Post-Surgery Stoma Issues: Seeking Tips and Effective Laxatives

Jan 25, 2024 11:36 pm

I had colectomy surgery Monday morning, still in the hospital recovering as we speak.
Everything has gone perfectly except for the fact my stoma won't produce anything. Been told this is normal, but it's now edging on 6 days and I know I need to go to the toilet.
Is there any tips that genuinely help? Any laxatives that actually work? (Laxedo does nothing!) Anyone experienced this straight after surgery?
Do let me know ASAP.

I'm new here and love reading the advice and tips.

Morning glory
Jan 26, 2024 12:05 am

Welcome to the site. If you're still in the hospital, let them take care of you. You don't need to be self-medicating. Your stoma will wake up and produce. They won't let you go until you have a BM.

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Jan 26, 2024 12:14 am

Producing some amount of gas is step 1. It can take several days for your gastrointestinal tract to "wake up" after anesthesia and refill from food you are eating. Another good sign is being able to eat a somewhat normally sized meal without losing it. This means it is all going somewhere...

Jan 26, 2024 1:28 am

Activities like walking are a good way to start the stoma working. Chewing gum, if you are allowed that, can also help.

Jan 26, 2024 2:17 am

Hi BB,

Six days??? Are you saying you've had zero output... no gas, no bile, nothing? For a colectomy, 2-3 days is normal, if it takes that long. When did you start eating and drinking... has it been more than 3 days from that? Your docs should be on top of things, so I won't second guess them... but if you feel any pain, you need to let them know. And I mean LET THEM KNOW. Keep us in the loop and speedy recovery!!



Words of Encouragement from Ostomy Advocates I Hollister
Jan 26, 2024 2:48 am

Walking, pushing fluids. I went probably 3 days before I had any. BTW, you're in a hospital, they should know what to do. Do not take anything to make you go unless your doctor says to.

ron in mich
Jan 26, 2024 2:09 pm

Hi Ben and welcome to the site, lots of good advice here. I personally like the walking and chewing gum idea, and if you can do both at the same time, that's a bonus.

Jan 26, 2024 3:14 pm
Reply to ron in mich

That is a thing, isn't it? To walk and chew gum at the same time?

For example, some people can't even do that normally, as the saying goes.

Jan 27, 2024 9:31 pm


I ended up in ICU with an ileus. The only thing that started my GI tract working was getting out of bed, walking, sitting in a chair, standing, anything to get the food, etc., moving through. It is miserable if they have to place an N-G tube. Walk as many times a day as you can, even if they are short walks, get out of bed.
Make sure they teach you how to care for all the new attachments you have. I left the hospital with very little advice and training; it was a steep learning curve!

Best of luck


Jan 29, 2024 11:56 am

As already said, get up, walk, just keep moving, and remember it's all new. Give it time. Looking at when you made this report, you are probably already pooping and feeling good. Get all the information you need before you leave. And get enough bags and products to last you until you get your main supplies. Regards, IGGIE