Sleeping After Bowel Surgery: What You Need To Know (2023)

Most people can return to their normal sleep habits after bowel surgery, but there are a few things to keep in mind. It is important to sleep on your side after bowel surgery to avoid putting pressure on your incisions. It is also important to sleep with your head elevated to reduce swelling. You may also want to use a pillow to support your back.

After 48 hours, your stomach or sides may not be able to support you, and you may not sleep flat on your back for four weeks.

How Should I Sleep After Bowel Surgery?

Sleeping After Bowel Surgery: What You Need To Know (1)

Most people are able to sleep in any position after bowel surgery, but some people find it more comfortable to sleep on their side or stomach. It is important to avoid any positions that put pressure on the stomach or abdominal incision. people who have had surgery on the small intestine may be advised to sleep on their left side to avoid kinking of the intestine.

If you are considering surgery, it is critical to discuss your options with a surgeon who is knowledgeable enough to provide you with detailed instructions on which type of surgery and sleeping position is best for you. When you lay down at a 45-degree angle, you will be less likely to experience swelling following surgery and will have more symmetry. It is also recommended that patients sleep propped upright at night in order to avoid rolling over and resting on their new nose or breasts, as well as to ensure the best possible outcome.

How To Recover From Bowel Surgery

Your pain and swelling will subside over time as you rest and avoid strenuous activity. It is beneficial to lie on your back with your torso and head propped up on pillows to alleviate any discomfort. Taking a three to four-week leave of absence is generally recommended. You’ll be able to decide how much you’ll earn based on the type of work you do and how you feel. If you lift heavy objects, you might need to take a break of four to six weeks. Following surgery, you may shower within 24 to 48 hours, as long as your doctor allows it. You must follow all of the special diet instructions that are given to you. It is also a good idea to avoid strenuous exercise and heavy lifting during the early stages of your fitness program. Sleep on your side is possible within 48 hours of surgery, but you may not sleep on your stomach or sides for four weeks afterward.

Can You Sleep On Your Side After Stomach Surgery?

Sleeping After Bowel Surgery: What You Need To Know (2)

After stomach sleeve surgery, you should ideally rest on your back or side. This will assist with the removal of pressure from the stomach and lungs, allowing them to relax. If you are a side sleeper, you should use a pillow between your legs to keep your spine aligned.

Cosmetic procedures are expected to reach a total of 15.6 million in 2020. More than 100,000 of these procedures were tummy tucks, also known as abdominoplasties. It usually takes several weeks for you to sleep on your back after surgery. With the SONU Sleep System, you can make side sleeping more comfortable. You may need to be assisted in ways that you are not used to after a tummy tuck. In advance, make contact with a few friends or family members to help you plan ahead of time. Changing your diet before your procedure can help alleviate some of the shock factor.

You might not be disappointed if you’re a bath fan. You will not be allowed to bathe or take a hot tub after your procedure as part of the aftercare. If you want to avoid feeling pain in your back and hips, the SONU Sleep System is a great option.

There are a few reasons why you should not sleep on your side after lipo. When you sleep on your side, gravity exerts a significant amount of pressure on your incisions. In some cases, the discomfort will cause skin tears and infection. Furthermore, sleeping on your side puts additional strain on your hips and spine, which can lead to further discomfort. Finally, sleeping on your back can cause you to lose a significant amount of sleep.

When Can I Sleep On My Side After Gastric Bypass?

“I’m a stomach- or side-sleeper,” she says, “but I can’t sleep on my stomach for two to three weeks.” It’s odd and uncomfortable for her, especially since she’s recovering from major surgery.

Healing After Gastric Sleeve Surgery

The body will have to heal, and there will be some stiffness in the first few days. After surgery, the stomach pouch may begin to swell up to 6-12 months after the operation. staples are small and dissolve over time, despite the fact that they are not removed.

Can You Lay And Sleep On Your Stomach After Abdominal Surgery?

Following surgery, it is recommended that patients avoid stomach sleeping for at least six weeks. Your abdomen is healing and showing signs of improvement during this time. You want to avoid being disrupted by your sleeping position while sleeping.

How Long Will I Be Swollen After Surgery?

Depending on a few factors such as the extent of the surgery and how well you take care of yourself, you may be left swollen for a few days afterward.

How Long Does It Take To Heal Internally After Bowel Surgery?

Sleeping After Bowel Surgery: What You Need To Know (3)

Healing time after bowel surgery depends on the type of surgery performed. For example, simple procedures such as a hemorrhoidectomy usually result in a week or two of recovery time, while more complex procedures like a colectomy can take four to eight weeks. Additionally, patients may experience minor incisional pain and discomfort for some time after surgery. However, most people report excellent results and a significant improvement in quality of life after surgery.

