I Have Chronic Constipation, How Can I Prepare For A Mommy Makeover?

Scheduled for TT, BL, BA, and lipo. I have chronic constipation from taking Diazide daily & diazepam 2mg prn (for episodic vertigo)for Meniere's. I drink 1L - 2L water per day, eat 1-2 large salads & 2 prunes per day, take colace 1 tab bid. I also have a very active job - walking for most of my 8 hr shift. I have had to use glycerin suppositories & MOM prn. How can I prepare for my postop recovery that may increase my constipation issues? Thanks for any ideas!

Doctor Answers 5

Constipation after Mommy Makeover

The most aggressive way to avoid constipation after surgery is to do a bowel prep.  That's the same cleanse you do before a colonospcopy or before intestinal surgery.  I generally don't recommentd this because it can cause dehydration before your surgery.  But if you are very concerned and do not want to worry about a bowel movement after surgery, this will insure a completely empty intestinal tract.  A bottle of magnesium citrate and plenty of watrer works well.  Please ask your doctor if they are ok with that.

Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 21 reviews

Tummy tuck and constipation

You are smart to think about this ahead of time.  The pain medications that you take after surgery can certainly exacerbate this issue.  I recommend that you start miralax (over the counter powder) ahead of time to keep things soft.  Use it throughout your recovery every day.  It is not addictive.  If you still have problems then you can relieve it with glycerin suppositories and magnesium citrate.  Hopefully the miralax will keep it from happening in the first place.  Good luck with everything!

Tiffany McCormack, MD
Reno Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 40 reviews

Taper narcotics as quickly as possible following procedure.

Constipation can cause significant problems in the post-operative period.When patients undergo abdominal surgery, constipation can lead to severe discomfort and pain.If not addressed, it can lead to bowel obstruction and severe secondary complications.
In the immediate post-operative period, narcotics and dehydration can contribute to the development of constipation.In someone with baseline constipation, it’s important that every effort be made to optimize their condition pre-operatively.Stool softeners should be continued in the post-operative period.Every effort should be made to maintain hydration and activity levels.Narcotics should be tapered as quickly as possible following surgery as well.
When these steps are taken, the majority of patients don’t have problems.It’s important that you discuss this issue with your plastic surgeon prior to surgery.Your surgeon should be able to take steps to minimize the risk of post-operative constipation.

Richard J. Bruneteau, MD
Omaha Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 194 reviews

Constipation prep for cosmetic surgery including tummy tuck


Try to get your constipation under control as much as possible before surgery and consider less surgery at a time. Have you ever tried psyllium? A bowel prep is another possibility but may lead to an excessively tight muscular repair. I would also say get a pain pump at surgery for the tummy tuck.


Best Regards,

John Di Saia MD



John P. Di Saia, MD
Orange Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Constipation after cosmetic surgery

The only other thing that I would recommend is to limit the amount of narcotic medications you take.  Motrin and Tylenol can work wonders without the constipation!

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