Gas pain is a normal problem after surgery. There are two types of gas pain that occur post-operation: intestinal and intraperitoneal gas pains.
Post Op Intestinal Gas Pain
Intestinal gas pain occurs when buildup of gas is trapped in the intestines. This type of gas pain is common among patients who went through pelvic or abdominal surgery. Both procedures open the abdominal cavity. Sometimes, this leaves the intestines exposed. This leads to slow down of the bowels, preventing the normal passage of stool and gas.
Post Op Intraperitoneal Gas Pain
On the other hand, intraperitoneal gas pain happen when gas buildup is trapped in the abdominal cavity. After surgery, gas start accumulating in the abdominal cavity. This occurrence causes pain. Intraperitoneal gas pain is common among patients who received laparoscopic surgery. The procedure tends to inflate the abdomen and cause the abdominal wall to swell into a dome.
At the end of the operation, the abdomen is deflated. This releases carbon dioxide inside the abdominal cavity. Unfortunately, not all traces of carbon dioxide are eliminated from the abdominal cavity. Traces of carbon dioxide would start irritating the lining of the abdominal organs. Sometimes, this affects the organs themselves. This causes a sharp pain that do not go away completely.
In some cases, carbon dioxide accumulation will start spreading to the diaphragm, causing pain in the upper body.
How to Relieve Intestinal Gas Pain and Intraperitoneal Gas Pain
Walking is the most effective way to ease both intestinal and intraperitoneal gas pains. The motion of walking boosts the digestive tract’s motility, allowing accumulated gas to pass through. Individuals who went through a major operation have to take it easy. Don’t strain yourself. Start by walking slowly. You can move in bed to relieve gas. Slide one heel along the bed at a time towards your bottom. Roll your knees from side to side with your feet on the bed to ease gas pain.
Applying a warm compress to the affected area also relieves gas pain temporarily. Just make sure the compress is not too hot before applying it. Do not put the warm compress near the area of the incision. It could lead to tissue burn. It could also decrease your recovery speed.
Giving yourself gentle stomach massage regularly also helps prevent bloating and eliminate accumulated gas. Start by making your hands into fists. Put your right knuckles on the left side of the abdomen. Now with firm but gentle pressure, roll your hands towards your chest. Roll it across your stomach and down to the left side.
Watching What You Eat
It helps to avoid food that increases gas production. These foods include legumes, cruciferous vegetables, and whole grains. Dried fruits and starchy veggies should be limited as well. Carbonated drinks are a complete no-no.
Apart from watching what you eat, eat slowly. You want to take your time chew slowly. This way, you don’t accidentally swallow more air. In addition, chewing slowly also processes the food. This gives less strain to your digestive tract. Food will move much faster if the food is digested completely, leading to less production of gas in the intestines.