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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
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)
- It is recommended that you increase your water intake.
- Make sure you’re getting at least 64 oz of caffeine-free fluids daily.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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:
- Drink lots of water (64+ oz) in addition to the decaf tea, coffee, protein drinks, etc.
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.
- Add MiraLAX to water, tea, protein shakes, applesauce, etc. for a gentle stool softener
- Walking and exercising after bariatric surgery in general can help to get things moving along too.
- 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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