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Impacted Bowel*Warning this is not for the squeamish*

on 10/14/12 6:06 am - MI
RNY on 04/25/12
I had RNY surgery on 4/25/12 and I have been having several issues with having bowel movements.
Ever since my wls I am unable to have a "normal' BM. I drink at least 80 oz of fluids a day and I take dulcolax at bedtime when I know that I NEED to go.

I have had an impacted rectum at least 5 times since the wls. It is so bad that I am doubled over in pain, nauseated and light headed. When I go to use the bathroom I sometimes have to use my finger to remove the hardened and small like rocks and pebbles of fecal matter from my rectum. It hurts something awful and then I am in pain for days afterwards.

Please if you have or know of any remedies for this please let me know. I have an appointment with my Doctor at the end of this month 10/30/2012. Last night I was in tears at 2am because of the pain and the "poop scooping" that I had to do.

I am going to increase my fluid intake and I am also adding Miralax to my Crystal Light. On another WLS website people reccomended Milk of Magnesia. I did use the M.O.M. many years ago after childbirth and it did work. I may try that step next.

If you have experienced the impacted bowel issue, please let me know if or how you were able to remedy it. I am scared to death because I have googled the topic and surgery has been mentioned several times!

Thank you for any help or advice that you can give me.
on 10/14/12 7:23 am - OH
I use Miralax daily which usually keeps things going for me.  When I have trouble, I use a Dulcolax suppository, which gets me results within about 30 minutes.

If you're having so much trouble, I think I would see the doc before the end of the month.

View more of my photos at          Kelly

Please note: I AM NOT A DOCTOR.  If you want medical advice, talk to your doctor.  Whatever I post, there is probably some surgeon or other health care provider somewhere that disagrees with me.  If you want to know what your surgeon thinks, then ask him or her.    Check out my blog.


on 10/14/12 7:46 am - freeport, TX
I just use a cheap stool softener from walmart. Take one every day.  Even if you had a bowel movement that day. The trick is to prevent the fecal matter from building up. The longer it stays in the bowel the harder and drier it will get. Best to not let it get to that point.

Good luck! I do understand and have been in your shoes more than once.

Met my first goal, met my second goal, met my surgeons goal. Now I have a new goal!
on 10/14/12 8:18 am
 I take four stool softeners and 4 probiotics a day (2 of each in the morn, 2 in the even) , which seems to keep things moving regularly (although if my food choices are poor, I feel the results almost immediately). 

When I was early out, people recommended Benefiber, which I started taking religiously.  What they didn't mention was that I also needed to greatly increase my fluid intake.  Worst pain ever.  I have been where you have been.  I hope you find the combination that works for you.
RNY, 8/1/2011
HW: 348          SW: 306          CW: 170          GW: 140

He who endures, conquers. ~Persius

on 10/14/12 9:05 am - NH
RNY on 12/17/12

I feel for you, I am sorry to hear this is happening to you. I am pre-op and only 24 years old but I have had the same issues since I was in my late teens. I was first taken to the ER for an episode around age 17. It was one of the more frightening things I've dealt with. Anyway, I started seeing a gastroenterologist and was continuing the visits for several years. Test after test, procedure and therapy and on and on the cycle went... I eventually had no other options besides meeting with a surgeon for my almost completely dysfunctional intestinal tract. He came to me with a plan for a total collectomy alongside my gastric bypass... a bad idea in my opinion due to my age. I then transferred hospitals approx. 2 hours away for a second opinion. I then found a surgeon who felt very strongly that WLS would resolve most or all of my issues. And here I am, surgery set for Christmas Eve... Anyway, regardless of my story, surgery may not be the best thing but its in the cards when you have serious BM issues. Talk to a GI specialist if you aren't already, have some tests done and find out what is causing the issues. It is a terrible feeling and my heart goes out to you knowing how awful it really is. I hope it gets better!
White_ Dove
on 10/14/12 10:34 am
I went through a period where I used enemas and suppositories, along with Miralax.  But seeing your doctor now is the thing to do.  
on 10/14/12 6:37 pm
I know what you are going through, believe me.  I use Miralax daily.  If I don't use it consistently it doesn't help.  I get it on prescription to help save.  I also take Magnesium oxide every day and I have about a tablespoon or more of chia seeds daily.  That stuff really helps me.  It works for both diarrhea and constipation from what I have heard.  Give it a try.  It has made a big difference in me constipation.

