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Getting Rid of the Bloats or Gas after Laparoscopic Surgery

Updated: Mar 14

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You are talking to someone who has had extensive experience with surgery. Getting rid of the Bloats or Gas after having abdominal surgery is a real issue. I only look healthy. Surgery gas pain can be excruciating! Having undergone numerous abdominal surgeries, including hysterectomy, gallbladder removal, and bladder surgery, I am well acquainted with the discomfort associated with post-surgical gas and bloating. I have had several people ask me over the years, "How do you get rid of gas after surgery?" This article delves into the causes of this issue and offers effective strategies for managing it, drawing upon my personal experiences and insights. A large number of the surgeries were involving the abdominal area. Anyone who has had abdominal, laparoscopic surgeries knows that they fill your stomach up with air, so they can work. When you wake up, the air is still inside you and you feel quite bloated and have lots of gas. As soon as you sit up, the air rises and the pain is in your shoulder or chest. It made me feel like I was having heart problems or something. Very uncomfortable. I have found a few tricks that have really helped me with my last few surgeries, including hysterectomy, gallbladder removal, and bladder surgery.

Understanding the Source of Post-Surgical Gas:

First, it understanding why you have the gas. They add air in the abdominal cavity mainly to see better and give them more room to move around. Of course, all this gas going in means that it has to come out. Post surgery gas pain is a natural result of this.

The Culprit: Air in the Abdominal Cavity:

During laparoscopic surgery, surgeons insufflate the abdominal cavity with carbon dioxide gas to create a clear view and ample operating space. This gas, unfortunately, needs to be expelled post-surgery, leading to bloating and discomfort. While the body naturally eliminates this gas over time, the process can be slow and cause distress.

Unfortunately, this gas has to go somewhere and they typically close the hole up that allowed the air to go in to begin with. Once it goes it, it means you need help getting rid of the bloats or gas after laparoscopic surgery.

The Discomforting Journey of Gas:

As the gas migrates through the body, it can trigger various unpleasant sensations. It may cause a feeling of fullness and tightness in the abdomen, mimicking heartburn or chest pain, particularly as it ascends towards the shoulders. This can be especially concerning for individuals who haven't experienced these symptoms before. The air does come out naturally, but it must move through you to do so. Especially when it passes your heart area, this can be scary as we get older, as it feels like a heart attack (mind you I have never had a heart attack, so I guess it feels like what I think a heart attack would feel like). It is also painful, especially as it gets to our shoulders, which is where I have the most pain. Air rises, so it naturally works its way up in your body.

Important Disclaimer: Consult Your Doctor First:

Before attempting any of the methods mentioned here, it is crucial to consult with your doctor. They can advise on the most suitable approach based on your specific medical history and needs.

First, let me highlight that I am not a medical professional and I recommend that you should always consult with your doctor first before doing any of them, especially to ensure that they are not counter-indicated for you.

Several approaches can help alleviate post-surgical gas and bloating. Let's delve into some popular methods and my personal experiences with them:

1. Traditional Approaches:

  • Ginger Ale: While commonly recommended, I found ginger ale to exacerbate bloating in my case.

  • Heat Therapy: Applying a heating pad or warm compress to the abdomen can offer temporary relief. However, the effect might not be substantial or immediate enough for everyone.

  • Walking: Although walking is generally encouraged for post-surgical recovery, it may not be feasible for individuals with specific limitations or experiencing leg pain. Additionally, it doesn't necessarily address upper body gas discomfort.

2. Alternative Relief Strategies:

  • Postural Maneuvers: The suggested technique of raising the knees to the chest while lying down offered some relief by aiding in gas expulsion. However, it may not be everyone's cup of tea in terms of comfort and elegance.

  • Self-Massage: Gently massaging, patting, or rubbing the stomach, shoulders, back, and chest can provide some relief, but the effects might be slow-acting.

Ginger ale is the go-to response that most places will push. This is OK, but it actually made me feel like I had more gas not less. Heat is also good, but also not immediate relief enough for me. As we have just had abdominal surgery, we also can't submerge in a bath with baking soda, which is my typical relief for my regular gas.

