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.

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

How long after surgery for bowel movement...

Hi, 43yr old male here. I am 3 days post-op for an L5 Laminectomy with L5 -S1 Discectomy.

I spent 36 hours in the hospital afterwards. Surgery seems like it was a success.
I was give stool softeners while in hospital. Never felt any pressure on my bowels like I needed to go during my stay. I Have been passing gas .
I had a very hard time voiding my bladder the first night post-op. My bladder was absolutely full yet I could not go. The pain got so bad I ended up getting a straight Catheter. Since the Catheter I have been able to urinate on my own without much problem.

Since coming home I've been taking Senokot's (stool softener/ laxative) . I'm taking my pain meds as needed but knowing they help cause constipation I try not to take them more than needed.
I've been eating a lot of fruits, vegetables & anything high in fiber I can find.
For the past 24hrs or so I have been feeling that pressure in my stomach like I need to go. The best I can do is still just pass gas.
I've been walking as much as I can tolerate to try and help get things moving.
I'm starting to get worried that I can't go. I don't want it to turn in to a problem.
If anyone is willing to share their experiences with bowel movements post-op I would really appreciate it. I am not having bad stomach pain yet so I guess I should not be to worried, but at what point should I call the doctor???


  • gfishggfish Pittsburgh PAPosts: 158
    edited 02/19/2015 - 7:50 AM
    Had the same problem when I came home. Took ex-lax, tried the fruit thing. Nothing! Called my PCP. she said get a bottle of Magnesium citrate, they sell it in all drug stores. Thats whats it for. You drink the whole bottle, comes in flavors, not that bad.
    BUT IT WORKS! in about 2 hours. Your back on track. Its the pills thats mess you up.
    Greg fisher
  • Doug HellDoug Hell Posts: 335
    edited 02/19/2015 - 9:25 AM
    That's exactly what you need. You are going to have a big poop there waiting to come out and it is going to be hard to get out.... Unfortunately, the narcotics do this...... It isn't easy, but you'll get used to it. I didn't go for many days after...
    Realize that FEAR is our worst enemy. Get up & get out in that stormy weather of the real world & kick fear in the teeth. Stare at it dead in the eyes & walk right through it into the storm; because once you're wet, you won’t fear the rain anymore
  • It took me around 8 days and had to use stool softeners to get everything out.
  • I'm on my first week post-op. I tried stool softener, suppositories and metamucil and it just jeeps me from being bloated. What works for me is a bottles of enema that you can buy in any drug store and it comes in packs. I just have my wife squirt the whole 1 bottle in my ass and within 2 minutes off they go. The first one is always the hardest since it's hard, but once you passed it the rest should come out easy :-)
  • I've had issues with this as well. I went several days without a bowel movement after surgery. The combination of a Magnesium supplement and a high fiber diet are the only things that have finally regulated my bowel movements. I had issues for months. After I stopped the stool softeners and laxatives, it actually made me feel better. Moving around does help also. I've tried Fiber supplements also but the Magnesium supplement seems to have helped even more. Self enemas can be used if you're impacted, but it won't help unless the stool is in your colon and won't come out. Generally it's best to contact your Dr if it's been more than 3 days. The longer you go without a bowel movement, the harder it will be to go.
    Progressive DDD
    Chronic S1 Radiculopathy
    Discectomy L5-S1 2002
    Discectomy, Laminotomy/Foraminotomy L3-S1 January 2014
    Bilateral SI Joint Fusion and 2 level spinal Fusion October 2014
  • I finally went last night!!!!!!
    I ended up calling my DR who told me to have someone go get me Ducolax from the pharmacy.
    I took 2 tablets and about 5 hours later I could feel the movement coming.
    After about an hour on the toilet I was able to make the biggest and most painful bowel movement of my life.
    What a relief!!!! Thank you all for the support and advice. You guys and gals are the best.
  • I'm glad to hear that you went. I know how awful it can be, especially with back pain.

    Good luck with your recovery.
    Progressive DDD
    Chronic S1 Radiculopathy
    Discectomy L5-S1 2002
    Discectomy, Laminotomy/Foraminotomy L3-S1 January 2014
    Bilateral SI Joint Fusion and 2 level spinal Fusion October 2014
  • This just cracked me right up!! I'm at the Old Witch from Hansel and Gretel stage praying for an explosion so I somehow ended up on this page, reading your comment!! Just what I needed, a good hearty laugh!!
Sign In or Register to comment.