10 Solutions for Shifting Gas After Hysterectomy

gas pain after hysterectomyAre you suffering from bloating and painful gas after hysterectomy?

Do you need help to relieve gas pain now?

Gas pain is one of the common and often unexpected side effects of hysterectomy – fortunately there are a number of things you can do at home to avoid and relieve postoperative painful gas and bloating.

This Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist information will help you relieve painful gas now with:

  • 10 home solutions for shifting gas after hysterectomy
  • Know what is causing your gas after hysterectomy

10 Solutions for Shifting Gas after Hysterectomy

These simple solutions will help you to avoid wind or gas after hysterectomy treatment, and help alleviate gas pain and discomfort if it does occur.

Choose from any or a combination of the following solutions:

Solution 1: Use a warm pack

 

Placing a warm pack on the abdomen can help to relieve gas pain.

Check that your warm pack is not to hot before applying it. Place the warm pack over clothing and avoid placing it directly on your skin.

It’s important to avoid placing warm packs directly over your abdominal hysterectomy wound as sensation around the area may be reduced and healing tissues may be susceptible to tissue burn.

 

 

Solution 2: Move regularly

Physical immobility is a major factor causing slowed gut motility and gas after a hysterectomy.

How to move after hysterectomy

Watch how to move out of bed video

Walking is an excellent strategy for improving gut motility and eliminating gas.

Move out of bed after hysterectomy with minimal discomfort using the technique shown in this video (right).

Moving in bed exercises to relieve gas are as simple as sliding one heel along the bed at a time towards your bottom, gentle knee rolling your knees side to side with feet on the bed and changing position regularly – pain permitting.

These weekly walking after hysterectomy guidelines will also help promote your hysterectomy recovery

Solution 3: Reposition your body

Lying flat on your back is a very difficult position for passing gas. Lying down on the back does not promote gut motility to help shift gas.

Positioning your body to rest briefly on your hands and knees is a great position for shifting gas and relieving discomfort.

If you are early stage post-hysterectomy and you can’t  kneel, you may instead try leaning forwards as an alternative position. Support your upper body by leaning forwards and resting your elbows onto a firm support such as the kitchen bench or a window sill.

Side-lying with a pillow between the knees and supporting the abdomen can help relieve gas after hysterectomy during early recovery.

Solution 4: Avoid eating gas producing foods

Some foods increase gas production when in the bowel. Gas producing foods

Limiting or avoiding the following foods can reduce production of wind or gas:

  • Legumes – lentils, chick peas, baked beans;
  • Cruciferous vegetables – broccoli, cabbage, brussel sprouts;
  • Corn and potatoes;
  • Onions and garlic;
  • Wheat and oats; and
  • Dried fruit – dried apricots, prunes, pears

Solution 5: Avoid carbonated (fizzy) drinks

Carbonated beverages or soft drinks contain air bubbles which are swallowed along with drinking.

Try to avoid or minimize your intake of soft drinks during your hysterectomy recovery to minimize wind pain or gas after hysterectomy surgery.

Solution 6: Eat slowly

Take the time to chew your food thoroughly before swallowing.

Chewing your food well makes  it more readily digested in your gut so that it passes through faster and produces less gas in the process.

Solution 7: Avoid activities that swallow air

Try to minimize the air you swallow.

Swallowing air is caused by:

  • Drinking from a straw;
  • Smoking;
  • Chewing gum; and
  • Sucking hard sweets.

Solution 8: Drink warm beverages

Warm drinks help to stimulate gut motility which can help you to shift gas and relieve pain.

Drinking a cup of warm water combined with a short walk can promote movement of gas through the bowel to help relieve gas pain.

Solution 9: Peppermint tea wind pain after hysterectomy

Peppermint promotes gut motility and can be useful in alleviating post hysterectomy gas pain. Drinking peppermint tea can provide relief  from wind pain.

Avoid drinking peppermint tea if you have reflux or hiatus hernia to avoid worsening heart burn.

