Welcome, Friend!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Veritas-Health LLC has recently released patient forums to our Arthritis-Health web site.

Please visit http://www.arthritis-health.com/forum

There are several patient story videos on Spine-Health that talk about Arthritis. Search on Patient stories
Protect anonymity
We strongly suggest that members do not include their email addresses. Once that is published , your email address is available to anyone on the internet , including hackers.

Notice
All discussions and comments that contain an external URL will be automatically moved to the spam queue. No external URL pointing to a medical web site is permitted. Forum rules also indicate that you need prior moderator approval. If you are going to post an external URL, contact one of the moderators to get their approval.
Attention New Members
Your initial discussion or comment automatically is sent to a moderator's approval queue before it can be published.
There are no medical professionals on this forum side of the site. Therefore, no one is capable or permitted to provide any type of medical advice.
This includes any analysis, interpretation, or advice based on any diagnostic test

5 days post op and severe constipation

tracibennttracibenn Posts: 95
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:50 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I had my 360 last tuesday, and a requirement to be discharged from the hospital was to have a bowel movement. After 2 days of colace and chugging some prune juice, I was able to go home on Friday. Now, here I sit 5 days later with not even a hint of a bowel movement. I've tried dulcolax, colace, prune juice, and dried prunes. I drink water all day, walk around, etc. At what point does constipation become worrysome? I am not sure if i should call the doctor or not. What would you do?

Thanks!
Traci
advertisement

Comments

  • I had the same problem. You are doing what you can, but I ended up getting a fleet enema from the drug store/discount store. It just seems to get stuff moving better. Not bad for you, and they are pretty effective fairly fast. Directions are simple, you just need someone to help you with it. Good Luck
  • Thanks...hopefully an enema will be the last resort. Im chugging water and eating some more dried prunes. Keeping my fingers crossed!
  • With not just the anesthesia (higher dosing narcotics like Fentanyl) and pain meds, but with a 360 during the anterior portion (ALIF) they kind of move the bowel around - sometimes retracted even out of your body. Your colon does not like this - and the result between the handling of the colon and the meds is called a paralytic ileus.

    I went 7 days without a BM - I will never forget that - felt like a birthing when I had that first BM, I had drenching sweats, a small rectal tear bleeding that I so concerned with about that I took some antibiotics for fear of getting hardware infected through my blood stream.
    To me honesty, I found OTC Miralax (yes, its expensive, but worth it) to be the answer, as well as dried apricots.

    I'm not a big fan of colace or pericolace because it gives cramps & bad gas. If you feel you are "right on the verge" of a BM, buy some vinyl gloves, and glycerin suppositories - but stay about 10 feet within a bathroom because when it works it works quick. There is a also a tea called "smooth moves" - used to only be on drugstore.com but recently found in on my local grocery store aisles.

    Good luck, but if you go beyond 7 days without BM, please call your doc. Bowel obstructions can perforate, which can cause sepsis (bacteria in the bloodstream and the abdominal cavity- very seriously and potentially life threatening, and occasionally need manual disimpaction in an ER (do you want someone's fist up you rectum?). I didn't thinks so, so try the Miralax. I too saw enemas as last resort, but doing suppository with a glove not too bad/gross, other than the twisting/bending compromise. Good luck.
  • BTDT. I had to have an enema at the hospital and found it less awful than I expected- so at home I knew that was an alternative. But actually, what saved me was laxative suppositories.

    Also, I bought some fiber bars and ate a couple every day- I didn't have much appetite and knew things were slow.
  • I had ACDF on 12/9/10. Constipation was one cf my biggest issues. I took what ever they gave me in the hospital to help the flow. All I know is I felt so much pain and discomfort I thought my appendix was going to burst. I do not know what to expect as this was my first surgery. No one is honest about the effect of anesthesia and pain meds on the system. I had to take suppositories before my first movement which must have been well more than a week. I took stool softeners for a long time. I do not think my system was back until at least 6 weeks post op.
  • Call your doctor and ask if it is ok to take a mild-laxative with the meds you are on. Correctol (?sp) is a mild one for women that will work to get things in motion.

    But keep trying what you are doing - water, movement, fiber foods, and colace. I found the movement was the thing I was missing. so I did my 10 min easy walks.
  • Thanks for all the advice everyone! Wanna know what did the trick? Diet Coke! I've always drank diet coke and it was like coffee in the morning (made me go). I haven't had any in a while so I told my husband to bring some home. After 1/4 of the can...BINGO! I feel SO much better!

