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Should I use a stool softener before or after plastic surgery?

San Antonio plastic surgeon explains what happens to your digestive tract during surgery

· Plastic Surgery,Surgery FAQ

Plastic surgery can affect your digestive track. Regardless of what type of surgery you're having, it may be beneficial to consider taking a stool softener before and after your procedure. Here's what you need to know.

Your Digestive Tract and Surgery

The dramatic changes in your diet, plus narcotics and anesthesia can all cause constipation. Your bowel movements rely greatly on regularity, and when new foods, eating habits and medications are introduced into your life, you may experience abnormal bowel movements that can be uncomfortable or even painful.

When to Use a Stool Softener

To prevent gastrointestinal discomfort caused by surgery, a gentle stool softener may be in order. Although stool softener's rarely interfere with your procedure, it is best to be safe and double check with your doctor in advance. You'll likely want to continue taking the laxative after your surgery for a couple of days until the constipation-causing substances leave your system.

Who Should Use a Laxative?

Whether or not your procedure will cause constipation greatly depends on your own body and the procedure that you are having. If you're able to keep to a more regular diet after your surgery (which is generally easier with a breast augmentation or similar surgery versus bariatric surgery), and you are not having to take narcotic pain medications you may not be as troubled with constipation.

When to Talk with Your Doctor

It is well worth your time to check in with your doctor about constipation concerns before you hit the operating room. He can help you with your digestive concerns and recommend stool softeners if necessary once you discuss your specific procedure and dietary habits.

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