After bowel surgery your large bowel is shorter than before. This means bowel motions (stools) pass through more quickly. This often settles as your body adjusts.
Changes caused by a shorter bowel
You may find stools pass through the bowel more quickly and are softer and looser, or liquid. You may go to the toilet more often and more urgently.
Softer stools can be more difficult to pass out of the bowel completely. This can mean needing to go back to the toilet a few times after a bowel movement to finish passing the stool. Stools may be stickier. You may need to wipe around your back passage more after passing a stool. This can sometimes make the skin in the area sore.
Some people go between having loose stools and constipation. Or, you may feel bloated at times and have problems with wind.
Bile acid malabsorption
Bile acids help us to digest fats in our food. Sometimes surgery to the right side of the colon removes part of the bowel involved in reabsorbing bile acids. When bile acids cannot be absorbed it’s called malabsorption. This can cause sudden episodes of diarrhoea. We have information about how this is treated.