BLOATING AND FLATULENCE (KNOWN AS GAS BLOAT) AFTER ANTI-REFLUX SURGERY
Following your surgery it is common for some people to experience discomfort from bloating and flatulence. Because the operation is a one-way valve, any air or gas which is swallowed cannot easily be belched back. You may find it is worse immediately following the operation, but it often improves over time. It is called ‘gas bloat’.
There are several measures you might like to try to prevent and / or alleviate the problem:
- Watching your diet to see if any food makes the condition worse, and avoiding these foods. Some common foods that can make bloating worse include beans, lentils, fermented foods and beverages including vinegar and alcohol, plus food rich in sulphur (eggs, onion and garlic), and raw foods.
- Milk may even cause excess bloating and flatulence, particularly in people who are lactose intolerant
- Avoid eating too much fat in a meal
- Avoid swallowing air whilst eating and drinking
- Ensure you chew your food thoroughly and eat slowly
- Avoid fizzy / carbonated drinks (soft drinks, soda water and beer)
- Avoid chewing gum and smoking
- Avoid eating just before bed time
- Try eating smaller meals more often
Relief of discomfort
If the above measures do not help, you may like to try:
- Regular exercise, particularly gentle exercise after meals
- Over the counter preparations such as peppermint capsules, WindEze, Charcoal type medication, Beano dietary supplement (alpha galactosidase) are available from pharmacies. These medication types can help absorb gas or prevent its formation and reduce bloating.
We stress that these measures may help but are not guaranteed to do so. If you are concerned about persistent symptoms it is essential you discuss your problems with your surgeon or GP.