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Post -op constipation

(3 Posts)
tessofthedurbeville Wed 27-Jul-11 20:23:10

My 14 year old DD has jst had a major operation on her spine. She was unable to poo in hospital so had an enema which worked before leaving. Now at home she has not yet pooed - should I be worried and speak to the hospital - or is 36 hours since an enema not unusual. Anyone any ideas to help the bowel work when she's hardly eating anyway.

mummeeee Wed 27-Jul-11 22:16:02

hope all went well in the op and your dd is comfortable at home.

Not sure whether I can help much. As it was a spinal op, I am thinking she has probably had a lot of pain relief. Is she on a morphine-type pain killer do you know? e.g. codeine (which is in co-codamol etc). Morphine type drugs definitely make you more constipated, so any of these pain killers will tend to slow down her gut. This was my first thought on reading your post.

Also, I think as you say if she has had an enema and then not eaten much, it is likely that she is fairly 'empty'. Also, as it is a spinal op I am imagining she may be quite immobile. If she has been lying down and not moving much, this is likely to not get her bowels moving either.

One way of helping, is to make sure she is drinking plenty of water, as this is good. I would also contact one of her team (a nurse on the hospital ward etc) and ask whether they are happy for her to have lactulose and/or fybogel, just so she is more comfortable. Often, hospitals can overlook these kind of 'details' which actually make quite a difference but I am sure they wouldn't mind being asked at all.

hope her recovery goes well. all the best

tessofthedurbeville Thu 28-Jul-11 20:57:56

Thanks for those comments - and I think I can answer yes to all the contributing factors that you mentioned! Will speak to hospital tomorrow if we've had no luck!

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