How to resolve an ongoing constipation problem after Tummy Tuck?

I had my TT 7 days ago today, and yesterday I was finally able to have a bowel movement after 6 days of horrible pain trying to pass it. I finally did, and 24 hours later I have the same problem. I feel the stool and since I can not use my abdomen muscles to push, I can not pass a stool (without prescription laxatives).I can see this will be an ongoing problem because I can't use my abdominal muscles.How is this resolvable? Should I just continue prescription laxatives daily?Isn't that damaging?

Doctor Answers 8

Constipation after TT

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Unfortunately this is  very common issue, because mainly of the muscle repair and resting for so long.

You have to be better on eating fresh fruits and veggies, a lot of water, walk 10 minutes after every meal, avoid as much as possible rice, bread, pasta, etc because all of them will cause the stools being dryer.

Use in this moment a suppository just to help the stuck being softer.
Try not to use laxatives, because they may cause stomach pain, use instead fiber, but you have to be very careful on your intake of water.

At the end you will see everything was worth it.

Dr. Cardenas

Constipated after tummy tuck.

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Call your surgeon for advice.
I tell my patients to take ibuprofen or tylenol at this stage - the constipation is from pain meds.
And I recommend milk of magnesia if they do not have a product that works for them.
But your surgeon needs to make the recommendation.

Tummy Tuck

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During your pre-operative appointment, your plastic surgeon likely suggested that you take a still softener. This will help prevent the very uncomfortable constipation that can take place after tummy tuck surgery. 

Michael Law, MD
Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 123 reviews

Constipation after Tummy tuck

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Constipation is usually caused by inactivity after TT as well as meds like codeine. This usually resolves with time but I recommend a over counter stool softener and/or mild laxative but no enemas to my patients.

Edward J. Domanskis, MD
Newport Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Constipation after abdominoplasty

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Constipation after abdominoplasty
all of the suggestions below on are target.   
pain meds and anaesthesia will slow your bowels.   stopping all narcotics is helpful.  Sufficient fluids and fiber will help.
All other products are over the counter and you can start with simple treatments such as dulcolax. 
Probiotics can be useful as well

Jed H. Horowitz, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 116 reviews


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is a formidable foe when recovering from tummy tucks but try to get off your narcotics as soon as possible, drink plenty of fluids, eat high fiber foods, and then consider pharamacologic interventions such as milk of magnesia or Dulcolax then suppositories that help lubricate and stimulate the bowels and finally enemas if nothing else works.  Try to let your colon muscles work the stool out instead of having to push with your tummy... it only leads to hemorrohoids down the road.  But if your surgeon has different advice, ALWAYS best to follow that first!

Curtis Wong, MD
Redding Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

How to resolve an ongoing constipation problem after Tummy Tuck?

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Constipation is a common problem in the first week while recovering from Tummy Tuck surgery.  We find that taking fiber tablets and drinking lots of fluids relieves the problem.  Also, if your surgeon recommends, start moving around, taking walks, etc..This is a temporary problem, and you should be back to normal soon. Best wishes!

Robert E. Zaworski, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 61 reviews

How to resolve an ongoing constipation problem after Tummy Tuck?

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Your plastic surgeon will always be your best resource when it comes to clinical management. Unfortunately, constipation can be a problem for many patients after  tummy tuck surgery. Generally, bowel movements return to normal someone between 4 to 7 days postoperatively. This occurs as patients wean off narcotics and resume regular diets. I would suggest basic measures such as high-fiber foods, good hydration ( consider prune juice),  increased ambulation… Hopefully, prescription laxatives won't be necessary much longer. Again, best to run your questions/concerns by your plastic surgeon who knowing your history may have more precise advice. Best wishes.

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.