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Bowel habits post op

Have joined for my dad...86 and had bowel cancer op about 7/8 years ago. He is still v active but is getting very down as he frequently needs to have a bowel movement and it’s often immediate and he can’t hold it. It’s putting him off going out and I know he’s upset but I’m not sure he’ll admit it to the Dr. Is this usual? Can we do anything about it? I myself am Coeliac and wonder if any changes to his diet may help? Thanks for any advice

Charlotte Nurse Advisor

Dear @bethvid,

Thank you for your post.

Can I just ask has your dad's bowel habit been like this since his op 7-8 years ago or are these new symptoms?

Kind regards,


I think it’s pretty much been like this since his op🙁

Charlotte Nurse Advisor


It is not uncommon for patients to experience long term bowel problems following surgery for bowel cancer.
We now know a great deal more about the potentially debilitating affects of bowel surgery and how this can leave many people with very poor bowel function.

There are certainly steps that can be taken to help people with these sorts of problems but your dad really does need to discuss this with his GP.

His GP will assess his current problems and prescribe appropriate treatment which may include medication as well as possibly a referral to another healthcare professional such as a dietician.

I do understand that he may be reluctant to discuss this with his doctor but he really would get the right advice to help him achieve a much better quality of life.

With kindest regards,


Thank you so much for the reply...I have shown him advice from the website and am hoping he will discuss it at his next GP appointment. Thanks for your help