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Gas Pain After Surgery: Why It Happens and How to Relieve It

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I am a board-certified anesthesiologist in Lake Tahoe, California. I write from the perspective of both a doctor and a patient.

Gas Pain After Surgery

Gas Pain 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 this topic I get as a board-certified anesthesiologist suggest that many people suffer from—and seek relief from—this type of pain.

There are two common types of gas pain that may occur after surgery. They are quite different from one another, but they are both bothersome. The two types are:

  1. Intestinal gas pains - Caused by a buildup of gas inside of the intestines.
  2. Intraperitoneal gas pains - Caused by gas trapped outside of the intestines, but inside the abdominal cavity.
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.

Post-Operative Intestinal Gas Pain

Post-op gas 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 (narcotics) add to and contribute to this effect. As a result, I frequently hear patients reporting constipation and gas buildup after surgery.

Tips for Relieving 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.
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.

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 Laparoscopic 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 the 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 laparoscopic 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 the insufflation of gas into the abdomen.

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This content is for informational purposes only and does not substitute for formal and individualized diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed medical professional. Do not stop or alter your current course of treatment. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.


EriK Shale on November 02, 2019:

Rub Fennel and peppermint oil on your stomach every few hours! DiGize by Young Living is best. Helped my dad on hospice after 2w of no BM! He was so toxic! Works in 6 hours. But it takes2-3 days after surgery for the bowels to wake back up and narcotics will delay that. Drink that OTC fiber mix stuff 3x/day not once a day like label says!

Coffee enemas help so much if you’re already WELL versed but wait at least three days post surgery to start one and small amounts, emanate then repeat.

Organic Coffee enemas should be done once a week for AMAZING health anyway. (google the Gerson way)

Glynnis on June 09, 2019:

I had my gallbladder removed. Started with the Lap... procedure then the surgen had to cut to get it out. After 3 weeks and no sign of gas pain I took a local flight, now I have a pain that I suspect is Gass between my breasts that sometimes moves to beneath my left breast. This only started when I was flying and felt like a bubble moving up. Am I correct it thinking it’s post op gas? If so how do I get rid of it? I’m flying again tomorrow.

Glynnis on June 09, 2019:

I had my gallbladder removed, started with the laparoscopic procedure then the surgen had to eventually cut to get it out. It’s now 3 weeks later I took a local flight and I have a concerning pain between my breasts which I think is gas, because it occurred when we were flying. Am I correct in my assessment? And what should I do to relieve the pain?

Morgan on April 04, 2019:

Hi I was wondering if taking wind settlers is ok after having my gallbladder removed

Deborah patek on December 15, 2018:

I had a llap surgury for 2 hernias

.its been 7 months with on my left side under the ribs and around my shoulder blade..and in pain all the time ..went to emergency for it and the ct scan shows gas at the top of my body underneath my shoulder blad ...left side then constapation all the way down my body ..has anybody had this type of thing

Jo on October 28, 2018:

I had surgery 4 weeks ago. I had hernia surgery with my bowel inside my hernia. The surgeon had to release my bowel and place it where it should be. He then placed a large Mesh to hold the hernia in place. Again I just got to the end of my 4 weeks post surgery. Day 1 until now I go to bed and go to sleep but, then wake up after hrs of sleeping with excruciating pain in my upper left chest area. Left chest area and by back area next to my shoulder blade. It also is at the upper part of my left arm. I only have this to happen after lying down for a while and that is when I go to bed to sleep. Since I don't lay down during the day. It hurts so bad I have to get up and sit and after that 30 - 45 minutes it resides. I don't feel it any other time and it is always in the same area. I have been taking gas x from day 1 after my surgery. My dr wrote a prescription for Toradol but after 6 days on this pill not one ounce of difference in this pain and when I have it. I was daily as I'm not a sitter and also walk anywhere from 6 to 9 miles a week since my surgery. So, I do walk and move all day every day. My dr did a EEG and it came out great, they took blood work but have not heard from it and it has now been 7 days since the lab work. Any ideas on what else to try to get rid of this trapped gas in me? Only able to sleep few hours each night and now after 4 weeks feel so tired and irritable feeling. Just so wish I could get rid of this gas and be able to get sleep. Thanks for any suggestions. It will be greatly appreciated.

Glen Rix from UK on September 26, 2018:

I suffered from gas pain for a while after surgery The ward sister recommended a few drops of peppermint oil in a glass of warm water.

Elyse on June 21, 2018:

I had laparoscopic procedure this morning and suffered the most excruciating pain radiating from my diaphragm all the way to my shoulders, as a result of residual CO2 (gas) in my abdomen from the procedure! This pain completely distracted me from the fact I have several abdominal incisions. At one point I was struggling to breathe the pain was so unbearable on my diaphragm. However, after much research and speaking to my Doctor I found that the best relief came from a combination of a heat pad, occasional downward dog position (face down and butt up on your knees) for as long as i could stand in order to move gas back towards abdomen, prescription pain reliever toradol and prescription simethicone. I'm no longer suffering and can comfortably lay down and finally relax.

