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Getting Rid of the Bloats or Gas after Laparoscopic Surgery

Updated: Jun 13, 2023

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So 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. 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.

First, let me highlight that I am not a medical professional and you should always consult with your doctor first before doing them. Ginger ale is the go to that most places will push. This is OK, but it actually made me feel like I had more gas not less.

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 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.

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.

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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