* Check with your doctor or pharmacist before drinking peppermint tea if you are taking medication.

Solution 10: Probiotics

Hysterectomy surgery is usually associated with large doses of antibiotics to prevent post-operative infection. Antibiotics can cause an imbalance of intestinal bacteria.

If you have an imbalance of bacteria, this may increase the gas you produce after you eat.

Probiotics aim to improve intestinal motility and reduce intestinal fermentation and gas production. Probiotics are helpful bacteria when added to the gut.

Speak to your pharmacist about your suitability for a course of probiotics. Many probiotics are readily available over the counter.

Eating yogurt can also promote the growth and reestablishment of beneficial intestinal flora to help overcome bloating and gas.

What Causes you Gas after Hysterectomy?

After a hysterectomy gut motility or movement is slowed down.

Gas build up or wind is caused by a number of factors including:

  • Inflammation and swelling with tissue injury (especially with abdominal hysterectomy);
  • General anaesthetic;
  • Postoperative pain relieving medications;
  • Fasting for surgery;
  • Decreased walking and movement;
  • Slowed nervous system/neural changes; and
  • Hormonal changes.

Gas pain after hysterectomy surgery is one of the common unexpected side effects of this operation. Try to incorporate one or more of these 10 solutions into your hysterectomy recovery to avoid and manage gas after hysterectomy.

Inside Out Book & DVDABOUT THE AUTHOR, Michelle Kenway

Michelle Kenway is a Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist and author of Inside Out – the Essential Women’s Guide to Pelvic Support. The Inside Out exercise DVD and book show women how to strengthen the pelvic floor and exercise safely after a hysterectomywith pelvic floor safe exercises.

Comments

  1. Joan Lansdell says:

    how long will this gas last? I’m a week out of surgery and it is still going on. I have not taken any pain pills since I left the hospital. I am just walking inside.

    • Michelle Kenway says:

      Hi Joan
      It could take a while longer to ease up – you are probably moving less, and you will have abdominal swelling and some discomfort which slows things down too. Contact your medical practitioner if it doesn’t settle down or if you feel concerned.
      Best of luck
      Michelle

  2. Patricia wong says:

    Thank you for yr advice. I was in great pain due to gas even pain killers cannot help. Instead of drinking room temperature water I drank plenty of warm – hot water and drinks and that help move the gas and releasing them … Try to blurp more too. it helps No fruits please that will increase the gas …

    • Michelle Kenway says:

      Hi Patricia
      Yes warm water is a great help I agreee, plus it is often the high fibre fruits and their skins that increase gas too, thanks for your input!

  3. Hlengiwe says:

    I had my vaginal hysterectomy 22 May,l have gas,its very painful. I’m drinking hot water first thing in the morning,and during the day,it helps but how long does it last? I’m having severe pain on my right side at the back,l’m worried too.

    • Michelle Kenway says:

      Hi Hlengiwe
      The gas can last for some time, and can cause discomfort however with any unexplained pain post op you need to speak with your doctor as soon as possible.

  4. Done TAH on 2September’13, too much wind trapped inside causing unbearable pains. Don’t know what to do,what to eat or what to drink, I wish I could ly flat on my tummy for this wind to come out.What vegetables and fruit must I eat?

    • Michelle Kenway says:

      Hi Anne
      First and foremost see your specilaist or general practitioner for appropriate assessment and medication if warranted to manage your wind problem. You can see on this article a list of wind producing fods and there are many foods that can produce wind on an individual basis. The best foods will be those that are easily digested that don’t sit in your bowel for long periods of time fermenting and producing gas. The types of foods that are less likely to produce gas include rice/rice cereals, meat, well cooked/skinned vegetables, canned vegetables (not beans) and vegetable juices. This is a start, but the first stop should be your doctor.
      Regards
      Michelle

  5. thanq for giving the suggestions for those who are in need…………….

  6. Its been a month since my TAH. I seem to be passing a lot of gas but still have a lot of gas pain. Why so much pain if I’m passing so much?

