Gas pains are common after surgery. These can feel like sudden, sharp pains in the abdomen or pelvis. If you are very uncomfortable, try to hold your tummy and massage it slightly. This may help the trapped gas release. It is normal to gently push to start a bowel movement. Do not be afraid to do this after surgery.

You have been asked to take a stool softener called docusate sodium (Colace) for the next six weeks, so you do not have to strain excessively during bowel movements. Start taking this medication two times a day, then increase or decrease the dose to keep your stools soft. You may take up to four of these pills each day.

If you do not have a bowel movement for more than two days, you become constipated, or your stools remain hard, you should stop taking the Colace and begin taking Peri-Colace a stool softener with a mild laxative.

Take two Peri-Colace the first day then take one or two pills a day to keep your stools soft. You may get Colace and Peri-Colace at your pharmacy and do not need a prescription.