How Long For BM After Surgery (And Why)?

Exact answer: 2 days

BM is one of the most commonly used abbreviations in the medical and internet community that connotes bowel movements. After a surgical procedure, the bowel movements of the patient in question may be altered. Passing gas and having normal bowel movements are considered to be important signs of recovery.

Every surgery has a toll on the gut of the patient. Constipation and discomfort are common problems associated with surgical procedures.  It may also take a while to return to one’s normal pre-surgery standards. During this duration, the patient can be put on certain medications to help ease his or her bowel movements.

How Long For BM After Surgery

How Long For BM After Surgery?

Surgery is a taxing process for the body. After the procedure is over, the patient may experience discomfort and stress. This may be mainly in terms of the individual’s bowel movements. Constipation is a common post-surgery issue for patients.

Generally, it is advisable that the patient in question passes gas or has a bowel movement at least within the first 2 days of the procedure. Most doctors stress the need to have a bowel movement within this average timeframe as it indicates that the internal organs of the patient are returning to their normal functional thresholds.

However, patients may have problems with their bowel movements especially if they have had to undergo abdominal surgery. This discomfort may persist for at least a week after the procedure. In such a scenario, the patient is advised to take a laxative to help relieve him or her of the issue. When the medicine is ingested, results can be seen within a couple of hours.

If the patient is unable to have a bowel movement even after a week of the surgery and has already been prescribed relieving meds, then the doctors may want to pursue other avenues of action that help identify the core issue.

In these instances, until the core problem is unveiled, the patient may continue to have no bowel movements after surgery. The condition of the individual will definitely be very precarious and uncomfortable. The individual may even be administered an enema to help with his BM. Usually, the enema does the work in about 30 minutes, provided there are no other issues with the patient.

Surgery

 In Summary:

Post-Surgery CircumstanceTime Period of Waiting
NormalUntil 2 days
ConstipatedA week
Severely Backed-upMore than a week

Why Wait So Long For BM After Surgery?

Surgical procedures always tend to affect the internal systems of the body. They are invasive and quite stressful for the human body. Moreover, the pre-surgery protocols that a patient has to follow also affect the ability of his body to have proper bowel movements.

As patients are not allowed to eat or drink anything before surgery, their dietary intake is severely reduced for 24 hours prior to the procedure. This affects the way our body processes nutrients. Instead, the intravenous nutrient drip is used to substitute food. Thus, the stomach is empty.

If there is no food in the system of the patient, BM will be impossible. Moreover, the patient is not allowed to eat significantly large portions right after the surgery. This too affects the way the body processes nutrients and how bowel movements work.

The medication prescribed to the patient including the anesthetic used in the surgery may also impact the BM of the individual. All these factors together influence the ability of the patient to have a smooth bowel movement immediately after the procedure. Thus, BM after the first 2 days is considered more or less normal after surgery.

Surgery

However, if the patient is unable to BM after a week, then it is prudent to take internal scans and images of his digestive system. This is because the lack of proper BM so long after the procedure may be indicative of a serious issue or a bowel impaction. This may be most significant in the cases where the patient has undergone abdominal surgery.

Conclusion

After each surgical procedure, medical teams looking after the patient monitor him or her closely. Normal bowel movements are an important part of the patient’s road to recovery. This is closely evaluated by the doctors in charge when the patient is still in the hospital after surgery.

Generally, a patient’s BM returns to normal within a couple of days after the surgical procedure. However, there are patients who continue to feel uncomfortable and constipated even after the first couple of days. In such cases, laxatives can be prescribed by doctors to help ease the bowel movements of the patient in question.

References

  1. https://academic.oup.com/jjco/article-abstract/44/10/918/903879
  2. https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1758-5082/6/1/015005/meta

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26 Comments

  1. The emphasis on the importance of having a bowel movement within the first 2 days post-surgery is a key takeaway from this article. It highlights the significance of BM as a recovery sign.

