What Causes Distended Stomach After Abdominal Surgery

Abdominal distention is an uncomfortable feeling often characterized by excessive passing of gas and a feeling of elevated abdominal pressure. This can be caused by a lot of factors, including C section and certain types of surgery, including abdominal surgery.

Causes of Distended Stomach after Abdominal Surgery

  • Distended stomach is one of the side effects of certain types of abdominal surgery.
    The reason for this is that the normal structure of the abdomen is often altered by the surgery. Thus, air packets could form along the affected areas. This is especially the case when the patient undergoes an open abdomen surgery as opposed to laparoscopic techniques. This will cause some portions to retain air even after the surgery wound is closed.
  • Some types of surgeries might also involve adding gas into the abdominal cavity. This will be done to inflate certain areas. Still, the gas used for such surgery types is different from the ones that often cause distended stomach. Often, ethyl nitrite (ENO) gas is used here.

Distended Stomach after Surgery

  • Various surgical procedures are bound to cause distended stomach to patients.
    In fact, about 50% of patients who have undergone various forms of abdominal surgery have also experienced distended stomach.
  • When a person has distended stomach, he/she could have an increased abdominal girth. However, this is not always the case. Often, there is just a feeling that the abdomen became larger but there really is no visible or distinct increase in girth.

Distended Stomach after C Section

  • During C section, the abdominal cavity could accumulate air packets that could cause discomfort after the wound is sealed.
  • Like in the surgical procedures, the feeling of fullness after the C section could also make the patient feel like the stomach girth has increased.
  • Sometimes, the distended stomach could be mistaken for just pain on the surgical wound. Still, most patients will be able to distinguish bloating from actual pain at the wound site.

Distended Stomach after Gallbladder Surgery

  • Gallbladder surgery is a type of abdominal surgery that could cause distended stomach.
  • Patients who feel bloating or flatulence can often alleviate the condition by refraining from eating starchy food items.
  • Also, chewing the food slowly as well as eating small yet frequent meals can help a lot.
  • Keeping food quantities in moderation always helps, especially less of food items with sugars such as fructose.

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