Gas Pain Relief After Surgery

If you’ve had surgery before, you may have experienced gas pain as one of the post-operative side effects. Indeed, the number of questions about gas pain I get as a board-certified anesthesiologist suggest that many people suffer from – and seek relief from – post-operative gas pain.

There are two common types of gas pain that may occur after surgery: intestinal and intraperitoneal. They are quite different, but can both be bothersome. Intestinal gas pains are caused by a buildup of gas inside of the intestines. Intraperitoneal gas pains are caused by gas trapped outside of the intestines, but inside the abdominal cavity.

Post-Operative Intestinal Gas Pain

The gas is the cloudy, billowy patterns you see in the lower abdomen.
The gas is the cloudy, billowy patterns you see in the lower abdomen. | Source

This type of pain can occur after any type of surgery, but is most common after abdominal and pelvic surgery. Open surgery with longer incisions and laparoscopic surgery in the abdominal cavity can leave the bowels (intestines) "stunned." Anesthesia (general, as well as epidural and spinal) can slow down the bowels, preventing the passage of gas and stool.

Pain medications (narcotic) add to and contribute this effect. As a result, I frequently hear patients reporting constipation and gas buildup after surgery.

Relief from Intestinal Gas Pain

  1. Walk. The most important thing you can do after surgery to prevent and relieve gas pain is to walk. Walk early and walk often. I know it’s not easy, but I promise you that your doctors and nurses are not being needlessly cruel when they ask you to do it. Walking encourages the peristaltic movement of the bowels, relieving gas and constipation. In addition to preventing gas pain, there are many other benefits to walking after surgery such as preventing blood clots and preventing ileus – intestinal stoppages.
  2. Leg exercises. Other types of movement like pulling the legs up to the chest and releasing them, rocking back and forth and turning from side to side may also help by stimulating the bowels. Be careful though, because these exercises may be too painful to do, depending on the site of the surgery.
  3. Heating pads. Heating pads may also provide relief. Remember if you had abdominal surgery, you may have some numbness on your abdominal wall. Do not apply a heating pad to numb skin or burns could result.
  4. Hot tea. If you are allowed to drink, hot tea is a great remedy to help gastrointestinal motility and relieve painful gas pains.
  5. Medications. Some prescription such as simethicone, which allow gas bubbles to be eliminated from the body more easily, may be used to help with gas pain relief.

Laparoscopic Surgery and Intraperitoneal Gas Pain

During laparoscopic surgery, multiple ports are inserted into the abdomen through small incisions. Then carbon dioxide is blown into the abdomen to make room for the surgeon to operate.
During laparoscopic surgery, multiple ports are inserted into the abdomen through small incisions. Then carbon dioxide is blown into the abdomen to make room for the surgeon to operate. | Source

Intraperitoneal Gas Pain Relief

Intraperitoneal gas pain results when gas becomes trapped in the abdominal cavity and is usually the result of laparoscopic surgery. While this kind of gas pain may be unpleasant, laparoscopic surgery is a minimally invasive surgical procedure that typically has a shorter recovery time with less overall pain.

Why Laproscopic Surgery Causes Gas

A laparoscopic surgeon will first make a small incision to pass a long, thin Veress needle into the abdominal cavity, being sure to avoid the organs. Then gas is passed through the needle to inflate the abdomen, causing the abdominal wall to form a dome over the organs. Having the abdominal cavity inflated and the abdominal wall separated from the organs, gives the surgeon room to operate without making large incisions. Other small incisions are made to pass the small instruments to perform the surgery.

At the end of the operation, the abdomen is allowed (and sometimes assisted) to deflate. However, it is not possible to remove all of the gas. The little bit that is left behind can irritate the peritoneum – the lining over the abdominal organs and sometimes the organs themselves. A patient may experience this as sharp or achy pains.

In addition, the CO2 can settle up under the diaphragm, the muscle that helps you breathe. You might experience this as irritation in the lower chest and even all the way up into the shoulder.

This type of pain can be quite uncomfortable and may last several days. It will eventually resolve on its own, but can be aided by walking and moving around. In this case, pain medications may be helpful and will not make this type of gas pain worse.

You can check out how laproscopic surgery works in the video below. Do NOT watch if you are squeamish, however. The first 1.5 minutes of this video demonstrate the insertion of the needle and trocar and insufflation of gas into the abdomen.

Did you get that?

