I am 4.5 weeks post-op and still finding the need for a stool softener/laxative (I use Senokot). I don't use it every day --- I find myself taking it every 3rd day when I realize I haven't had a BM since the last dose of Senokot. Is this normal? Is it dangerous for me to take it for so many weeks? I haven't taken a narcotic painkiller since day 6 post-op so I know it can't be that.
Any advice would be appreciated.
The doc who did my rectocele repair had me taking a stool softener in the hospital and for recovery. At my 6 week check I asked him how long he wanted me to continue to take it. He said, "forever". Hmm.. considering my tendency toward hard stools is probably what brought about this surgery I'm inclined to follow his wishes. I guess I'll watch my diet and kind of play it by ear. I think I'd rather be taking softeners than risking more damage.
I took laxatives every 3-4 days for about the first 5 weeks. Im just past 6 weeks now and just started not needing them. Im still taking fiber suppliments just to be on the safe side. Best of luck to you. I hope every thing comes out all right! Pun intended
I cant advise you in what to do...this is clearly advise.....If you take laxatives for a long time,your bowels can become dependant on them,then you will not be able to go unless you do take them...I also have bowel problems, I just eat alot of fruits and veggies. If I really need to go,I go eat at Shoneys.... that always helps me.....
My Dr. had also told me stool softeners can be used as long as needed. You may only be going every 3 days as they can take up to 72 hours to work IF it is the kind that do not have laxatives in them, there are some that act as more of a laxative. Those are the ones that can become addictive and tnlady is right about the laxatives and bowels not being able to go with out them if one becomes addicted to them.
The ones I was using, Docusate Sodium, are not a laxative. I am sure there are others but it will say on the bottle what it is. I had the store brand which was comparable to Colace, also just a softener.. I was able to stop taking mine at 6 or 7 weeks post-op ( I was taking them every day) but was told could take for at least 6 weeks and longer if necessary. After 3 or 4 days of taking them, you should be able to go every day, or I was able to as well as drinking lots of water and stool softeners won't have you going and going (or they didn't me)...
It is better to take them for as long as you need them to keep things moving as I have seen posts on here of ladies who couldn't go for many days or weeks and had to have more surgery/ had to go to the hospital to move things as things had hardened and that causes more problems......
Docusate sodium (generic for Colace, as good & MUCH cheaper)
is alright (take 2 or 3 at bed time). You just don't want to take laxatives, as others have posted (for dependency and bad for bacterial infections)