exercise
- Some medications
It is prudent to treat constipation in the first 24 hours with 30ml prune juice twice per day. If that does not work, use a laxative. See your pharmacist or GP ASAP if symptoms have progressed or your treatment fails to work. There is little value on adding a bulking agent such as Benefibre or Metamucil or eating extra fibre if you are already blocked up. It will just sit on top.
See causes and do the opposite. A bulking agent such as Benefibre can help things run smoothly. Useful products include All-Bran Fibre Toppers (2.5g/1.5 tbls) and Quaker Golden Apricot Fibre Bar (7.6g/30g bar).
When you are not eating much, the goal is a bowel movement every 2 or 3 days without straining and possibly less often on the fluid diet.
For more information: http://www.medicinenet.com/constipation/article.htm