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Comments 101 comments

jhunpaler profile image

jhunpaler 4 years ago from Philippines

informative hub. we always ask post op patients to do deep breathing exercises and early ambulation is always key to making your bowels move again. Voted up :)

TahoeDoc profile image

TahoeDoc 4 years ago from Lake Tahoe, California Author

Thank you jhunpaler. I think sometimes people think we aren't doing enough to help when we tell them to walk after surgery (and having had surgery, I do know how hard it can be), but for sure deep breathing and walking are crucial to preventing this and other early post-op complications.

Thanks for reading and commenting!

nifwlseirff profile image

nifwlseirff 4 years ago from Leipzig, Germany

Walking certainly helps the most (as patient with regular laparoscopies). The chest/shoulder pain is awful when trying to sleep, although raising the top of the bed seems to help somewhat. I didn't know that heat/hot tea could help the gastro pain - I'll try it next time! Thanks for a useful hub!

wayseeker profile image

wayseeker 4 years ago from Colorado

What I really like here is that you've taken the time to explain how these pains work and why they are different. My wife had an ovarian cyst removed through Laparoscopic surgery and had horrible gas pain afterwards. It was quite painful for her, and I still remember how her shoulders felt almost squishy as the gas was exiting. I couldn't touch her without causing pain.

We never did try walking, so that would have been a helpful thing to know. I think it's just so important to have some idea of what to expect and why, which is something that is not always clearly communicated at the time of the surgery.

Useful info, as always,


TahoeDoc profile image

TahoeDoc 4 years ago from Lake Tahoe, California Author

Bert- thanks for reading and commenting. If her shoulder felt squishy, it's possible that some of the gas, instead of staying in the abdominal cavity, entered the plane between the skin and tissue beneath.

The shoulder pain is usually caused by gas under the breathing muscle, and not up near the shoulder itself.

Did it feel "crackly", like Rice Krispy cereal? We call that crepitus and it is known to happen from time to time with these surgeries. It is generally harmless, although can cause more soreness and take longer to go away. I'll bet that is what you felt.

wayseeker profile image

wayseeker 4 years ago from Colorado


Yep. That was a good description. All I know is it was horribly painful for her for about a day and a half. I rubbed her shoulders over those days by simply running my fingers across her skin as lightly as possible. Any pressure at all hurt badly.

That said, it was still far better than what a traditional surgery would have been.

Katrina Greenfield 4 years ago

I have just had a laparoscopic surgery not less than 15 hours ago. I am in treible discomfort , which I think is trapped wind in my lower abdomen. I have tried paracetamol and peppermint oil capsules. Has anyone any other. Remidies please.o

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TahoeDoc 4 years ago from Lake Tahoe, California Author

Aww, Katrina- I'm sorry you are so uncomfortable. If the pain is from the gas used for laparoscopy in the abdominal cavity, there isn't much more you can do beyond what is mentioned here.

Walk, take your pain medicines, change position often, try heating pads… If anyone has found anything that works better, I'd love to hear it, too.

If the gas is actually in the GI tract, then chewing gum, drinking tea and again, walking will help.

If it doesn't seem like either of those things, you may need to call the doctor.

It will get better.

Helianthus 4 years ago

I have had a terrible time with post-surgical gas in the past, so this time, anticipating a radical nephrectomy, I went on 3 days of clear liquid diet, followed by magnesium citrate, in hopes that getting intestines cleared of food residues would make the pain less. If it made it any less painful, I'd hate to know how bad it would have been without the prep. The gas pain was awful, and I was following all the advice you give above. I am now 2 weeks post op and still dealing with gas pain. Any advice for now, or for any future surgeries?

TahoeDoc profile image

TahoeDoc 4 years ago from Lake Tahoe, California Author

That is quite a long time to suffer with gas pain. I'm sorry for what you are going through.

I don't have a lot more to offer, unfortunately. In the future, make sure you mention it. It is more likely due to pain medication or ?? now two weeks out, than directly a result of the anesthesia, but for immediate postop help, they can potentially alter the anesthesia a little. Nothing is guaranteed to make a big difference, but they may have some ideas on how to help knowing your history.

The bowels really get 'stunned' during abdominal surgery and can take a long time to recovery. If they are further slowed by anesthesia (in the early post op period) or pain medications (in the later recovery time), then it really can be a problem, along with constipation.

I'm sorry I can't offer more help, except to do the obvious- avoid foods known to cause more fast (broccoli, etc), and keep trying to do things that could potentially help.

Good luck to you and I hope you feel better soon.

Carol Light String! 3 years ago

I found a hot water bottle worked as it expanded the gas and help to relieve it, I also had an enema which relieved me of some of the gas.

Funom Makama 3 profile image

Funom Makama 3 3 years ago from Europe

Wow! This is so unique, lovely and well explained. I really appreciate your work and I hope to learn more from you. By the way, I want to specialize in surgery.