If you are considering surgery, you should have your doctor discuss the options with you. Many procedures are available, each with its own set of advantages and disadvantages. Some surgeries are riskier than others, but each has a short and simple recovery time. You must specify the exact time after surgery when you will need to recover. The faster you can get back to your regular routine, the better you will be for this decision.

What Are The After Effects Of Bowel Surgery?

You may notice changes in your bowels as a result of the surgery, such as frequent urination. Having little or no warning that you are going to poop or pass wind. Change in your poo, such as loose runny poo (diarrhoea) or hard, difficult to pass poo (constipation), is a sign of an allergic reaction.

How Long Does It Take To Recover From A Bowel Obstruction?

Conclusion: We have made the following point. Although some patients require more than 10 days of observation, most patients with small bowel obstruction due to postoperative adhesions can tolerate supportive treatment and recover well within one week.

How Long Does A Colorectal Surgery Take To Heal?

Depending on how the surgery was performed and their overall health, the majority of patients spend several days in the hospital following surgery. It could take up to 6 weeks for the victim to recover at home.

Can You Lie On Your Side After Surgery?

There is no definitive answer to this question since it can vary depending on the surgery you had and your doctor’s recommendations. In general, however, it is generally safe to lie on your side after surgery. This position can help to prevent any additional strain on your surgical site and help you to heal properly.

It is painful to sleep after joint replacement surgery. Pain, discomfort, medications, emotional distress, and the inability to sleep in your preferred position can all keep you awake at night. Insomnia is a common complaint after surgery. If you practice proper sleep positions at night, you are unlikely to force yourself into a painful position too soon after a recovery. Following a knee replacement, there is a safe sleeping position similar to one following a hip replacement. You should keep your surgical leg elevated while sleeping, but not too high that your pillow is pushed directly behind your knee. Dr. John Tiberi, M.D.,OS is a board-certified orthopaedic surgeon who specializes in shoulder and knee replacement.

Sleeping On Your Side After Heart Surgery

After a while, you will begin to sleep on your side, but you should always place a support pillow between your knees and ankles. As soon as the heart has been opened after surgery, it is critical to maintain a proper posture so that the chest heals. After that, you could begin to drift off to sleep. While you should still use a support pillow between your knees or ankles if you are experiencing discomfort, this should be done with a different pillow.

Sleeping Position After Abdominal Surgery

Most people are able to sleep in any position after abdominal surgery, but there are a few exceptions. People who have had surgery on their bowels or bladder may need to sleep on their back with a pillow under their knees. This helps to prevent any undue pressure on these areas. People who have had surgery on their stomach may find that sleeping on their side or stomach is more comfortable.

How Long After Bowel Surgery Can You Drive

If you have had laparoscopic (keyhole) surgery, you should be able to drive within two weeks. If you have had open surgery, there will most likely be a four-week recovery time. In both cases, you would be expected to be able to perform an emergency stop without experiencing any discomfort.

gradually increase your activity level as you are comfortable with it and feel better Walking is an excellent way to get your blood flowing and feel more alert. Aside from keeping weight in check, it has a low impact on the environment.


How do you sleep after bowel surgery? ›

One of the best sleeping position after going through any surgery is resting straight on your back. If you have had surgery on your legs, hips, spine, and arms, this position will benefit you the most. Moreover, if you add a pillow underneath your body areas, it provides more support and comfort.

How long should you rest after bowel surgery? ›

Recovery for bowel surgery

It can take weeks to recover after bowel surgery. Don't lift anything heavy or do any strenuous exercise for at least six weeks – ask your surgeon how long. It's normal to feel tired while you recover and to need to sleep and rest more than usual.

What are the restrictions after bowel surgery? ›

Avoid strenuous activities, such as biking, jogging, weight lifting, or aerobic exercise, until your doctor says it is okay. Ask your doctor when you can drive again. You will probably need to take 3 to 4 weeks off from work.

Can I sleep on my side after bowel resection? ›

After 48 hours you may sleep flat on your back, you may not sleep on your stomach or sides for four weeks. Fluids: Fluids are critical following surgery. Drinking fluids is very important to help rid the body of the drugs used in surgery. Clear juices and water are best.

What is the fastest way to recover from bowel surgery? ›

How can you care for yourself at home?
  1. Rest when you feel tired. ...
  2. Try to walk each day. ...
  3. Avoid strenuous activities, such as biking, jogging, weight lifting, or aerobic exercise, until your doctor says it is okay.
  4. Avoid lifting anything that would make you strain. ...
  5. Ask your doctor when you can drive again.

How do you wake up your bowels after colon surgery? ›

Drink plenty of liquids; eat lots of whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables. Drink warm liquids to help your bowels move. You may take a laxative or stool softener if you need it. Avoid gas-producing foods such as asparagus, brussels sprouts, broccoli, cabbage, prunes, pears and beans.