    • Michelle Kenway says:

      Hi Christine
      Discuss this with your specialist to be sure of the cause of your discomfort however many women do feel discomfort when passing wind after hysterectomy. The bowel runs close to/behind the internal surgical wound so pain with bowel movements and/or gas can occur post op. with pressure on this area. Good to keep the stool soft and minimise gas producing foods during this time.
      Regards
      Michelle

  7. i had a vaginal hysterectomy almost 5 weeks ago and feel bloated and tight in the tummy all day im putting it down to gas but must say its coming to a point that im over it so im going to try the warm water amd heat pack and see how i go

  8. I had my hyst. in may of this year. I still have both ovaries though. long story short, ive been passing lots of gas n its gettn embarrassing. even water gives me gas. please help.

    • Michelle Kenway says:

      Hi Dee
      Have you spoken to your doctor about this? Do you think it might be associated with post-operative hormonal changes? Have you tried keeping an food/drink diary to keep track of things that seem to be aggravating your gas, epecially gas producing foods? Could be a good idea to start a diary – it could be any one of many things such as food intolerance (e.g. lactose, hormonal imbalance, bacteria in the gut etc). You might speak to your doctor about investigations (e.g. colonoscopy) and recommended treatment. If you know what you are dealing with then you can undertake the appropriate course of treatment.
      Best of luck
      Michelle

  9. I just had a laparoscopic hysterectomy and dealing with the trapped gas and the soar lower abdominal pain when trying to push it out. Is pineapple a bad fruit or can it cause stomach gripping? I have those really bad and no appetite. I’m taking no meds but just need to find comfort. I try lying on my side but it feels like everything shifts over and causes more pain. Any suggestions will help please. Thanks!

    • Michelle Kenway says:

      Hi Jae
      Yes fruits that are high in fibre like pineapple (and often fruits high in fructose) can both make gas worse post op. Warm packs over the lower abdomen, leaning forwards with hands on a low bench and rotating the hips as well as gentle clockwise massage of the lower abdomen and frequent position changes can all assist in relieving gas.

      Fruits low in fructose include: common banana, blueberries, cantaloupe, black grapes, kiwi fruit, mandarins, oranges, passionfruit and paw paw.

      Hope this helps you out and that you are feeling better
      Michelle

  10. Ambra Gorsuch says:

    I had a full hysterectomy almost two years ago. I have stomache issues dealing with bloat and gas that are overbearing on a day to day basis. I have gained weight and it is clearly all in my stomache. Constipation, severe bloating and gas is ruining my life. Because my hysterectomy is not current and probably done with the healing process, is their anything I can do that would help my situation?

    • Michelle Kenway says:

      Hi Ambra
      Did your stomach problems and constipation start following your hysterectomy? Have you spoken to your doctor about this issue and have you had a colonoscopy investigation? Many factors can cause stomach problems you describe including constipation and food intolerances, however other potential causes also need to be excluded by your health professional and I am not sure whether you have done this to date, I am interested to hear.
      Kindest regards
      Michelle

  11. Peggy Laney says:

    To tell the truth, gas became the biggest problem for me in the hospital and at home. For one, I was not aware that gas might be an issue, so for lunch in hospital, I did not avoid any foods that might cause gas. I had tomato soup and wow, what a mistake. The gas from foods and the carbon dioxide from surgury combined to give me little rest during my hospital stay. Laying down did not allow gas to be released from gut and would cause my diaphram to feel tight. It was difficult to take a deep breath because of this. I had to keep pulling myself up using the swinging handle on a chain that is above the hospital bed. It became exhausting to pull myself up every so often each hour. It put strain on my neck, stomach, arms, and wrists from trying to use one hand to push myself up.