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TahoeDoc 3 years ago from Lake Tahoe, California Author

Thank you very much! and good luck to you.

jordan 3 years ago

i had surgery a week ans half ago i am having terrible gas pain i have had this for4 days! i have tried.everyhing nothing is working! help!

TahoeDoc profile image

TahoeDoc 3 years ago from Lake Tahoe, California Author

Sorry Jordan- sounds miserable. After a week and a half, there might be some slowing or constipation from pain meds and so on. Try drinking lots of water and tea and perhaps take a stool softener if you aren't already. Use warm heating pads and lots of walking. I know, I'm not saying anything new, but it's usually a matter of time. If you actually have an obstruction and haven't had a bowel movement, you need to let your doctor know.

Hope you get better.

Sandy R 3 years ago

The one thing I wasn't looking forward to was the gas pressure. I had surgery to remove my gallbladder 24 hours ago and couldn't sleep in bed last nite because of the pain. Will try using the heating pad once I find it.

TahoeDoc profile image

TahoeDoc 3 years ago from Lake Tahoe, California Author

Yep, even knowing it is a temporary discomfort doesn't help much...and it doesn't feel temporary when it's happening. Best wishes.

jashusic 3 years ago

My mom had a rectal surgery last year and she has a a lot of pain now from abdominal gas. Anything she eats she vomits out.Any sugestions please.She has no strength to wal either.

TahoeDoc profile image

TahoeDoc 3 years ago from Lake Tahoe, California Author

Your mom needs to see her surgeon. If this is chronic, he may have suggestions for her. If this is new, she may have an obstruction - either partial or total and needs to be treated by a medical doctor. Take her to the ER immediately if this is a new or worsened finding. Follow up with the surgeon if this has been an ongoing issue, he/she already knows about it and is already following it and it hasn't changed recently. If this is new or worsened in any way, again, go to the ER.

There is nothing I can offer here for a problem that occurs a year after surgery that may or may not be related. I'm sorry :( Hope she feels better soon.

Dee 3 years ago

Yep had surgery yesterday and have gas pain under my ribs and in my shoulder. Hot water bottle, light shoulder stretches and walking are helping a little. I just hope it doesn't go on for to long. Thanks for the explanation of why it occurs

Kayteelala 3 years ago

Had my gallbladder removed yesterday this blog has helped sooooo much omg pain!! Heat pad check, been walking the ward all day, panadol and water water water also if you feel the urge to burp,Do It!! It's helping me so much!! Also go to the toilet as often as you can squatting on the loo seems to get rid of some of the gas the other end :) good luck everyone

Oz 3 years ago

Thank you for the walking tip,I had my tubes tied a bit over 24 hrs ago and I have twin 19mnth old boys that have kept me active. My pain has subsided after I been up and about all day today. I would have never thought that walking would help, but I feel really good!

Joni 3 years ago

Just had my appendix out two days ago. Recovery seemed to be going well until tonight. I went to bed and started to feel pain in my upper back. It's getting worse as the night goes on. I called my surgeon and pissed her off just for calling. She said I shouldn't be having pain in my shoulders. My husband and I went on line and found out that this is very common due to the release of gas. It's comforting to know that I don't have to rush to the ER. It makes perfect sense! Why didn't anyone tell me this could happen? I wonder how many people end up in the ER for this! I will try tea and a heating pad.

Joni 3 years ago

I used a heating pad all night! What a lifesaver. Thank you so much for the tip. I instantly felt better as soon as the heating pad hit my back.

TahoeDoc profile image

TahoeDoc 3 years ago from Lake Tahoe, California Author

Hi all! Sorry I haven't been able to get back here to read and comment as frequently as I used to.

I am so glad to hear that these tips helped most of you. That makes me so happy that I take the time to write, so thanks for the feedback and comments!

Hope everyone stays happy, healthy and surgery-free.

Tim 3 years ago

Quick question.

I had my gallbladder out using this method, and although I feel the trapped gas, its not painful, but what is odd, is when i sat up, the gas went from my stomach area to the groin area.

I can't find out if this is normal, or whether this is a sign that I might have a hernia or something, because i'm not entirely sure there are any available passages for the gas to spread to the groin

TahoeDoc profile image

TahoeDoc 2 years ago from Lake Tahoe, California Author

Some people do say they can feel the gas moving around. Eventually, the gas is reabsorbed by the body. If you have signs or symptoms of a hernia, please do ask your surgeon to evaluate you.

Good luck, hope you feel better.