What should I avoid after bowel surgery? ›

Limit caffeine, fizzy drinks and alcohol. You could try decaffeinated alternatives. Limit fruit juice and smoothies to a small 150ml glass per day. Limit high fat foods such as takeaways or fried foods.

What are the best foods to eat after bowel surgery? ›

Five portions of fruit and vegetables are recommended for a healthy diet. Try a higher fibre breakfast cereal, e.g., Bran flakes, Shredded Wheat, Weetabix or Porridge. Try other fibrous foods like pulses, nuts or dried fruit. Your bowels should start working 3 - 5 days following this surgical procedure.

How long does it take for your bowels to return to normal after a colon surgery? ›

Diarrhea is also common after a colon resection. Your colon is shortened and therefore stool may pass at a faster rate. Give it time, approximately 6-8 weeks, and your colon should start to function more normally.

Why is day 3 after surgery the worst? ›

Swelling and Bruising.

Tissue injury, whether accidental or intentional (e.g. surgery), is followed by localized swelling. After surgery, swelling increases progressively, reaching its peak by the third day. It is generally worse when you first arise in the morning and decreases throughout the day.

Is it hard to poop after bowel surgery? ›

Some people experience constipation after surgery and you may be given a gentle laxative. You can help by walking regularly and drinking plenty of liquid. Depending on the type of bowel surgery you have had, it can take several weeks or months for your bowel function to settle.

How long does pain last after bowel surgery? ›

It's normal to have pain for the first week or so. Your doctor and nurses will give you painkillers. Tell your doctor or nurse as soon as you feel pain. They need your help to find the right type and dose of painkiller for you.

What is the pain relief after bowel resection? ›

For pain control, patient-controlled analgesia (PCA) or intermittent morphine administration is appropriate. These can be transitioned to oral pain medications, such as oxycodone, acetaminophen, or ketorolac.

How do you know if your colon is leaking after surgery? ›

In the case of intestinal surgery, your surgeon can check for leaks using a CT scan with contrast dye. The contrast is injected into your rectum near the anastomosis to see if it leaks out of the connection.

How long does it take small intestine to heal after resection? ›

How long does it take to recover from a small bowel resection? Recovery typically takes a few months. However, most people feel well enough to resume daily activities within a few weeks.

Is walking good after bowel surgery? ›

In fact, after the surgery, it is none other than doctors that encourage their patients to get back on their feet. The reason for this is simple: physical activity promotes faster wound healing and, therefore, cuts back on recovery time. Start with a couple of minutes of light pace walking two or three times a day.

What helps bowels move after surgery? ›

After surgery, you should also plan to take a stool softener, such as docusate (Colace). A fiber laxative, such as psyllium (Metamucil), may also be helpful. Purchase a laxative or stool softener before your surgery so that you have it available when you return home. Shop for stool softeners.

Do you lose weight after a bowel resection? ›

It is normal to lose some weight after this surgery. Soon it will level off and slowly you will start to regain some of the weight you lost. Try to have a good calorie intake to keep up your energy. Your bowel actions may change after your surgery.

What is the best sleeping position after colon surgery? ›

Sleeping On Your Back

One of the best sleeping positions after any kind of surgery requires lying straight on your back.

What foods to avoid after colon surgery? ›

Avoid gummy foods such as bread and tough meats, as well as spicy, fried, or gas-producing foods. To prevent swallowing air, which produces excess gas, avoid drinking through a straw and don't chew gum or tobacco. Take small bites, chew your food well, and avoid gulping.

What positions help pass gas after surgery? ›

Instead you should lie on the left side to help the movement of gas through the digestive tract. You can also keep a pillow in between your knees while lying on your side to support your abdomen. You should sit upright on a chair 3-4 times in a day. This will help pass gas after abdominal surgery.

What are common problems after bowel surgery? ›

Possible problems after bowel cancer surgery include a leak where the surgeon has joined the ends of your colon together, or your bowel not working properly. Other risks include infection, blood clots and bleeding. Many problems are minor but some can be life threatening. Treating them as soon as possible is important.

Is bowel surgery a major operation? ›

This is a major surgery. You'll need to check into a hospital. On the day of your surgery, you'll get general anesthesia. That means you'll go into an unconscious, sleep-like state so you don't feel anything during surgery.

Are eggs good after bowel surgery? ›

Top tips for building up your diet:

Include protein foods such as meat, fish, eggs, cheese and milk in at least 2 meals per day; this will help the healing process after surgery.  Continue to reintroduce foods gradually over the weeks following your surgery.