Jindaporn on April 14, 2018:

Thank you so much, my mum just went through the total hysterectomy and two days later she started having the gas pain. The information is really helpful.

Johnny on September 01, 2017:

Gas back

Karen on July 30, 2017:

My daughter who is 21 years recently had a lump removed from her breast less than a week . She is sometimes moody she cannot eat as before and she get lots of headache

Nancy on July 28, 2017:

My sister had her kidney removed 13 days ago and is suffering from gas not to mention her legs and feet are very swollen..any ideas to help her??

shenneberry on July 16, 2017:

What is the next course of action,though, if walking, hot tea, sim position, and narcotics all don't work; 14 days post op?

major bowel surgery, removal of large, tumor in small, and apendix,all created large empty cavity of trapped gas, and extreme pain for my husband with no relief in sight! :(

Josephine on June 27, 2017:

Why do appendix patients offen gets gastric problem

Ramzee on June 13, 2017:

Beautifully explained

IrisNZ on June 12, 2017:

Thanks so much- very relieved to find info. Had lap appendix removal 4 days ago. Shoulder pain has been excruciating, little sleep since. Hospital care was great, but though I complained about pain, was not told it was normal. Pain radiates down right arm too. Will keep up the walking, heat pad and hot drinks.

Elizab on June 10, 2017:

I've never been in so much pain! Can I drink Alcohol? Would that help?

Josephine on May 11, 2017:

Hey...My mum had an operation a month ago and she still feeling a lot of pain in her abdomen up to the back.whenever she eats anything she gets a running stomach.Am really worried and don't know what is the cause ..because she is in a lot of me please despite of the wound drying up or the cut ..thank you

Jeesica on May 06, 2017:

Hi i had appendix surgery on feb 28th i had serious gas pains for a while i took gas x like candy then they stopped for a month last night gas came back with a vengeance took gas x did not help till hours later not normal im fine now what do u think that could been a result of

Gh on April 05, 2017:

I have had this and you need to fart. It helps get the gas out. I literally did this until the pain was gone.

Jewells74 on March 03, 2017:

I had a stomach ulcer repair twelve days ago. In the first few days after surgery, I was sore underneath left side of ribs going up into my left shoulder. That pain subsided a few days ago, but now horrible sharps pain on my middle right side of back going up my right shoulder. Im worried. Is this normal after that kind of surgery?

Peter Dobson on February 23, 2017:


I had Bowel surgery which removed a cancerous tumour from my rectum and removal of part of my Bowel Nov 2016 3 months ago. Since this surgery I have had pain in the Stoma site and really excessive wind which I 'think' may be the cause of the pain however on the wind 'passing' into the Stoma bag the pain does not subside.

I am taking CoCodamol 4 hourly and Charcoal tablets after meals but I eat very little and I put this down to my weekly Chemotherapy, a course of 24 weeks and I am presently on week 6.

I have seen my Surgeon however he cannot help and just tells me to be careful what I eat (I am under a dietician) and he suggested I eat ProBiotic yogharts.

I am really fed up of being in pain constantly and getting a little concerned that its not reducing in the pain threshold.

Any help would be appreciated thank you.

Peter Dobson on February 22, 2017:


I had Bowel surgery which removed a cancerous tumour from my rectum and removal of part of my Bowel Nov 2016 3 months ago. Since this surgery I have had pain in the Stoma site and really excessive wind which I 'think' may be the cause of the pain however on the wind 'passing' into the Stoma bag the pain does not subside.

I am taking CoCodamol 4 hourly and Charcoal tablets after meals but I eat very little and I put this down to my weekly Chemotherapy, a course of 24 weeks and I am presently on week 6.

I have seen my Surgeon however he cannot help and just tells me to be careful what I eat (I am under a dietician) and he suggested I eat ProBiotic yogharts.

I am really fed up of being in pain constantly and getting a little concerned that its not reducing in the pain threshold.

Any help would be appreciated thank you.

MOE on February 21, 2017:

I had gastric sleeve surgery last week and the gas pain was very bad. I was warned by my doctor about the gas pain and that walking would help a lot. I haven't been walking as much as I should because it's difficult sometimes to find the time frequently. The Gas-X really isn't helping a lot. I'm wondering, how long is this gas expected to continue?

Meaghan on February 07, 2017:

Thank you for your clear and informative article. Greatly appreciated.

Marianne Ramey on February 03, 2017:

Thank you so much. That information was very helpful. Having just had laparoscopic pelvic surgery and suffering with severe shoulder and diaphragmAtic and intestinal pain, I was having trouble understanding why. Your explanation of intestinal v. Intraoperative has pain makes perfect sense. Thanks again ... now I'm going for my walk!