YesThatBridget 2 years ago

10 days after bowel surgery and I'm up in the middle of the night due to sharp pains under ribs and at left shoulder.....normal to have gas pain so long after surgery?

TahoeDoc profile image

TahoeDoc 2 years ago from Lake Tahoe, California Author

Sorry I did not see this earlier. That's a long time out for acute post-surgical gas pain, but bowel surgery can have lots of reasons for pain. I hope you have or will call your doc if not resolved.

Linda Meeks 2 years ago

I had lapo done on my appendix 5 days ago last night and today I have had bad gas pains is that normal

TahoeDoc profile image

TahoeDoc 2 years ago from Lake Tahoe, California Author

If the pain just started 5 days out, it is best to call your surgeon's office and get their recommendation. In the meantime, keep track of your symptoms such as what makes it better or worse, where you feel it most, and so on, whether you are going to the bathroom normally and so on. But, do give them a call.

Jessie 2 years ago

I had a lap with laser done a few days ago and the past couple of nights sleep has been nearly impossible. I underwent the same procedure a little over a year ago so I knew what to expect (forgot about the gas bubbles and those in my shoulders have dissipated) but I can't seem to get rid of the air trapped right under the left side of my ribcage. I'm not one to let surgery keep me down for long so I've been walking around regularly since the procedure and I've become attached to my heating pad (its my new best friend), but I can't take a deep breath to save my life. I haven't needed meds beyond the day the procedure was performed and I drink a ton of water as it is but would never have guessed about the tea (I'm steeping a mug as I write!). I thank you for taking thetime to dole out advice to those of us seeking relief, I'm grateful I'm not alone and that there is information to be found to help if not give an immediate "fix" to eliminate the discomfort and pain, to at least offer a light at the end of the tunnel.

TahoeDoc profile image

TahoeDoc 2 years ago from Lake Tahoe, California Author

Thank you Jessie- that was nice of you to take the time to comment. I hope you feel better soon. You said it was hard to take a deep breath-- if you actually feel short of breath, or if you aren't better by morning, call the doc's office. That type of pain is usually gas, but sometimes can be related to blood clots or developing pneumonia or other things- again, more rarely, but still the surgeon's office might prefer that you call and let them know. Even if they have nothing to add, they might want to know. There may be a reason it's hurting there that is related to the surgery and they can give you a better idea

Hope you feel better soon! and thanks again.

kristinH 2 years ago

I had a hysterectomy and gallbladder removal almost 5 weeks ago. About 6 days ago I started having pretty bad shoulder pain. It had gotten worse and us much worse when I wake up. I called my surgeon and she said it was just trapped gas. I have tried all of these suggestions and honestly it us Judy making it feel worse. You can actually see and feel the gas bubble. It's not crunchy, but I can barely exhale it hurts so much. And laying down us practically out of the question. I felt so good after surgery but now im back to taking full dose pain meds just to sleep. Any suggestions other than heat, walk, and move???

TahoeDoc profile image

TahoeDoc 2 years ago from Lake Tahoe, California Author

That seems like a long time to still have trapped gas. I'd call the doctor's office again and make an appointment to be seen as soon as possible. Explain where you can see and feel the gas bubble, as that doesn't sound 'usual'. You should be seen and possibly have a chest X-ray if they think it's helpful.

Gretchmallgaier 2 years ago

I am having a really hard time with the gas after a laparoscopic hysterectomy 2 days ago.

Priscilla 2 years ago

I have just had lap surgery on a blood ovarian cyst today. I have had lap surgery before for an appendiciti. I def remember the gas pains and but forgot how bad it would feel in my shoulders and ribcage taking a big breath is a struggle but I can manage. I have been walking around frequently because that was the mistake I made last time. I have not tried a heating pad but will def try anything and everything to get rid of this annoying pain that comes with lap surgery. Thanks for the advice I don't feel so alone.

Al 2 years ago

I had my appendix out 3 days ago (home from hospital today) and to top it off am 26 weeks pregnant! I have terrible gas pain - more like bowel related than shoulder pain thank goodness. It seems to be much worse at the end of the day. I am finding it difficult to walk a lot due to my enormous tummy and this baby that is taking up space competing with the gas! I am reluctant to use a heat pack due to the pregnancy. Off to the chemist to buy something to get these bowels working tomorrow I think!

rdr31 2 years ago

My father had kidney removed, after surgery has air in his intestines. What can he do to get rid of this pain. He can not have a bowel movement. He has been in the hospital for 14 days and nothing, tried simethicone tablets, mineral oil, milk and molasses enema, fleet, milk of magnesium and nothing. Please help. Thanks.

kelly 2 years ago

I had a D&C 5 weeks ago due to a missed miscarrage, after a week i started to get weird feelings in my rib cage which have now spread and move round my chest, it helps a little if i make myself burp but hurts so much! Could this be gas from the surgery?! Thankyou.