Can you eat pizza after bowel surgery? ›

Foods to Avoid After Colon Surgery

Refraining from eating fatty and greasy foods will help to keep patients from experiencing excessive abdominal pain and nausea as well.

Can you eat eggs after colon surgery? ›

Other soft, low-residue foods include eggs, cooked fish or tender meat, mild cheese, soft-cooked fruits or vegetables, pudding, sorbet, and ice cream.

How do I wake up my digestive system after surgery? ›

Get moving. As soon as your doctor says it's OK, get up and move around as much as possible. Even a short walk down the hospital hallway will help. Exercise helps move digested food through your intestines and signals your body that it's time for a bowel movement.

How long does your stomach stay swollen after colon surgery? ›

The truth of the matter is that symptoms such as swelling, stomach discomfort and distention are very common after surgery. The good news is that these sensations are only temporary. Phew! Post-operative bloating and swelling usually peaks 48 hours after surgery, but will mostly subside by the 12-week mark.

What medication is used to wake up bowels after surgery? ›

Peripherally selective opioid antagonists are an option for the treatment of postoperative ileus. Methylnaltrexone (Relistor) and alvimopan (Entereg) are approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

Should I sleep all day after surgery? ›

Is sleep after surgery important? The importance of rest after surgery is stressed by doctors because your body is going to do a lot of healing while sleeping. After all, your body does the majority of its healing while you're asleep. It's important that you're able to take a nap whenever you need to.

What is the hardest day after surgery? ›

Pain and swelling: Incision pain and swelling are often worst on day 2 and 3 after surgery. The pain should slowly get better during the next 1 to 2 weeks. Mild itching is common as the incision heals. Redness: Mild redness along the incision is common.

Is it normal to sleep a lot 3 days after surgery? ›

After surgery, your body undergoes repair and recovery, which drives a higher baseline metabolic rate and draws on your nutrient stores. So it isn't surprising such intense activity at a cellular level results in feeling tired after surgery.

What is the best laxative after bowel surgery? ›

Patients with post-operative ileus, opioid-induced constipation, or a soft stool will benefit from a stimulant laxative, such as senna or picosulphate.

What is a lazy bowel after surgery? ›

Postoperative ileus is a prolonged absence of bowel function after surgical procedures, usually abdominal surgery. It is a common postoperative complication with unclear etiology and pathophysiology. It is a benign condition that usually resolves with minimal intervention.

How long after bowel surgery do you have diarrhea? ›

You may know that nausea and vomiting can be a common side effect of surgery. However, acute or chronic diarrhea can sometimes happen, too. Acute diarrhea usually goes away after a day or two. Chronic diarrhea is diarrhea that lasts at least 4 weeks.

What does a bowel leak feel like? ›

Some people feel a sudden need to go to the toilet but are unable to reach a toilet in time. This is known as urge bowel incontinence. Other people experience no sensation before soiling themselves, known as passive incontinence or passive soiling, or there might be slight soiling when passing wind.

What are the bowel problems after colon resection? ›

After having a portion of your colon removed, bowel problems can occur. The most common problems are diarrhea, constipation, excess gas production, and dehydration. These symptoms occur because the normal functions of the colon, such as absorbing fluid, have not yet returned to normal.

Can you live a normal life after bowel resection? ›

Yes, most patients have a successful colon resection procedure and go on to live full and comfortable lives.

What is the best position to sleep after colon surgery? ›

Sleeping On Your Back

One of the best sleeping positions after any kind of surgery requires lying straight on your back.

How long does it take for bowels to wake up after bowel surgery? ›

The stress of surgery and direct bowel manipulation cause a surge in sympathetic stimulation, overriding parasympathetic stimulation and slowing bowel function. The effects of this are most pronounced in the colon, where it may take 2 to 3 days for normal peristalsis to return in the postoperative period.

What side is best to sleep on for bowel movement? ›

While you sleep on your left side at night, gravity can help take waste on a trip through the ascending colon, then into the transverse colon, and finally dump it into the descending colon — encouraging a trip to the bathroom in the morning.

What side is best to sleep on for intestines? ›

To improve digestion while sleeping, try lying on your left side. Gravity will help food move through your intestines. Laying on your right side, back, or stomach can increase your odds of reflux. Getting enough sleep and sleeping at the right times for your body clock will also help improve digestion.

Is it normal to poop a lot after bowel surgery? ›

Surgery to the large bowel (colon)

Straight after surgery to remove part of your colon, your poo might be a bit looser and more frequent. But this usually settles down after a few weeks and medicines may help with some of the symptoms.

Do you lose weight after bowel surgery? ›

It is normal to lose some weight after this surgery. Soon it will level off and slowly you will start to regain some of the weight you lost. Try to have a good calorie intake to keep up your energy. Your bowel actions may change after your surgery.


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