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Carolina Continence Center

AFTER SURGERY:

Do I have to take pain medication if I'm not in pain?
No, take pain medications as you need them but if you are having little or no pain, you may take Tylenol or ibuprofen.

I haven't had a bowel movement since I had surgery, should I be concerned?
Most patients will not have a bowel movement for 3-5 days after surgery.  Using narcotics often prolongs this time.  It is recommended that you take stool softeners daily to help with this. If you were taking medication to help with bowel movements before surgery, you should resume these 2-3 days after surgery.  If you are still unable to have a bowel movement and are not having nausea, vomiting or abdominal swelling, we recommend a half a bottle of magnesium citrate orally (just drink it.)  If you have not had a bowel movement in 6-8 hours, drink the second half of the bottle.  This can be purchased at most local drug stores. 

What symptoms are concerning?
Please feel free to call at any time if you are having problems after surgery. 

Be sure to call if:

  • you have a temperature above 101
  • you have abdominal swelling with nausea and vomiting/failure to keep anything in your stomach
  • you are not passing gas (especially if this occurs with abdominal swelling) 
  • your incision sites are swollen and draining


Spotting After Surgery
If you are having vaginal spotting after surgery, your body is telling you that you are doing too much and you should go and rest. The best recommendation is to go lay down and rest.  This symptom is usually gone within several days to a week.