Mamyrinder 2 years ago

I had shoulder surgery today and have stomach gas pain. What should I do.

Lauren 2 years ago

A can of pop really helped me burp and get some of the gas out. Also you need to relax your shoulders and try not to tighten up when the pain is bad. Very difficult to do but that's the only thing that helped me.

Ally 2 years ago

Hi all, I had lap surgery done 3 days ag , and have been having bad gas pains also. I have been drinking peppermint tea and either laying on my side or on all fours and it helps a lot. Peppermint is great for relieving gas I have found. Good luck to you all.

TahoeDoc profile image

TahoeDoc 2 years ago from Lake Tahoe, California Author

Hi all. The way the comment section is laid out (not controlled by me) makes it very difficult to see/sort and reply to each comment or question. I apologize for those I've missed and thank you all for visiting. I'm trying to find a way to make this easier and more convenient for me and my readers. Bear with me...

Holly 2 years ago

I'm up right now with CO2 gas pains after a lap surgery to remove an ovarian cyst, and am finding that massage/pressing down on my abdomen right under the rib cage stopped the shoulder/chest pain. Weirdly enough it seemed to be walking (keep having to get up to pee) that triggered the gas pains in the first place. As I pressed on my abdomen I could feel the gas move -- not sure where it went but at least my shoulder's not hurting anymore.

sonii 2 years ago

I had laparoscopy 1 month ago, I was starting to heal fine and the pain in my should went away then 2 weeks later I ended up in emergency with severe abdomen pain and cramping, the only thing they could think it was.... was another cyst grew and burst on my other ovary because there was a little bit of blood but I wasn't on my period. Now i'm still left with cramping and pain after eating and drinking and having pain going to the washroom. I don't know what it is and i'm waiting for an appointment with the gyne... for a month later and can't seem to get one sooner.... I don't know what to do

reeba 2 years ago

I had a my appendix removed three weeks ago i also had my stomach cut into 3 because it was stuck against the wall ! The surgeon also told me i need my gall bladder removed cause it is stuck to my bowel , which still hasn't happened ! My concern is that since the op my belly is huge and not goin down . It can't be constipation because they have me taking 2 sorts of laxatives . Please this is highly embarrassing what could it be ? I haven't been able to pass any wind since the op !

Sookir girl 2 years ago

I Am having a total lap hysterectomy next week. Do you suggest any prep?

Sheila 2 years ago

I had total robotic historectomy and oopherectomy 3 days ago the gas pains are dissipating, they were horrible as was the acidic taste (like having acid reflux) from the acidic nature if the co2 I found a site that said lime helps because it has a lot of calcium and helps to neutralize the co2 -- this seems to be working well -- and may help others

I have also seen recommendations for. Charcoal and chrystalizzed ginger . But the limes seem to be helping. One if my incisions hurts

Way more than others feels

Like the staples aren't in the same way I'm hoping this will get better soon

Debbie 2 years ago

Hi I am 18 days post op (laparoscopic distal pancreatectomy for mucinous macrocyst at tail of pancreas, plus added bonus of gallbbladder removal :) ). I indeed had horrible shoulder pain from the gases, along with pressure in the chest area and even pressure in my heels. I started walking as soon as I could (day 3), and began expelling gas and normal bowel movements followed pretty quickly. I no long have the pressure in my extremities, however, I still have tons of gas which is at times very painful, and I feel gas pressure on my pelvic floor. If I shift position, the pain gos away, but I am just surprised to still be sufferung from this. Both passing gas and moving my bowels is still painful (or rathr just before is painful - once everything starts movong it is fine ;) ). I don't go bqck to see the surgeon for anther 10 days and wonder if this is normal to still have so much gas and pressure. Any thoughts?

paul 2 years ago

I had double hernia repair almost three weeks ago and suffered from all types of pain for the first week. Things got better in the second week but the last four days I have been incapacitated due to what feels like severe wind. I get shooting pains from my stomach to my ribcage and shoulders. Also for the past four nights I have been waking up in agony with the sane type of pain; however this time I need the toilet. I'm a bit worried to be honest as the pain is pretty bad.

TahoeDoc profile image

TahoeDoc 2 years ago from Lake Tahoe, California Author

That sounds like pretty significant pain a good way out from surgery. Call your doc & see if you should be seen since they know you and will be able to get more information. If they decide this isn't serious, try the tips & tricks here. I hope you feel better!

