Constipation is common after surgery because prescription pain medications, are often used in the days following a surgical procedure and have a known side effect of decreasing the movement of the intestines.
While some foods can help prevent or treat constipation, there are other foods that can make constipation more likely. Constipation can increase your pain level and can place additional stress on your incision, so it is important to avoid whenever possible.
Foods Likely to Cause Constipation
These foods may contribute to constipation:
- Dried or dehydrated foods: These include dried fruits (prunes are an exception, they can help to ease constipation), beef jerky, and some types of potato chips.
- Processed foods: These foods have little fiber and may be high in sugar and fat.
- Cheese: Cheese is high in fat.
- Milk and dairy products: Especially avoid full-fat dairy products, including ice cream and sour cream.
- Red meat: Beef and other kinds of red meat are often high in saturated fat.
- Sweets: These include pastries, candies, cakes, and other sugary foods.