Julia on December 25, 2016:

I had laproscopic surgery 16 days ago, and the pain from gas and constipation afterwards was excruciating. I ended up going back to the hospital after two weeks due to how much pain I was in. Because I don't like narcotics, I usually don't let hospitals give me morphine for pain, but the pain was so bad, I gladly accepted it when they offered. Even after having the morphine, my level of pain barely went down, which left them baffled. When my CT scan came back, they told me that there was so much gas built up in my abdomen, they couldn't clearly see if I had a blockage. I was put on a clear liquid diet for 24 hours to see if that would help (which I extended to 48 hours on my own, since three bites of food the next day caused me to be in more pain).

I finally found relief by pure accident. I was given a slice of pizza that had green bell peppers on it. Knowing that these can cause gas, I took two Beano pills, hoping to prevent this. The next day, most of the gas was gone. Life would have been so much easier if I had known to do this in the beginning.

Charlie on November 18, 2016:

Hi, my 25 year old had his entire colon removed when he was 2, due to Hirschsprungs disease. They did a pull through on him and other than a few bowel obstructions, (corrected without surgery) he's done pretty well. A few days ago he had some laparoscopic surgery on his shoulder under general anesthesia. He has terrible bloating and is hurting. He said he hurts worse after eating. I don't know if he's backed up or it's just gas pain. He took a couple of laxatives last night which helped with the stool, but is still really bloated. Have you ever heard of bowel obstructions after shoulder surgery. I'm stumped!

TahoeDoc (author) from Lake Tahoe, California on September 28, 2016:

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.

Wendy on September 27, 2016:

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.

Jasmin on September 14, 2016:

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!

Patricia campo on August 19, 2016:

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!!

Yvette Blennerhassett on August 15, 2016:

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!!!

Denny Dz on July 30, 2016:

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.

carmen on July 17, 2016:

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,

Carol on April 19, 2016:

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

jill on March 24, 2016:

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!

nikongal on November 25, 2015:

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

shantelle on November 13, 2015:

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

George on November 06, 2015:

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.

Jennifer on September 22, 2015:

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

Rhonda on July 15, 2015:

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. on June 26, 2015:

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

alisha on June 26, 2015:

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 .

Shannon Henry from Texas on June 26, 2015:

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

rafi on June 18, 2015:

Drink fennel and carom seed tea

Sam on June 18, 2015:

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!

KL on May 10, 2015:

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

Liz on April 15, 2015:

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.

Taty on April 09, 2015:

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 .

Abby on March 25, 2015:

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.

Jmebclark on March 07, 2015:

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?

Wendy Iturrizaga from France on February 26, 2015:

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.

mauread on February 25, 2015:

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

ankit srivastava on February 23, 2015:

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

Eric on February 06, 2015:

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.

one4sanderella on February 05, 2015:

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

sam on January 27, 2015:

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

Eliza on January 22, 2015:

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 :)

Sherrway on November 08, 2014:

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.

Tanya on September 13, 2014:

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

Diena on September 12, 2014:

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

Palak on September 09, 2014:

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.

Teresa on August 17, 2014:

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!

Donna on July 02, 2014:

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

April on June 23, 2014:

Thanks Tahoe Doc

TahoeDoc (author) from Lake Tahoe, California on June 20, 2014:

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 on June 19, 2014:

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.

single mom on May 04, 2014:

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.

Denise on May 04, 2014:

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:-(.

TahoeDoc (author) from Lake Tahoe, California on April 07, 2014:

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.

ivonete on April 05, 2014:

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 (author) from Lake Tahoe, California on March 29, 2014:

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.

Mei on March 27, 2014:

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 (author) from Lake Tahoe, California on March 04, 2014:

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

Ruth on March 04, 2014:

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

Ruth on March 04, 2014:

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

TahoeDoc (author) from Lake Tahoe, California on February 08, 2014:

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!

paul on February 08, 2014:

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.

Debbie on February 01, 2014:

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?

Sheila on January 31, 2014:

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

Sookir girl on January 30, 2014:

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

reeba on January 16, 2014:

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 !

sonii on January 10, 2014:

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

Holly on December 31, 2013:

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.

TahoeDoc (author) from Lake Tahoe, California on December 26, 2013:

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...

Ally on December 22, 2013:

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.

Lauren on December 20, 2013:

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.

Mamyrinder on December 19, 2013:

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

kelly on December 17, 2013:

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.

rdr31 on December 15, 2013:

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.

Al on December 14, 2013:

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!

Priscilla on December 06, 2013:

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.

Gretchmallgaier on December 06, 2013:

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

TahoeDoc (author) from Lake Tahoe, California on December 01, 2013:

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.

kristinH on November 28, 2013:

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 (author) from Lake Tahoe, California on November 24, 2013:

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.

Jessie on November 24, 2013:

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 (author) from Lake Tahoe, California on November 13, 2013:

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.

Linda Meeks on November 13, 2013:

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

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