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Hip Replacement Surgery Tip #48: Three Things Nobody Told Me About Hip Replacement Surgery And My Bowels

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I Want To Be Your Great Friend – Nobody likes to talk about your bowel movements, so they don’t. But I will…

  1. Right Before Surgery
  2. Right After Surgery
  3. The Days and Weeks After Surgery

Good friends can talk about their sex lives.

Great friends can talk about their poop.


Bowel ‘Secret’ #1 – Right Before Surgery

Evacuate, So They Don’t Have To – The hospital will request (“Oh, by the way, you will need to evacuate your bowels before surgery”) that you have a bowel movement the morning of your surgery. Neither they (nor you) want any room-clearing surprises on the operating table.


Bowel ‘Secret’ #2 – Right After Surgery

Constipation, Post Hip Replacement Surgery’s Dirty Little Secret – Nobody likes to talk about it. Nobody likes to tell you this, but constipation is the most common post-surgery condition. Constipation is the result of the anesthesia during surgery the post-surgical pain medications you ingest. And, if you continue to take pain meds, you will continue to have constipation.

Your New Significant Other – Quite a few people think the post-surgery pain is your most significant hurdle after a hip replacement. Take pain meds and you will have constipation. Don’t take pain meds and you have post-surgical pain.

Sophies Choice

How Watching Sophie’s Choice Can Prepare You For Your Constipation Issues (Choose Wisely): Everybody has different pain thresholds and areas of discomfort. I rationalized that either I would take pain pills and have painful constipation, or that I would go without pain pills and have a painful hip. You will be faced with just two choices regarding your constipation… Choose wisely.

So, there is surgical pain, but for many, constipation is where you really will want relief. Constipation comes from the anesthesia and pain medications you received during surgery plus the subsequent pain pills you take. All those medications lead to significant constipation. Your face will vary between these two expressions…

Constipation Facepoop-face-red


Nobody Likes A Stoolie – Except This One – You can’t go the bathroom by yourself in the hospital. You are a danger to yourself and to the hospital’s liability insurance premiums. I attempt to make a ‘go-at-it.’ After helping me up, the staff member stands and waits outside the bathroom door, with better things to do, while I try and muster intestinal fortitude. Nobody likes having performance anxiety with that kind of attentive audience (Plus I was at an unfair advantage as I didn’t have the sports page to read while sitting on the throne.)

Hooked On Poop? I took a couple of the prescribed stool softener meds. My pharmacist warned me not to overuse the softener pills as it is possible to become stool softener dependent. It one thing to be “Hooked on Phonics,” it is another to be hooked on softeners.

So… What Did I Do? At least I got to choose which one I wanted to keep, constipation or pain. I elected to go without pain pills. I had two pills in the hospital, but once I got home I quit taking the pain meds. Regardless, there was still enough surgical and post-surgical pain killers in me that it took all those days for the matter of mind to overcome the matter in my intestines.

I Had A Couple Of Shots (Well, Gallons) – Do what I did, say, “Hey, bartender, make mine a double!” of this delicious prune juice.

A double please


“There will be a giant sucking sound going south.”
1992 Presidential Debates – Ross Perot

Great Sex Versus Great Bowel Movement – Based upon, thank Gawd, that day of relief, I concluded Ross Perot was ultimately right… there was, finally, a giant sucking sound. I guess the people who say, “A great bowel movement is better than great sex,” must have had hip replacement surgery as well.

Bowel ‘Secret’ #3 – The Days and Weeks After Surgery

Simple Tasks, Such As Managing Toilet Paper, Will Become A Challenge – Based upon my personal experience, if you drop the toilet paper roll to the floor, well, all is lost.



toilet-paper-lots-1You never really appreciate what you’ve got until it’s gone.
Toilet paper is a good example.





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