    Traci
  • Traci:

    I realize that this thread has reached a conclusion because you had discovered a solution, but I wanted to add a comment just in case others may read the thread. The pain meds and restricted mobility gave me constipation as well. I used a cheap, Kroger brand laxative to little avail. What I found to be very effective was a Pepsi (had not consumed any carbonated soda in over a month) and about 1/3 of a box of Thin Mint Girl Scout cookies. Best tasting and most effective laxative I have discovered.

  • found at the drug store for about $2-3. It works quite well. Stay close to the bathroom once you drink the second half of the bottle. It will unplug and clean your insides all in 1 shot. :-)
  • I had several really, and I mean really, bad sessions in the loo after my latest round of surgery. You'd think I would have learned my lesson and started at least eating some simple stuff before surgery and perhaps either a can of prune juice before or right after surgery. I left it too long. Actually what happened is I had a decent BM right after surgery, so I foolishly thought I was okay.

    Boy!!

    The concern with medicine laxatives is that the body will need them to regulate after using them too often, so natural is best. Prune juice is really good. Not only will keep things flowing nicely, it is natural and good for you in general. The only thing is I can't stand the taste of it. Well what works great is to dilute it slightly and add several drops of concentrated lemon juice or squeeze some fresh lemon in....voila....very tasty.

    I also find the smell of it pungent and it makes me cough....... not good after surgery. How I get around that is I breath in and hold my breath while drinking it and I make sure I drink the whole 8oz. That way my first action is to exhale so I can lower the glass before breathing in the "fumes" of the juice.

  • First of all! What do you call a vegetarian with Diarrhea? Answer: A salad shooter.

    Secondly! What does the Star ship Enterprise and a roll of toilet paper have in common? Answer: They both circle Uranus searching for Klingons.

