Laxatives Before Gastric Bypass Surgery?

Will a liquid diet several days before a gastric bypass reduce the need for harsh laxatives taken 24-48 hours in advance?

Doctor Answers 1

Use Laxatives Before Gastric Bypass Surgery?

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One of the concerns bowel surgeons have is that when the intestines are divided and re-routed, bowel contents may be spilled into the abdominal cavity causing a serious infection. For this reason, for over a century surgeons have been reducing the sheer volume of intra-intestinal contents by putting patients on liquid diets, reducing particulate matter and then using laxatives the day before surgery to empty the colon.

I'm not sure why you need laxatives if you are not having a colon resection. In gastric bypass surgery, the small intestine is shortened by by-passing it but the small bowel contains a much lower amount of bacteria and would benefit by using laxative.

You should ask your bariatric surgeon for the reason you are on BOTH laxatives and liquid diet.

Good Luck.

Dr. Peter A Aldea

Memphis Plastic Surgeon

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