OIC: A Quality of Life Issue



Was this helpful? (3)

When I was 54, I was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer. To treat my cancer, I underwent three surgeries: a lumpectomy; a surgery to implant a catheter and a small inflatable balloon to be used for five days of targeted radiation therapy; and finally, a total hysterectomy to rid my system of estrogen, because my breast cancer was what my doctor called hormone receptor-positive. Two years later, I had to get a spinal fusion in my back. And recently, I had my gallbladder removed and I am the proud owner of two brand-new titanium knees.

Needless to say, I’m very familiar with surgery and the uncomfortable aftermath—and I’m not just talking about the pain from the incision site. I’m talking about opioid-induced constipation (OIC). After surgeries, it’s not unusual for me to go three and a half days without a bowel movement because of the opioid pain relievers I’m prescribed, like Vicodin or Percocet.

A lot of patients dealing with opioid-induced constipation feel helpless about their condition. These experts explain that there’s a lot you can do yourself to feel better, from exercising to making dietary changes

Medical Reviewer: William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS Last Review Date: Jul 28, 2016

2018 Healthgrades Operating Company, Inc. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or reprinted without permission from Healthgrades Operating Company, Inc. Use of this information is governed by the Healthgrades User Agreement.