10 Solutions for Shifting Gas After Hysterectomy

Diet and Exercises for Gas After Hysterectomy

Gas after hysterectomy is a frequent post operative and painful side effect that is often overcome with simple strategies. gas pain after hysterectomy

Read on now to learn:

  • 10 great home solutions for shifting gas after hysterectomy
  • What causes gas after hysterectomy

This article is by Michelle Kenway, Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist and author of Inside Out the internationally acclaimed guide to pelvic floor safe exercise for women. This guide is ideally suited to women seeking to exercise safely after hysterectomy or prolapse surgery.

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:

1. Beware of gas producing foods

Some foods increase gas production when in the bowel. Limiting or avoiding the following foods can reduce production of wind or gas:

  • Cruciferous vegetables – broccoli, cabbage, brussel sprouts;
  • Legumes – lentils, chick peas, baked beans;gas after hysterectomy
  • Corn and potatoes;
  • Onions and garlic;
  • Wheat and oats; and
  • Dried fruit.

Note: rice is non-gas producing carbohydrate.

2. Beware of carbonated beverages

Carbonated beverages or soft drinks contain air bubbles which are swallowed along with drinking. Try to avoid or minimise your intake of soft drinks during your hysterectomy recovery to minimise wind pain or gas after hysterectomy surgery.

3. Eat slowly and chew food well

Chew your food well to make it more readily digested in your gut so that it passes through faster and produces less gas in the process. Take the time to chew your food thoroughly before swallowing.

4. Avoid swallowing air

Try to minimise the air you swallow. Swallowing air is associated with:

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

5. Drink peppermint tea wind pain after hysterectomy

Drinking peppermint tea can provide relief from wind pain. Peppermint promotes gut motility and can be useful in alleviating post hysterectomy gas pain. Avoid drinking peppermint tea if you have reflux or hiatus hernia to avoid worsening heart burn.

6. Consider probiotics

Probiotics aim to improve intestinal motility and reduce intestinal fermentation and gas production. Hysterectomy surgery is usually associated with large doses of antibiotics to prevent post operative infection. Antibiotics can cause an imbalance of intestinal bacteria. 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 rich can also promote the growth and reestablishment of beneficial intestinal flora to help overcome bloating and gas.

7. Move regularly

Physical immobility is a major factor contributing to slowed gut motility and gas after a hysterectomy.  Moving in bed after hysterectomy surgery can be as simple as sliding one heel along the bed at a time towards your bottom, gentle knee rolling with feet on the bed and changing position pain permitting. Try to move regularly as advised by your specialist post operatively. Walking is an excellent strategy for improving gut motility and eliminating gas.

8. Correct your body position

Laying flat on your back can be a very difficult position for passing gas and it does little to promote gut motility. Some women find that it they lean forward slightly this position can help to pass gas more readily than laying flat. Try leaning forward supporting the upper body on the back of a chair or on a window sill at waist height. Unless there is a medical reason for you to stay lying on your back, side lying can sometimes help shift wind and ease gas pain. Side lying comfort can be aided using a pillow to support the abdomen.

9. Use warm packs

Warm packs on the abdomen can help to alleviate gas pain. Avoid placing warm packs directly over abdominal hysterectomy wound as sensation around the area may be reduced and healing tissues may be susceptible to tissue burn.

10. Adequate pain relief medication

Some pain relieving medications slow down gut motility increasing the likelihood of constipation and gas pain. Speak with your doctor regarding medication alternatives that may assist you reduce your intake of strong pain relief such as narcotic and codeine-based medications if you are having difficulty with ongoing gas pain after hysterectomy surgery.

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

If you can incorporate one or more of these solutions into your recovery, you will be likely to manage and reduce gas after hysterectomy and alleviate gas pain more readily.

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 effectively with 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

Trackbacks

We Welcome Your Comments

*