What Laxatives Can Be Used After Surgery?


Quick Answer

No laxatives should be used after surgery without the permission of a doctor, as the type of surgery and medical history may make some laxatives potentially dangerous, according to About.com and MedicineNet. Often, mild laxatives such as a stool softener or enema may be used, along with increased fluid intake.

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What Laxatives Can Be Used After Surgery?
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Full Answer

There are multiple possible health risks for patients who take laxatives without express permission from their doctor, states MedicineNet. For example, patients with intestinal scarring or narrowing of the intestines should not take fiber due to the risk of obstruction. Some types of fiber laxatives also contain sugar, which is potentially dangerous for diabetic patients. Stool softeners may cause liver inflammation in some patients and should not be used with certain medications.

The elderly or people who have trouble swallowing can accidentally swallow mineral oil, leading to pneumonia, explains MedicineNet. Combination laxatives may contribute to damage of the colon with long-term use, and stimulant laxatives can lead to severe diarrhea that results in electrolyte imbalance and dehydration.

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