Preventing Post Surgical Constipation

Constipation is a serious complication of surgery. When a person goes in for surgery they receive anesthesia to keep them sedated and comfortable during the surgery and is a blessing for people undergoing surgery. People in the past endured horrible pain during surgery but anesthesia does have complications associated to it.

One of these serious complications is constipation and while this may not seem to be a serious complication, constipation can be a serious health risk. Constipation left untreated can cause a blockage in the bowel and threaten the life of the individual. Preventing post surgical constipation is very necessary for the health of the patient and is a fairly simple procedure. The physician will order some medications prior to surgery to help maintain the intestinal tract.

The patient should follow their pre-surgical instructions completely for the full benefits they offer and, following surgery the medical staff should watch the patient closely and instruct the patient on measures to prevent post surgical constipation.

How The Patient Can Prevent Post Surgical Constipation

Following surgery most patients will be in severe pain and will typically want to do everything possible for pain control. While pain control needs to be addressed, the patient needs to understand the importance of preventing post surgical constipation and pain medications slow the digestive tract increasing the risk of constipation. As the patient begins to heal and the pain lessens the patient needs to have the pain medication reduced. The patient needs to take enough pain medication to control the pain but no more.

Another contributing factor to post surgical constipation is the decreased mobility of the patient. As soon as is allowed the patient needs to start ambulating around their hospital room and in the hospital hallway. Although ambulation may increase the pain temporarily it will provide a great benefit to the patient as being mobile increases the circulation of the patient, which will aid in healing and will help the digestive system recover sooner.

The patient also needs to drink as much fluids as the doctor allows as fluids help the digestive tract function appropriately. As soon as fluids are allowed following surgery the patient should make an effort to consume physician recommended liquids. If the patient begins to feel that they are becoming constipated they should notify the medical staff as the doctor will want the patient to receive medications before the constipation becomes severe. Early intervention for post surgical constipation will be more successful than waiting until the constipation has become an impaction.