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Constipation Help after Gastric Sleeve Surgery

After undergoing a sleeve gastrectomy on long island, your bowel movements will be affected which leads to constipation. Constipation is when you experience irregular bowel movements or pass hard stool or have difficulty passing stool. You might also feel bloated, experience abdominal pain, or feelings of incomplete stool passage after a bathroom visit. You’re considered to be having constipation when you have a bowel movement once a week. What causes constipation after gastric sleeve surgery?

The major cause of constipation is the reduction in food and liquid intake as a result of the reduced stomach size. The hormonal changes that the body undergoes after the surgery will also impact bowel movements. Other factors include:

  • Anaesthesia medication used during the surgery
  • Pain medication used post-surgery
  • Lack of physical activity
  • Weak abdominal muscles
  • Lack of dietary fiber
  • Frequent use of laxatives or enemas
  • Disregarding the urge to go
  • Medical conditions such as diabetes, nerve damage, stroke, hypothyroidism, or multiple sclerosis

How to relieve constipation at home

Water intake

Drinking enough water is one of the best ways to avoid constipation. Post-surgery, it might not be easy to take as much water as you would like, just increase the quantities gradually until you get to 64 ounces per day.

Diet

whether you are on a plant-based diet or a normal diet, it’s important to ensure that you’re consuming enough fiber to facilitate bowel movement. Incorporate vegetables like bell peppers, broccoli, asparagus, zucchini, and leafy greens which are not only full in fiber and important nutrients; they also have high water content. The fiber content should be gradually increased to avoid bloating and stomach pain. Limit the intake of food like bananas, cheese, and peanut butter which are known to cause constipation.

Take a walk

Regular walking encourages the movement of your insides and kick-starting the digestion process after a meal. Too much sitting causes stool to harden in the colon.

Medication

Taking vitamins and mineral supplements should only be taken as prescribed by your doctor. This is because iron impacts bowel movements and your doctor will recommend the best options. If you're already constipated, taking a laxative like Miralax can help. Don’t overuse the laxatives as it can lead to dependency.

Health risks associated with severe constipation

  • Fecal Impaction: severe constipation can lead to the hardening of stool which becomes tightly packed in the colon and rectum.
  • Rectal prolapse: severe constipation can cause a portion of the rectum to slide and stick out of the anus.
  • Hemorrhoids: severe constipation can lead to hemorrhoids which are painful, enlarged, and swollen veins in the lower rectum.