Bariatric surgery is a miraculous treatment for individuals longing to get in shape! The treatment can improve the overall quality of life if combined with a strict exercise regime and diet changes. As with any surgical procedure, bariatric surgery (weight loss) can bring some difficulties, too. Constipation is a prevalent problem after the surgery as your body undergoes changes like decreased hunger, fullness, diarrhea, etc.

After undergoing bariatric surgery, several people might experience constipation for weeks and months. Knowing the symptoms, causes, prevention, and treatment can help individuals to find relief from this problem.

Causes of Constipation after Bariatric Surgery


Here are some reasons that give rise to constipation after bariatric surgery 

  • Low fiber intake – After the bariatric surgery, your eating pattern changes to a liquid and pureed food diet, which ultimately cause constipation. Fiber intake in the diet helps to soften and pass the stool easily.
  • Intake of pain relief medications – Your doctor may suggest a few medications after the bariatric surgery to relieve the pain, which can cause constipation.
  • Change in diet pattern – Post-surgery, your stomach size decreases, which means you will get full faster. Your diet intake will eventually be different than before, which will be the reason for your constipation.
  • Insufficient water intake – Drinking adequate water after bariatric surgery is difficult, and your body feels dehydrated. Dehydration results in hard and infrequent stool movements.
  • Less body movement –  After the surgery, you should return to your normal routine and physical activity to keep your body active and healthy. Less body movement will definitely affect bowel habits.

Symptoms of constipation after bariatric surgery 


If you experience alarming signs after the surgery, it means you are constipated 

  1. The passing of hard and dry stool.
  2. Pain during the bowel movement.
  3. Feeling of passing the stool, but you cannot.
  4. You feel bloated all the time.
  5. Less than 3-4 bowel movements in a week.
  6. You feel your stomach is not emptied fully.

Different ways to relieve constipation after Bariatric surgery


Follow these simple tips to relieve yourself from constipation 

Inculcate good sources of fiber in your diet.

Include fiber-rich food in your diet as it helps in smooth bowel movement. Fiber-rich food includes oatmeal, fruits, berries, vegetables, chia seeds, oats, almonds, and nuts.


Light exercises such as walking, jumping, jogging, and cycling help to pass the bowel without any effort. Make a habit of exercising at least 3 days a week.

Drink more water

We often need to remember to drink water even after knowing the importance of it. If you complain of constipation after the surgery, try to check your liquid diet. Drink 8-9 liters of water daily to stay hydrated.

Try the squat position.

There are some proven benefits of changing the position while passing the bowel. Squat position or stool can help you pass the bowel more easily. 

Try increasing your magnesium intake.

Magnesium food is an excellent choice for treating constipation. Nuts, beans, whole grains, and leafy vegetables contain magnesium. Try including these foods in your diet for soft bowel movements.

Try lemon water

Lemon is considered a natural detoxifier and will help flush out toxins from the body. Drink lemon water every morning to relieve constipation.

Duration of constipation after bariatric surgery

Early stage constipation

In most individuals, constipation peaks in the initial days after the surgery as your body adjusts to the new stomach size and dietary changes. 

Long-term constipation

Some individuals may experience constipation which can last up to several months after the surgery. You should seek a doctor’s help if your constipation problem is not relieving after a month.

Problems caused by long-term constipation

Long-term constipation after bariatric surgery can cause problems like

  • Anal fissures – tiny tears around the anus area.
  • Fecal impaction – stool is blocked tight and backed up.
  • Bowel obstruction – a blockage in the intestine.
  • Diverticulitis – getting infected from blocked stool.


Constipation after bariatric surgery is common, and many people experience it. Factors like insufficient fluids and fiber in the diet, lack of body movement, and others are common reasons leading to the condition. We advise taking care of your diet from the first day after the surgery and following precautions, which will significantly help you. These simple tips will avert early-stage and long-term constipation after the surgery.