    Then, at about 10 hours after surgery, a gas bubble found its way into my diaphram which was excruciating. I was warned this might happen, and I forgot what to do to alleviate it..lift arms over head. Instead, the pain felt like a knife being twisted under my rib cage might feel. I have never experiencec so much pain. It made me cry out an weep uncontrollably. Finally the nurses came to my rescue, made me stand and breath, and asked if my shoulder hurt. It did…which meant the gas bubble was finally dissipating. While I was happy to have relief in my diaphram, it now felt like my should had a bullet wound…at least what I imagined it might feel like. I ended up standing, rocking back and forth, or sitting for the next two hours to prevent any of this from happening again. In the end, my total sleep time in the hospital was about 5 hours, mostly due to gas and the fact that pain meds kill my sleep. Hopefully you are not as unlucky as I was.

    • I feel your pain. I had a hysterectomy May 14. I read that you were supposed to walk soon after surgery. The nurses were too busy to help me walk so I laid in bed for four hours after surgery. When I finally walked I was elated. I ended up not sleeping at all due to pain, meds and constant interruptions oh and I had to urinate all night long. I finally got out of bed to walk at 6 am and walked for three hours. Everything was hurting. I was screaming in pain. Nobody told me about gas passing through your shoulders but OMG it’s THE worst pain. They had to calm me down with Morphine. I was due to go home but I had to get the pain under control. I’ve sincerely taken everything under the moon and I’m writhing in pain for about 5 hours every morning. I haven’t had anything for pain since Saturday. Finally the dr told me to do an enema yesterday. That was amazing and helped until 4 a.m.. I’m back in horrible pain and can barely have a B.M. I just drank magnesium citrate and I’m drinking a juice with kale, spinach and honey with a spoon of Moringa. I also have tender ribs and my legs feel like I had a tough leg workout. My dr. said my uterus was a monster and that one of my fibroids was bigger than my uterus. Sincerely, Miserable

  12. Veronica says:

    Is there an interaction between peppermint and Zoloft(sertraline)?

    • Michelle Kenway says:

      Hi Veronica

      This is a great question and has made me think to look into peppermint interactions. I can’t see an interaction between peppermint tea and Zoloft but it’s always advisable to check with the pharmacist or doctor for drug interactions if you are taking medication.

      There is a reported an interaction between peppermint oil and a number of medications. Peppermint oil is reported to have an interaction with the immunosuppressive medication Cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune). Peppermint oil may have the effect of decreasing how quickly the liver breaks down some medications. Taking peppermint oil with some of the medications that are broken down in the liver can reportedly increase the effects and side effects of these medications. Is is also reported that pepermint may interact with some medications used to treat diabetes, blood pressure or stomach acid.

      Thanks again Veronica
      Michelle

  13. I had my surgery in April….and still havin real bad gas pains and bloating….feel like i gained weight…anything i eat is painful. What can i do to relieve or get rid of the gas pain and bloating. I have done the tea….stool softener, even tried Gas X im at my wits end the pain is too much at time.

  14. Slivia Ngwenya says:

    Hi
    I had a lapcroscopy hysterectomy. I get this excruciating pain not sure whether in my gut or abdomin. It feels like contractions and lasts a few minutes. It happens lot after I eat or drink. Also passing wind is so difficult at the moment.
    Please help the pain is killing me.

  15. corena arzola says:

    I had hysterectomy 3 year ago and I am still having these problems bloating , it’s hard foe me to pass gas , I have pain , what can I do to get relief

    • Michelle Kenway says:

      Hi Corenza

      You know I often her this from women long-term after hysterectomy and I think it’s important to realise that many factors influence gas and bloating.

      First and foremost check any unexplained bloating out with your doctor.

      Have you noticed that your diet is related to your bloating?

      A major cause of bloating is due to fermentation of food by bacteria in the gut. If something alters the balance of the biome or bacterial profile of your gut flora (eg antibiotics) then gas production can increase. A good place to start is to read about FODMAPS which are those types of foods that can cause bloating and IBS symptoms. This link might help you get started reading about FODMAPS http://www.med.monash.edu/cecs/gastro/fodmap/

      Hope this helps you get started Corenza

      Kind regards
      Michelle

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