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How to Fight Constipation After Bariatric Surgery Like A Pro

Constipation after Weight Loss Surgery

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Question – How do I get rid of constipation that persists even 10 days after surgery?

It’s been almost a week after my vertical gastric sleeve in Tijuana – Mexico. Though I don’t feel any pain or discomfort, I have been constipated for the past 10 days. What should I do?

Constipation is a common problem after bariatric surgery. Reduction in dietary fiber intake is likely to be a contributory factor.[1]Sorena Afshar, Seamus B. Kelly, Keith Seymour et al. “The Effects of Bariatric Procedures on Bowel Habit” Obesity Surgery 2016; 26(10): 2348–2354.
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This can be very common. I recommend you to drink as much water as you can, at least 48 oz to 64 oz of water per day. – Aranza (Our Nutritionist)

Constipation Post VSG (Gastric Sleeve)

Water Intake

  • It is recommended that you increase your water intake.
  • Make sure you’re getting at least 64 oz of caffeine-free fluids daily.

Fiber Intake

  • Increasing fiber intake to 25-30 grams a day helps as well.
  • Add some fruit, spinach, and avocado to a smoothie. Avocado is loaded with soluble fiber.

Stool Softeners

  • MiraLAX is also a good laxative to introduce at this stage when portions are small. Mix in a tablespoon 1-2 times a day in smoothies, soups, etc.
  • MiraLAX is quite gentle; don’t be worried about becoming dependent at this point.

Getting Back to Normal

  • It is common for people to have constipation because your diet has changed so much and portions are quite small.
  • Once you get into more of a routine with foods, liquids, and regular bowel movements, you can decrease the MiraLAX and eventually stop it all together.

Dealing with Constipation After Bariatric Surgery

Question – I am 7 months out of gastric bypass and am having trouble with bowel movements

I have to take Dulcolax almost twice a week to be able to have one. What should I do?

The basic ways of dealing with constipation are the same for constipation caused by gastric sleeve and by gastric bypass.

  • It is very normal to not have a daily bowel movement after gastric bypass surgery.
  • Some people go 1-3 days long term between bowel movements.
  • Early pre-op, it can be common to not be able to pass stool for 3-5 days.

It was suggested to me to mix half dose of Miralax with a little Kefir (its a probiotic yogurt) it helped within a day or two. I do it daily still to stay regular. I’m 7 weeks post op. – Amy F (A Mexico Bariatric Services Client)

How to Prevent Constipation After Gastric Bypass Surgery

Here are some tips to help keep you regular:


High Fiber Foods

  • Choose high fiber foods. In breakfast, for example, have hot oatmeal, barley, or quinoa (cook in soy or dairy milk or mix in some peanut butter for extra protein).
  • Choose non-starchy vegetables and fresh fruits as sides/snacks whenever possible.
  • Make protein energy balls with old fashioned oats, nut butter, chia seeds, ground flax, and a little honey to keep them held together.

Stool Softeners

  • Add MiraLAX to water, tea, protein shakes, applesauce, etc. for a gentle stool softener

Physical Activity

This Post Addresses

  • Constipation after gastric sleeve surgery
  • Is constipation normal after gastric sleeve surgery?
  • Laxatives after gastric sleeve
  • What to take for constipation after gastric bypass surgery?
  • Constipation after bariatric surgery
  • Gastric sleeve bowel movement


  1. Sorena Afshar, Seamus B. Kelly, Keith Seymour et al. “The Effects of Bariatric Procedures on Bowel HabitObesity Surgery 2016; 26(10): 2348–2354.

Updated on September 27, 2019

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