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Had operated for lumbar laminectomy. What is the cause of extreme indigestion?

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Internal Medicine Specialist
Practicing since : 2004
Answered : 364 Questions
11 days ago I had an operation for a lumbar laminectomy. In stead of taking about three and a half it took six and a half hours. I was in a lot of pain post op. I came home after on the sixth day and since I have been home I have had extreme indigestion, Can you tell me the cause? I am 76 years of age.
The main problem apart from constipation is indigestion.


Posted Tue, 9 Oct 2012 in Digestion and Bowels
Answered by Dr. Enrique Molina 1 hour later
I am glad the surgery went well. It is common to get constipated recently after a surgery in particular if you got pain medications right after surgery. You may have been prescribed a short course of pain medications such as morphine or oxycodone (or any opiate), which can paralyze the bowels and make you constipated and feel indigestion.
My advise would to decrease the amount of any pain medication you might be taking (either opiate or non-opiate), and at the same time start taking a stool softener combined with a laxative. Recommended laxatives include Polyethylene glycol (Miralax in USA), milk of magnesia. Stool softeners include Sennokot, dulcolax.
Being active, and drinking plenty of water and liquids will also stimulate your bowels.
Let me know if you have any further questions or concerns.
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