Ruth 2 years ago

I heard coffee helps get rid of the gas. Any info on that?

Ruth 2 years ago

I heard coffee helps dissipate the gases. Is there any info on that?

TahoeDoc profile image

TahoeDoc 2 years ago from Lake Tahoe, California Author

I haven't heard that. I guess anything that speeds intestinal motility might help for some people.

Mei 2 years ago

I had lap surgery 4 days ago to remove my gallbladder and I can't sleep because of the gas pain. I have try walking. Walking up and down the stairs, taking a probiotic, drinking tons if warm water and peppermint tea. I still have tons of pain in my shoulder, back and side from the gas? What should I do. I can't seem to rest and so physically tired. I just woke up from 2 hours of sleep with one hour of intense pain.

TahoeDoc profile image

TahoeDoc 2 years ago from Lake Tahoe, California Author

I hope that you've gotten some relief and rest by now. If the advice given in this article and the above measures haven't helped, you should call your surgeon. Unfortunately, unless they think something else is going on, they are likely to tell you that it just takes time.

This is one of the most annoying things about lap surgery- it is SO hard to get relief from this gas pain that can be quite severe!

So sorry and hope you feel better soon.

ivonete 2 years ago

It's been 2 months now, and mother hasn't been able to sleep with so much pain due to gases in her body. She had gall bladder removed, since then she feels gas moving around, now they seem to be sitting in her belly. It's huge. She feels a lot of pain around the ribs and her stomach. She's a 71 year old lady, very tiny, diabetic. I don't know what else to do. She tried to walk but not for too long due to the weather been very very cold. She does exercises.. Is it normal, 2 months????

TahoeDoc profile image

TahoeDoc 2 years ago from Lake Tahoe, California Author

No, 2 months is not normal. Gas from surgery is gone and pain should be gone. Please have her see her surgeon for a check up.

Denise 2 years ago

Ok I had surgery this past Tuesday the 29th to remove my two ovaries and tubes, well when my doctor went in via below my belly button she noticed that my appendix had "latched on" to the right ovary, so then she had to do the "bikini" cut above the hairline! I'm feeling ok but my questioned is this gas, soreness and my stomach looks like I'm 6 months pregnant! I've been walking, my bowel movements are back to normal thanks to previous prescribe stool stoftners, I'm just wondering should I keep on doing the walking? My tummy feels like I've been punched in it all over:-(.

single mom 2 years ago

Had RH on the 29th. My best friend has become a wet towel heated in a Ziplock bag in the microwave wrapped in a towel or pillicase.

April 2 years ago

12 days from having a gallblader removed and still have the co2 gas pains is this normal? Just want to know how long does it usually take for the gas to go away? So sick of this as iam on codeine as paracetamol doesn't help.

TahoeDoc profile image

TahoeDoc 2 years ago from Lake Tahoe, California Author

Usually that gas pain, if it is gas pain, would be gone by 12 days post op. Call your surgeon and let them know it's still there. They can ask more specific questions and decide whether you need to give it more time, suggest other remedies or ask you to be evaluated if necessary.

Hope you feel better soon.

April 2 years ago

Thanks Tahoe Doc

Donna 2 years ago

Thank you so great it is to get the right answer.

Teresa 2 years ago

Hi...I'm 1 week post op appendectomy. Surgical pain is not bad at all. But I do still have the sharp shoulder pain and also what feels like HUGE pockets of air moving around in my abdomen. I feel it a lot more when laying down and flipping side to side. I only used toradol for 2 days post op. Didn't need anything else. How and when will these huge air pockets go away? And I still look 4 months pregnant!

Palak 2 years ago

Hello I had a laproscopic surgery of right ovarian cyst 15 days ago but now I'm having a slight pain in the left side of lower abdomen feeling like it's a pain due to gas.

do tell me please what should I do.

Diena 2 years ago

Hi I had a total laposcopic hysterectomy with both ovaries and tubes removed. Robotic assisted. On sept 3rd. lots of and pain mostly on left side of and. Just to touch it's very painful along with the incision on left

Tanya 2 years ago

Thank you... walking for about 25 minutes and hot tea has done the pain has subsided.

Sherrway 23 months ago

Thank you for an interesting, and formative read.

I had abdominal laproscopic surgery today, to remove adhesion, once again. I have had at least 6, more like 8 of this kind of surgery over the many years. 14 years ago I have a total hysterectomy, the hard way.

And I can not remember the gas pain being so bad in my chest and shoulders. I don't think I will be getting any sleep tonight.

The other type of gas, I was able to pass quite easy.

