Are 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.
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.
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;
- 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
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.
ABOUT 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.