AliPat

Important post-op question, pre-emptive constipation solutions ???

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I've read other threads about post-op constipation and can't find the answer I'm looking for.

I finally hit my pre-op goal weight, and will be sched surgery very soon. I'm having a VSG.

I keep hearing and reading about initial and long term constipation horror stories.

About 13ys ago, during a real good atkins stint.... I had rondevous with a heap of colby cheddar that led me to a massive colon surgery,  which left me unable to be "normal" for about a year.... and the thought of ever being constipated again, scares the bajeezus out of me.  Since then,  I haven't  looked at cheese with the same adoration,  nor have I eaten any cheese without a broccoli chaser in over a decade.

I'm curious if anyone has been able to take any kind of supplement during the first 30dys post-op, particularly the first 7-14 days.  

I've read here about the differences between soluble/non-soluble fiber, ground flax/chia seed and miralax etc.

Recently I took care of my mother inlaw who had some GI issues and I prepared her metamucil days at a time.  I saw in the water bottle that it got gelatinous after a few hours. 

I'm thinking (correct me if I am wrong) that maybe if I prepare it ahead of time, let the fiber swell up first, then add more water....and THEN drink it....that would solve any intestinal swelling issues, since it swelled before I drank it, and also solve problems associate with not drinking enough water with it, solving any choking or blockage issues.

Please help, I am honestly terrified about this one issue. 

 

 

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21 minutes ago, AliPat said:

I've read other threads about post-op constipation and can't find the answer I'm looking for.

I finally hit my pre-op goal weight, and will be sched surgery very soon. I'm having a VSG.

I keep hearing and reading about initial and long term constipation horror stories.

About 13ys ago, during a real good atkins stint.... I had rondevous with a heap of colby cheddar that led me to a massive colon surgery,  which left me unable to be "normal" for about a year.... and the thought of ever being constipated again, scares the bajeezus out of me.  Since then,  I haven't  looked at cheese with the same adoration,  nor have I eaten any cheese without a broccoli chaser in over a decade.

I'm curious if anyone has been able to take any kind of supplement during the first 30dys post-op, particularly the first 7-14 days.  

I've read here about the differences between soluble/non-soluble fiber, ground flax/chia seed and miralax etc.

Recently I took care of my mother inlaw who had some GI issues and I prepared her metamucil days at a time.  I saw in the water bottle that it got gelatinous after a few hours. 

I'm thinking (correct me if I am wrong) that maybe if I prepare it ahead of time, let the fiber swell up first, then add more water....and THEN drink it....that would solve any intestinal swelling issues, since it swelled before I drank it, and also solve problems associate with not drinking enough water with it, solving any choking or blockage issues.

Please help, I am honestly terrified about this one issue. 

 

 

I have no idea with that, but I certainly can understand your concern! That is a question I'd be sure you ask your surgeon, especially since you already have an intestinal history.  

Edited by CheeringCJ

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I was prescribed colace post-op just as a precaution, without any history of issues. I feel pretty sure if you mention your history and concerns to your surgeon/medical team, they'll hook you up with something. 

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I would sure talk to your surgical team about this one.  Not sure Metamucil will be helpful in the very early days just because many really can't drink enough water yet and without enough water it can do more harm than good.  Generally stool softeners work fairly well in the early days, either Colace (docusate) or Miralax (which osmotically draws water into the colon). Given your history I can understand why you're concerned!

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1 hour ago, AliPat said:

I'm curious if anyone has been able to take any kind of supplement during the first 30dys post-op, particularly the first 7-14 days.

You should check with your surgeon as the others have said. But I came from the hospital with a list from my surgeon of things I could take to deal with constipation.

So as far as your specific question, I've not heard yet of someone not being able to take supplements or remedies in the first 30 days. 

In the first 7-14 days you will be on clear or full liquids anyways, so I don't see constipation being much of an issue at that point. But I could be wrong.

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For most of us the key to avoiding constipation is drinking lots and lots of liquids.  So in your post op period you really need to push yourself to drink at least the minimum recommended amounts of liquids (which can be tough with a VSG in the first few weeks) and to try to drink a lot more more than the minimum.  Otherwise, I agree with the others that you should see what your surgeon recommends for constipation - I have found milk of magnesia to be effective for me. 

In the first few weeks after surgery you will find it hard to eat very much, so having Metamucil may prevent you for eating enough to reach your daily protein goals.

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On 1/5/2018 at 1:53 PM, AliPat said:

I'm curious if anyone has been able to take any kind of supplement during the first 30dys post-op, particularly the first 7-14 days.  

 

I have fought a life long battle with constipation--so I'm your woman (unfortunately) -- for this topic! My surgeon was so hopeful that somehow getting the vertical sleeve would solve my constipation issues. I was sleeved 8 weeks ago. He asked me to wait four days after my surgery before taking anything. (because he didn't think I was going to need anything) Then try every other day--by supplements I am talking about Miralax. I did what he asked and I got constipated. And it was awful...because I also had bad gas for the first 3 weeks--so imagine your body is a balloon that is filling up with gas but it can't get out--I was in such severe pain one night I was sure that I was going to have to go to the hospital. I would have driven myself, but moving my body hurt so much, I couldn't imagine driving a car. 

I've been taking Miralax every single day ever since--and trying to get more than 64 ounces of water daily. 64 ounces is the gold standard, but I try to do more...and so far so good. There was one day that I missed taking a dose of Miralax--and I was constipated again for 5 days. It wasn't as bad as post-op, because thankfully the gas problem is gone.

My advice is to take Miralax, drink loads of water, and don't worry about it. My doctor says that Miralax is safe to take every day. Something like it doesn't go into your blood stream like a medicine...just brings water to the colon and coats the stool. I just mix the dose of Miralax in with my morning protein shake. 

Good luck to you! You're going to be fine!

Edited by GigiGogo

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I'm another one who was advised to take Miralax (I was given a big tub when left hospital).

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@AliPat 

Take a probiotic starting a week before surgery and then through surgery. There is NO contraindication to taking them. Helps keep you regular with a normal bowel flora of bacteria. 

Lots of fluids. If you are worried about mutamucil being too gelatinous, just put half or one third the the "usual" amount into your beverages. You don't have to get all your fiber intake in one go, you can spread it out through the day. I do this all the time. You can sneak a little bit into anything that is liquid if you get a neutral tasting one. 

After surgery try to avoid the narcotics except as needed. I had always thought acetominophen was a worthless drug but was surprised to find that that plus nonsteroidals really worked pretty well for me. 

You'll be okay. 

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Thanks for the replies.  I asked the nurse about it last friday and she told me to talk to the dr.  My appointment is in 2 weeks w surgeon, so I will get the final say then, but I plan on getting the miralax ready before surgery.  thanks especially to @gigigogo and @burgandyboy for a "protocol".  I am not taking ANY chances.  I will start pre-op with metamucil to get my intestines loaded end to end before surgery!  I will also ask dr if they can send me home from surgery with a bucket of miralax like @cinwa got.

Edited by AliPat

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Gaviv has lots of posts about constipation. She's been hospitalized for it a couple of times post-op. I would search her posts for long term strategies as well.

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10 minutes ago, Stephtay said:

Gaviv has lots of posts about constipation. She's been hospitalized for it a couple of times post-op. I would search her posts for long term strategies as well.

Will do!

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