WLS 10/28/2002 Revision 7/23/2010

High Weight  (2002) 240 Revision Weight (2010) 220 Current Weight 115.

on 10/14/12 9:09 pm, edited 10/14/12 9:10 pm
Old school remedy: sit in a tub of ho****er. My grandmother and mother made us do it when we were constipated like that. Sounds funny but it works. I've had to do it more than twice since I had my sleeve surgery but it works quickly and keeps you from straining.

I tried Miralax, Dulcolax, MOM, they all worked....for about a week and then stopped working. Since you have to take a bath anyway, may as well kill two birds with one stone.

MyLady Heidi
on 10/14/12 10:09 pm
 I have some weird suggestions, try one of those rubber coated baby spoons as a pooper scooper.  Yes I have experienced the pain you are talking about and to make it doubly fun I have bleeding hemorroids.  Have you tried those glycerin suppositories, because you want to get all that hard stuff out and then start a new more user freindly eating plan.  If you do protein drinks I suggest losing them, try greek yogurt unsweetened with some fresh fruit and artificial sweetener.  You want everything and anything that will make your poop soft and manageable.  Good luck.
on 10/15/12 7:42 am
How much fat do you eat every day? Increasing your fat intake would probably help.
on 10/15/12 11:58 am
I can't believe i'm reading these posts , people using stool softner on a daily basis.. I had this same problem twice after wls. discovered it was the artifical sweetners doing it to me and right after i ate some little Debbie snacks did it to me also. i started eating FF refried beans and drinking alot of water with it and things started moving very smooooothly..I too have had to pull out some poop when it got so hard inside of me, But i did it.. it mostly happened when i ate the little Debbie snack . it was the oatmeal cookie snack cakes that i craved at first. I stopped eating those and things got so much better..Last episode on Dr. Oz show they talked about how artifical sweetners does this to our bowels....good luck. Peace\/ Wendy

7stents (2003)...Heart Attack(2004)...Open Heart (2004)....Wls (2007)...Heart attack 2012...1 stent (2012)...Heart Attack (2013)...Heart Attack (2013)...1 stent(2013)
~~~Best Vitamin For Making Friends  B1~~~

on 10/15/12 2:41 pm
 I think you are pretty lucky if you have only suffered from constipation twice in the years since your WLS. 

Stool softeners, from what I have read and have been told by my PCP, are non-habit forming and safe to use.  Unlike laxatives, your body does not become dependent upon them.  

Believe me, I have tried a variety of options to solve this ongoing issue.  If my current ****tail could be avoided, I would give it up in an instant.  But the 4 softenors and 4 probiotics give me the most consistent success, and I wouldn't give that up at this point to muck around with other solutions.  
RNY, 8/1/2011
HW: 348          SW: 306          CW: 170          GW: 140

He who endures, conquers. ~Persius

on 10/15/12 4:34 pm - NY
VSG on 08/29/12 with
 Thanks for posting this and being so honest about what you have to do to get it out! I have experienced the impactedness, pain and misery that you described. I have never had constipation before so this is all new to me and I now have a new found respect for those who suffer with it all the time. I have had to use repositories just to go, to get those rocks out! Now I take the stool softener every day with a fiber supplement and a dulcolax about every third day. I am hopeful this will pass. My surgeon says it takes about 3 months to work itself out. ( Just in time for the hairless to kick in!!!!!) :(lol