Hi gals - be careful about what you take if you are constipated. I had very severe problems with constipation after the surgery (compounded by the codeine/morphine I had taken in hospital) and it was awful so I know how desperate you can get.
I would say don't take Ex-lax unless you have the green light from your medical team. My understanding is that different laxatives work in different ways and some are better suited to post op use for us than others. I tried all sorts of things (including being given a very painful and unsuccessful chemical enema by a doctor) before finally calling my CNS in tears and of course, she immediately knew exactly what I needed to ask my GP for.
What worked was a prescription laxative (Laxido/Movicol) plus an over counter stool softener (Dulcoease) to shift the immediate problem and I took the stool softener for quite a long time afterwards to keep things moving. When I finally had a proper bowel movement, I really did dance around the bathroom singing 'ding dong the witch is dead'.
I still have occasional constipation issues now, and have to be really vigilant about what I eat and drink if I don't want to get caught out. The last thing we need is anal fissures or piles on top of all this!
Apologies if this is TMI, but I reckon if it happened to me, it can happen to others and it's good to share. ;)