I heard a funny but very helpful way to pass that type of gas, to get the relief you need.

So here it goes, best to find a private place to do this, don't want to be caught by a nurse, or kids, or even hubby.

First slowly get down on hands and knees, and then lower your self onto your forearms, pointing your behind in to the air, then try to relax. Its odd, and kind of funny, but it worked for me. Hope this help some of you, it sure did help my when I had my hyst.

I am trying to do all the things mention here for the other type of gas pain, which is what I have now. Heating pad my new best friend, and drinking peppermint tea, and will try a ginger-ale later to see if that will help. I would take deep breaths, but that is just way to painful, and sends my ribs into spasms. Even just moving sends my ribs into spasms, so move slow, and after the heating pad has helped calm things down a bit. I sure hope this passes quickly.

Otherwise I think I'm doing well.

Thanks again, and I sure hope we all find some relief soon.

Eliza 21 months ago

I had surgery on my L1 on Sunday gone - I am suffering shocking gas pain this has made me feel a little more at ease and I'll be walking tomorrow! Thanks :)

sam 21 months ago

Hi. I have had a sapingectomy and through the night was wondering why my shoulders were aching and feeling tight. After reading all the comments and ur advice I'm glad to know that's it's normal post surgery symptoms. Thanks for your advise. Much appreciated

one4sanderella 20 months ago

Hello doc! My boyfriend is 31 and had his gallbladder removed 4 days ago. He can barely move on his own from gas pain. The surgeon said its normal for guys his age to have a harder time with this. Is 4 days after surgery normal to have this type of bloating (severe) gas, pain and pressure still so bad? Thanks in advance

Eric 20 months ago

Thank you for this article and comments. I had my gall bladder removed about twelve hours ago and am now having pain in both shoulders. The shoulder pain hurts a little worse than the surgical pain. Heat has been helping and I will try the others methods as well.

ankit srivastava 20 months ago

I had lower abdominal surjery ( small serosal tear in small bowel) before 4 i feel some gas pain after eating it common after surjery and that gas pain will remain same in future.i m 25 year old.plz give me advice

mauread 20 months ago

I had hetius hernia 3 months ago still have pain in shoulder what should I do .

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Princessa 20 months ago from France

After coming out from surgery walking is the last thing one wants to do, but I read this hub this morning because I had a lot of pain from gas and forced myself to walk, thankfully it seems to work. I haven't got rid of all the gas and I am still bothered with it but I can see a big difference from this morning.

Jmebclark 19 months ago

I had a TVH (total vaginal hysterectomy) about ten days ago. I am still having irregular abdominal pain that sometimes will double me over in excruciating pain. I am having regular-ish bowel movements. I walk, eat high fiber foods, use heating pad, stool softener, etc. what can I do?

Abby 19 months ago

Thanks for the informative hub. I had my gallbladder removed two days ago, and I was doing very well until about 20 minutes ago when I rolled over in bed and suddenly developed excruciating shoulder pain and pain across the top of my back. I've been walking, using my incentive spirometer, and taking my pain medicine, but this pain is just awful.

Taty 18 months ago

Use the Chinese tea ballerina (green box) it helps bowel movement and gas relief. I am in so much pain too but the Chinese tea helped and walking . The tea is the only thing that worked for me, the medicines they gave me didn't help .

Liz 18 months ago

Here I am at almost 4:00 am looking for help with relief of shoulder pain. Got woken up out of my sleep with it. I feel it thru my right side when I breath. Just had my Galbladder taken out and this pain is so horrible. I'm anticipating sleeping by just sitting. I'll try walking first thing in the morning. Thank you so much.

KL 17 months ago

Can the gas inserted for Laparoscopic surgery cause your heart to stop?

Sam 16 months ago

I am 48 hours post abdominal myomectomy. Gas pain became severe yesterday but walking for 15 mins around the hospital and drinking hot tea reall think helped. I also had some gas x medication. Thank you!

rafi 16 months ago

Drink fennel and carom seed tea

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shanmarie 16 months ago from Texas

Useful, considering gas pain has been an issue for me after recent surgery. Thabks.

alisha 16 months ago

Had a tubal ligation 4 days ago and the very worst part is the shoulder pain and very tight chest and neck muscles. I'm not having trouble breathing but it hurts to take breaths as if I had a pulled muscle. Glad to hear this is normal and I'm not going to kill over from it . 16 months ago

thank goodness for this hub..i have just had a big op for a fistula and adhesion's after bowel cancer op many years ago and i am now suffering terrible trapped wind. Your advice ts wonderful..thank you so much..x

Rhonda 15 months ago

I am 5 days post op and just developed this gas pain for the first time. It woke me in the middle of the night. Thank you for this site as I was ready to wake my husband and head to the ER. Am sitting with a heating pad to my stomach and can actually hear the gas moving. After 5 days with no gas symptoms, I thought I was one of the lucky ones. I was wrong.