The first time I had the surgeries, they suggested lifting my knee to my stomach several times in a marching motion while I was lying down. This was useful, as it did push the gas out and get it moving. It did not leave me feeling very delicate or proper, but it did have some value. Walking was best, but I actually had one surgery, where my left leg was not working well after surgery, due to a nerve getting bumped. I couldn’t walk. With the surgery scars, this was not very comfortable. The walking motion also did nothing for the shoulder or upper body gas pain. Massaging, patting, or rubbing the stomach, shoulder, back or chest are obvious and if you have no other means of recovery, those are useful, but still have longer recovery time.

My Preferred Approach: Natural Relief with Baking Soda and Honey:

I discovered a natural method that worked well for me, but remember to consult your doctor before trying it:

  • Ingredients:

  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda (consult your doctor if you have concerns about blood pressure)

  • Honey (enough to mask the baking soda taste)

  • Warm water (minimal amount to dissolve the ingredients)

  • Instructions:

  • Mix the baking soda and honey with warm water.

  • Consume the mixture quickly, like a shot.

  • Note: Hospitals may not provide honey. Prepare and bring your own if necessary.

My theory was that if you wake up and are gassy, why wouldn’t you immediately take anti-gas (simethicone or something like that). Well, since simethicone is a pill, the hospital or surgery center really gets cranky if you swallow a pill they didn’t give you. I tried that once after others had said they had tried it after their surgeries. The nurse about had a conniption when she saw me take it. Not sure why some let you and some don’t, but there are alternative ways. I thought the simethicone was useful, but I prefer more natural methods when they are available. After being thoroughly talked to afterwards, the next surgery I decided to try something different.

I brought with me ¼ teaspoons of baking soda and some honey (I actually saved the packets from some restaurant I had gone to, but however you get it – make sure it is accessible). They won’t give you honey in the hospital. I kept asking. The only time they did was when I was admitted overnight, but they didn’t give it to me until meal time. Too long of a delay. I brought it with me next time. Baking soda will raise your blood pressure a little bit, so might be better to start with 1/8 teaspoon first and then increase as you get used to it. I have found that after surgery I tend to have low blood pressure, so the baking soda actually helped me. It is also possible to use potassium carbonate, but it is harder to find and you need less of it. It will not affect your blood pressure as much. You mix the baking soda and honey with very warm water. The hospital or urgent care will give you hot water if you ask. I think the baking soda tastes nasty, so I try to limit the amount of water to the barest amount I can to mix in the baking soda and honey. Then I take it like a shot – as quickly as I can. Checking with your doctor to ensure your are considering all your options is a good idea.

Additional Tips:

  • Pillows for Comfort: I found using supportive pillows, such as the Kingfun 4pcs Orthopedic Bed Wedge Pillow Set -, crucial for maintaining comfort during recovery.

  • Sharing is Caring: If you have personal experiences or tips that helped you manage post-surgical gas, please share them in the comments below. Your insights may benefit others going through similar experiences.

Hopefully I won’t need to use these techniques much more, but given my history with surgeries, I think it is more likely I will. If you have any suggestions for other helpful hints or tips, feel free to comment. What techniques have you tried for getting rid of the bloats or gas after laparoscopic surgery

I have found that after surgery, I found pillows to help me stay comfortable are key. The Kingfun 4pcs Orthopedic Bed Wedge Pillow Set for Post Surgery, Memory Foam for Sleeping, Adjustable Leg, Back and Arm Support, Sitting Up and Rest Pillow with Travel Bag are a really good option. I have found that they are convenient for relaxing at home now that surgery is over also. Some insurances will cover these pillows for postoperative gas pain.


While recovering from abdominal surgery, bloating and gas can be a source of discomfort. By understanding the cause and exploring various relief options, including those discussed in this article, you can manage these symptoms effectively. Remember, consulting your doctor is paramount before attempting any new practices. With the right approach, you can navigate this phase of recovery with greater ease and comfort. Hopefully one of these will help you with getting rid of the bloats or gas after laparoscopic surgery. I really want to know. How do you get rid of gas after surgery?

No matter which choice you make, I wish you the best of luck in your surgery! I would really appreciate hearing your thoughts on other treatments that have helped you or returning to let me know if one of the treatments worked to expel gas after laparoscopic surgery. I have found that this article is getting a good amount of regular readers, so sharing your thoughts may help others.

Doctors performing surgery can forget to remind you about the pain of recovery of abdominal surgery.
Doctors performing surgery can forget to remind you about the pain of recovery of abdominal surgery.


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Mar 31
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

The baking soda and honey combo is exactly what I needed. Thank you!

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