Bowel (colon and rectum) cancer

A support group for anyone affected by colon, rectal or small bowel cancer to come together, share experiences and ask questions.

Windy problems after bowel surgery - help !

Posted by


I am looking for advice and other's experiences following bowel surgery. 

My biggest problem is coping with excessive wind and being able to control it in public situations !!  7 weeks ago I had an anterior ressection to remove a 5cm tumour from my rectum.  I recovered well at home for 6 weeks and obviously because of the surgery my  bowel habbits have changed and I find I pass more wind and pass stool in small amounts but frequently throughout the day - and night !

 I  have just gone back to work, but now realise that I was obviously quite "free and easy" with my wind at home, but now I am in the work environment, I am very conscious that I am having to "try" to keep the wind controlled and in and find myself rushing from my desk to the toilet which is down a flight of stairs!    Its only week 2 back at work and so far I have got away with it, but I am very very anxious that one day I am going to "let rip" !!

I've read that Charcoal tablets might help.  Has anyone had experience of these?


Posted by

Hi Suzie

I had the same operation 3 months ago. I had a lot of wind initially too (especially before my first poo a week later), not sure if my wife really noticed the difference!

That doesn't seem quite so bad now. I am still going to the loo a lot, probably 8 times a day and also at night. One problem I find is that it is hard to tell if I need a fart or a poo so I have to go the loo just incase (especially at night)

I am hoping this is a short term problem but it has been 3 months now.

I haven't let rip at work (in the office anyway) yet but who cares, its only a fart.! but then I am a boy.

Better a fart from a living person than silence from a dead one.

Sounds like you are doing really well so keep positive about your recovery.

Best wishes


Posted by

Hello Peter,

Yes is different for boys !!!  You are right though and I shouldn't  worry so much about it.  I think  integrating back into the normal workplace has made me feel that actually I am not normal, I have (or had) cancer - its early days ...


Posted by

Hi Suzie

I too had the same problem as you after surgery, but it seems to have died down a bit now. I astounded myself, having not really had too much of a problem before, but trust me...I could have put most men to shame!

I found that Wind Eze capsules did the trick for me. Before I discovered them though, I was the same as you - trying to hold it in, and ending up with the most awful wind pains!

I haven't had any experience with charcoal tablets, so I can't help you with that, sorry 

Posted by

Thanks Suki,

I have tried some charcoal tablets and despite the fact they turn your mouth black, they have eased the situation.  I had some pinnapple the other night and could feel things gurgling so took some of the tablets and things settled down very quickly - most impressed !!

I have also decided to take my own packed lunch to work with stuff I know doesnt set things off and go for a walk outside when I need to  - just like smokers take a "fag break " I will be taking a "wind break " !!!!

Thanks for your reply.



Posted by


If its any consolation it took me just over a year to settle down,I also spent a lot of time on the loo in the night.Now its generally 1 to 3 times a day and a lot less windy ,also I now eat just whatever I like.

Go easy on yourselves and take time to recover.

Best wishes ,