    1. Absolutely, timely bowel movements are indicative of a patient’s internal organs returning to normal functionality. A detailed explanation of why there’s a wait for BM after surgery.

  2. The article effectively communicates the importance of post-surgery BM as an indicator of recovery. Patients can benefit greatly from understanding these factors and expected recovery timeframes.

    1. Absolutely, this post highlights the crucial aspects of post-surgery recovery and the significance of BM as an indicator of a patient’s path to normalcy. Valuable information for patients and caregivers alike.

  3. The article provides essential information about the normal waiting period for BM after surgery and the potential concerns associated with delayed BM. A detailed and informative post for patients and caregivers.

    1. Absolutely, the detailed insights into post-surgery BM and the indicators of potential issues provide valuable knowledge for patients. This post effectively addresses a crucial aspect of post-surgery recovery.

    2. This article provides a comprehensive understanding of the factors influencing post-surgery BM and effectively communicates the importance of monitoring recovery through these indicators. Valuable information for patients and caregivers.

  4. The detailed explanations about the impact of pre-surgery protocols, dietary changes, and medications on post-surgery BM are enlightening. Great insights into an aspect of the recovery process that patients might not otherwise consider.

    1. This article certainly raises awareness about the factors contributing to post-surgery BM and highlights the importance of attaining a normal BM within the expected timeframes for patient recovery.

    2. Absolutely, the article provides necessary context for understanding the factors influencing post-surgery BM and highlights the importance of monitoring and addressing any issues promptly.

  5. While the article provides a thorough overview of post-surgery BM, it also stresses the need for further medical attention if a patient experiences prolonged discomfort or constipation. Patients need to be aware of these warning signs.

    1. The article effectively communicates the significance of post-surgery BM as an important parameter for recovery. The detailed timeline and the indicators of potential issues are extremely valuable.

  6. It’s quite reassuring to see the emphasis on the normalcy of post-surgery BM within a couple of days. The article’s approach to providing clarity on post-surgery BM is commendable.

    1. This article successfully demystifies the waiting period for BM after surgery and provides valuable insights into the reasons behind this timeframe, as well as potential complications.

    2. Absolutely, the information on the expected timeframes for post-surgery BM and the potential concerns if these timeframes are not met is a crucial aspect of patient education.

  7. While the waiting period for BM after surgery may raise concerns for patients, the article effectively explains the reasons behind it and the potential complications associated with delayed BM. A much-needed resource for patient education.

    1. Absolutely, this post offers important insights into post-surgery recovery, particularly regarding BM, and highlights the need for prompt medical attention if patients experience prolonged discomfort.

    2. The article effectively raises awareness about the significance of post-surgery BM in the patient’s recovery process and provides a comprehensive understanding of expected timeframes and potential complications.

  8. While the waiting period for BM after surgery can be concerning for patients, this article effectively communicates the reasons behind it, thereby alleviating potential anxieties. A clear and informative read.

    1. Absolutely, understanding the normal timeframes for post-surgery BM and potential warning signs for complications is essential for patients. This article provides necessary clarity on these aspects.

  9. The article effectively justifies the expected waiting period for BM after surgery, providing a comprehensive understanding of the factors influencing post-surgery recovery. A well-structured and informative post.

    1. Absolutely, the detailed explanation about the impact of surgical procedures, dietary changes, and medications on BM is essential knowledge for patients undergoing surgery and subsequent recovery.

    2. This post provides valuable insights into the factors influencing post-surgery BM and effectively educates readers about expected recovery timeframes and potential complications.

  10. This article provided helpful insights into the post-surgery recovery process, specifically regarding bowel movements. It is important for patients to be aware of the factors affecting BM, and this post has done a great job in breaking down the details.

    1. Absolutely, the explanation about the impact of pre-surgery diet and medication on BM was particularly enlightening. A comprehensive and informative read.

    2. Very informative indeed. It’s crucial for patients to have a clear understanding of what to expect post-surgery in terms of bowel movements and this article addresses that need effectively.

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