Jennifer 13 months ago

I tried a massage pad. The massaging wiggled the gas out (-:

George 11 months ago

Thanks so much for all this informative and reassurimg information. I am currently recovering from day hernia surgery and have had many of the postoperative side effects; many of which were very disconserting. Went to ED same day as didn't urinate for 8 hours after surgery. That resolved without catherization. Unfortunately upon discharge from day surgery, my wife and I were given essentially no information about possible side effects and when to seek additional professional care. Received great care in the hospital but extremely disapponted with lack of adequate home care instructions. A much higher bar needs to be set at the hospital level if not higher.

shantelle 11 months ago

It has been 23 days since my lap surgery to remove an ovarian cyst... is having gas so long after surgery normal?

nikongal 11 months ago

Any comments on hiccups? I had a laporoscopic partial nephrectomy 6 MONTHS ago and still have hiccups!

jill 7 months ago

could I possibly still have gas pain 6 wks post op inguinal hernia? I was fine the first week but have been getting more and more bloated. I feel extremely uncomfortable, like I could pop! I'm swollen from my pubic bone, all the way up to my rib cage. The Doc said it has nothing to do w/ surgery, however, I wasn't like this before surgery...had a flat tummy, now I look 4 mos. pregnant! Help! I haven't been constipated either. Thanks, hope to hear from you!

Carol 6 months ago

I had abdominalplasty.... Had no idea that built up gas and constipation could hurt so bad. It was worse than surgery. Ok have dealt with it for days now at home on my own. My opinion is listen to your nurses when they say walk no matter how bad it hurts because it doesn't hurt as bad as what I'm going thru

carmen 3 months ago

I went to ER for severe abdominal pain. Did't have any sugery.Was told it was air in my intestnes.I move my bowels 2-3 times a day.How does this occur?Pain is unbearing under rib cage. Also had vomiting. Pls help!! Thxs,

Denny Dz 2 months ago

I'm 5 days post-op for Lap double hernia surgery. Like others here, I too had trapped gas. It seemed to settle in my lower chest and shoulder area. It was quite painful the first 2-3 days. As my surgeon instructed me, I walk short distances and kept moving after surgery. Now it's been 5 days and my gas pain is much less. I found the Doctors explanation of surgery very helpful in understanding how surgery works. Thanks for putting information out there for us to read. I feel my recovery is exactly as expected. My suggestion is to listen to your Doctor and follow his instructions. While surgery may be new and scary to us, my surgeon has performed many times and has the collective experience of all his patients from which he can provide helpful hints for recovery. I didn't know about drinking tea, but walking and moving about sure helps.

Yvette Blennerhassett 2 months ago

Hi am in Day 4 after a 4hr Lapioscapy Surgary and am suffering quite sharp gas pain and nothing seems to be easing the discomfort am concerned that some people have stated it can last for for longer than a week not sure I can deal with it, have pretty much been stuck in bed, it sounds as though I should get up and move around a bit more, although when I have been up it seems to make pain worse.

I certainly was not prepared for this!!!

Patricia campo 2 months ago

I just had emergency gallbladder removal surgery 2 days ago & I'm home duffering with gas pain. During the day it's not bad, I'm moving, walking, eating etc. but during the night it's pure hell. Still no bowel movement and having trouble passing gas. Using gasx & stool softener along with my pain meds. Heating pad is helping a little. Hope it subsides soon, your article was a great help, thank you!!

Jasmin 5 weeks ago

Thank you so much! This article was very helpful! My mom just had laproscopy and I wasn't sure what she could have to release the gas. And it was very informative on the procedure and why CO2 was needed. Great great article! Thank you again!

Wendy 3 weeks ago

It's been 11 days since my laparoscopy I'm having horrible spasms under my right rib cage. Seems to get much worse at night. Also keeps me up due to when I'm drifting off and relaxing is when the spasms are the worst. Could this still be gas? Or is something else going on? I'm maybe getting 4 to 5 hours a sleep at night. Any feed back would be so appreciated. This is scary and takes my breath away. Thank you.

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TahoeDoc 3 weeks ago from Lake Tahoe, California Author

Wendy- I would want to make sure it isn't a blood clot or pneumonia given the timing out from surgery.

I hope you have gotten relief or seen your doc by now. It can be muscle spasm also. I"m sorry to hear you are suffering.

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