Constipation early on after surgery is very common and quite frustrating for patients and their caregivers. Bowels are sluggish due to general anesthesia and pain medications. Usually, by the time you are ready to have a bowel movement you are up and able to get to the bathroom on your own or with assistance. Keep your abdominal muscles tight and use your leg muscles to get up and down from the toilet. This will help protect your spine. After you get home, treat constipation aggressively. Use stool softeners, fiber supplements, fruit juices and any medications your providers have prescribed. Narcotic pain medications are the leading cause of constipation after surgery so try to reduce your use of these medications as quickly as possible.