    Just a few Back sided Jokes to make you feel a little better.
  • I reread my post and saw I had said enema. I meant suppositories first and then enema after that if they dont work. I keep suppositories on hand, cause in the last four years, sometimes they have been necessary with the high amount of narcotics I was one. Most of the time, SennaS works for me though. After surgery this past time, I needed a suppository. That was after prune juice, Milk of mag and everything else had failed. Not aweful, and sometimes just need the extra help.
  • kwell2012kkwell2012 Posts: 8
    edited 07/31/2013 - 2:27 AM
    i been home now from the hospital since thursday night 7 pm had a few bowel movements in hospital and gas but since i been home its been exstremly hard to go i have taken dicolax suppositorys ducolax tabs even got prescription for miralax and dulcolax ec 5mg pills from pharmacy nothing helps its like the poop is down there but wont come out unless u dig it out with gloves and wet wipes im scarred its a twisted bowel it just isnt coming out like its suppose to just a terd at a time with much strain.so plugged now i feel it down there wanna push but nothing happens what do i do im scared never been this bad in my life
    .forgot to mention i just had anterior lumbar surgery where they move your bowels to the side while doing your operation
    karen
  • kwell2012kkwell2012 Posts: 8
    edited 08/19/2013 - 10:18 AM
    use this powder stuff in everthing you drink can get it at drugstore not sure what its called but it keeps you regular. i ended up at e r was so backed up i thought i was gonna die cause i had anterior back fusion thought they messed up my colon.ended up getting 3 enemas that did the trick
    karen
  • morphia1957mmorphia1957 Posts: 84
    edited 08/20/2013 - 10:56 AM
    3 months and I still am not regular.. apparently, it takes 6 months for general anesthesia to come out of your system... add that to the pain meds.. and... I GO every day, but it's an adventure .. thank god for this site, I can at least, laugh at myself when I read what others have done as I have done the same! I eat clean, tons of vegs, was eating tons of prunes (watch out on that one.. added sugar = added pounds) Colace, benefiber and a TON of water and yes, moving.. walking.. (it did nothing for the first 2 weeks..) NO, they don't tell you all this and it is horrible. I had an s1-l5 fusion.. did they move me around down there? I felt the same way, thought I was / am / is still / dying.. never had bathroom issues before...! Jeez. holy CRAP. it is STILL an issue for me.. will it ever end??
    morphia1957
  • Oh! How i feel for you all who had this done . I had to ASK for something in the hospital since i knew, as a nurse, there was something in the standing orders. Not much luck but i was discharged the day after 2nd surgery. I live 2 hours from the hospital i had the surgery and spent the night locally in case I needed the doc. My brother was with me as my husband had to take care of my son. Talk about an awkward situation! Had to wake him very early next morning to go get me enemas and whatever else. I looked like I was 9 months pregnant. Took me dayyyys to finally have a normal BM. NO, they fail to tell you that you should really be preparing yourself GI wise days prior. I was so upset with the nurses there that I offered to go teach proper patient care in the evaluation they sent the next week. Fortunate are those who have a nurse who isnt only thinking about pain control; the patient-head to toe and inside-out is what it is all about. Holistic nursing approach. Guess they dont teach that any longer. Not looking forward to another surgery but Ill be much better prepared!
    Ellie Mae
  • Oh! How i feel for you all who had this done . I had to ASK for something in the hospital since i knew, as a nurse, there was something in the standing orders. Not much luck but i was discharged the day after 2nd surgery. I live 2 hours from the hospital i had the surgery and spent the night locally in case I needed the doc. My brother was with me as my husband had to take care of my son. Talk about an awkward situation! Had to wake him very early next morning to go get me enemas and whatever else. I looked like I was 9 months pregnant. Took me dayyyys to finally have a normal BM. NO, they fail to tell you that you should really be preparing yourself GI wise days prior. I was so upset with the nurses there that I offered to go teach proper patient care in the evaluation they sent the next week. Fortunate are those who have a nurse who isnt only thinking about pain control; the patient-head to toe and inside-out is what it is all about. Holistic nursing approach. Guess they dont teach that any longer. Not looking forward to another surgery but I'll be much better prepared!
    Ellie Mae
  • Oh! How i feel for you all who had this done . I had to ASK for something in the hospital since i knew, as a nurse, there was something in the standing orders. Not much luck but i was discharged the day after 2nd surgery. I live 2 hours from the hospital i had the surgery and spent the night locally in case I needed the doc. My brother was with me as my husband had to take care of my son. Talk about an awkward situation! Had to wake him very early next morning to go get me enemas and whatever else. I looked like I was 9 months pregnant. Took me dayyyys to finally have a normal BM. NO, they fail to tell you that you should really be preparing yourself GI wise days prior. I was so upset with the nurses there that I offered to go teach proper patient care in the evaluation they sent the next week. Fortunate are those who have a nurse who isnt only thinking about pain control; the patient-head to toe and inside-out is what it is all about. Holistic nursing approach. Guess they dont teach that any longer. Not looking forward to another surgery but Ill be much better prepared!
    Ellie Mae
  • Prior to surgery I have always had bowel issues. Going 3 to 5 days not going. Now with surgery after 8 weeks I should be normal. But right now 5 days after surgery and eating more solid in last 3 days and have taken laxatives and stool softner drinking every homemade tea (ginger) coffee and prune. Doctor said double up laxative and nothing by Sat. Which was yesterday than suppositories. Last night burn me so I figure wait til Sunday am. Here I lay almost 1/2 hr waiting for magic. Starting to have thunder sounds and pressure. Hopefully soon a good clean. I heard first is painful. Wish me luck.
  • DanielCDanielC Posts: 155
    edited 04/26/2015 - 10:12 AM
    Goooo traciiiiii :)
    L5S1mickeymouse
  • skilewis74sskilewis74 Posts: 1
    edited 07/16/2015 - 2:32 AM
    Broke my back 16 years ago & I've had chronic constipation ever since. At tv first prune juice and prunes was effective. I've had to hugely increase my amount of laxatives. I've tried ~12 over the years & the best overall for me is Swiss Kriss from the healthfood store.

    I've had to tripple my normal laxative intake since having surgery to lengthen my achilles tendons amost two weeks ago.. :((
    W/ my high dosage & partial paralysis I only have ~ one minute warning >:( i used to have 20.The doctors don't know what to do other than a colonoscapy, but I don't know how I can handle increasing my laxatives to having liquid BMs. Insurance won't approve things I'm sure could help like acupuncture & nutritionist.



    ***********************
    Nobody on the forum is medically qualified or permitted to give advice any responses will be based on members personal experiences only


    Moderator's message...Please click on link for helpful information
    Welcome to Spine-Health
  • I purchased Miralax it was given to me in the hospital and i continue to use it at home and as far as any bowel issues I have none and so thankful for it.ask doc before taking just encase
advertisement
Sign In or Register to comment.