Managing Constipation after Plastic Surgery

July 18, 2023 | Blog


Simple Tips for Smooth Recovery

Constipation is a common concern after plastic surgery that can cause discomfort and hinder the recovery process. By following these suggestions, you can promote healthy bowel movements and ensure a smoother healing journey.

Stay Hydrated: Hydration plays a crucial role in maintaining regular bowel movements. Make sure to drink plenty of fluids, such as water or herbal tea, throughout the day. Aim for at least eight cups (64 ounces) of fluids daily, unless your surgeon advises otherwise. Staying hydrated helps soften stools and promotes easier passage.

Reduce Narcotic Pain Medication: Narcotic pain medications, such as opioids, are commonly prescribed after surgery to manage pain. However, these medications can contribute to constipation. If possible, try to gradually decrease your reliance on these medications as your pain improves. Consult your surgeon before making any changes to your pain management plan.

Maintain Gentle Activity: Engaging in gentle physical activity can help stimulate bowel movements. Take short walks or engage in light exercises as permitted by your surgeon. Movement helps activate the muscles in your digestive system and encourages regular bowel function. However, avoid strenuous activities that may strain the surgical site.

Consider Stool Softeners: Stool softeners, such as docusate sodium, can help make bowel movements easier and more comfortable. These medications work by adding moisture to the stool, preventing it from becoming hard and dry. Follow your surgeon’s recommendations and take stool softeners as prescribed or as directed by a healthcare professional.

Use Laxatives with Caution: If lifestyle modifications and stool softeners do not provide relief, your surgeon may recommend laxatives. Laxatives can help stimulate bowel movements, but they should be used with caution and under medical guidance. Overuse or misuse of laxatives can lead to dependency or other complications. Follow your surgeon’s instructions and consult them before starting any laxative regimen.

Consider the Power of Coffee: For some individuals, coffee can act as a natural laxative. The caffeine in coffee stimulates the muscles in the digestive system, promoting bowel movements. If you are a coffee drinker, a cup of caffeinated coffee in the morning may help get things moving. However, remember to stay hydrated, as coffee can have a dehydrating effect.


Constipation after plastic surgery can be uncomfortable, but it can be managed! Use the above tips to reduce any discomfort. If you have questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to us as we can provide personalized advice just for you!



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