Can You Use a Laxative After Surgery?


Quick Answer

Most types of oral laxatives, except for saline laxatives, may be used after surgery when straining should be avoided, as affirmed by Mayo Clinic. They may also be used in preparation for surgery.

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Full Answer

Types of oral laxatives include bulk-formers, hyperosmotics, stimulants, lubricants, stool softeners and combinations, according to Mayo Clinic. Laxatives are available over the counter and by prescription and may take the form of capsules, liquids, chewable tablets, syrups, oils and several other options. Patients should consume six to eight glasses of liquid each day while taking laxatives to help soften the stool, and they should seek a doctor's advice before taking any type of laxative after surgery.

Individuals should not take laxatives within two hours of taking another medication or for more than one week at a time unless advised by a doctor, as stated by Mayo Clinic. They must also avoid laxatives if they develop a skin rash or notice signs of inflamed bowl or appendicitis, such as bloating, cramping, nausea or vomiting. Children under 6 years of age should not be given laxatives unless prescribed by a doctor, and mineral oil should never be given to children in this age group. Patients who are elderly and bedridden, pregnant or breastfeeding and those who are taking other medications or have a history of allergies to medications should consult a doctor before choosing a laxative.

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