Surgery?!! Doesn't make sense to me either. "Long colon" doesn't sound like a diagnosis, certainly not one requiring surgery. Did the doctor see some kind of inflammation? That would indicate something other than, or in addition to IBS, which is a functional problem and not a degenerative disease. I think I'd find another doctor. I'm IBS-C, diagnosed about a year ago. I don't know how these things would work for you, given that you alternate with D. Everyone is different, but here's how it's been for me, maybe some of it will be useful to you...What seems to work best is a daily combination of things: 1) lots of soluable fiber 2) some type of stool softener 3) lots of water. 4) exercise5) osmotic type laxative like milk of magnesia,only if I can't keep symptoms under control with the other things.It's very common for any of these things to stop working after a while, so I keep a list of soluable fiber sources and stool softeners, switching to different combinations of things periodically. I'm very wary of snake oil disguised and cleverly marketed. I only put things on my lists that I can find valid evidence for, or that make sense to me based on fact. When I'm desperate for relief though there is a real tempation to try just about anything, but the fear of doing more harm than good in the long run always stops me. Dependancy and side effects would only complicate an already unpredictable picture. I also try very hard to introduce only one new thing at a time. The fewer variables I add to the mix, the easier it is to sort out what works and what doesn't.To answer your questions: Metamucil worked great for me but caused lots of gas, so I switched to Citrucel, which stopped working after a while, so now I make sure to have Oat Bran Cereal (hot) every morning.Aloe Vera works like a stimulant laxative, I wouldn't use it on a daily basis because with a chronic condition like this it's too easy to become dependant. I would use an osmotic laxative like milk of magnesia for 1-3 nights before I would use any kind of stimulant. While dependancy is still possible, it's a lot less likely with an osmotic.I recently added a daily glass of prune juice to my routine. The effect has been inconsistent. At first 8 oz was too much and 4 oz not enough. 6oz worked well for about a week, now it 's not working at all any more even with 8oz. I keep trying to stay a step ahead of it by changing what I do at the first sign that something is losing its effectiveness, it's a definitely a challenge. Things can get bad very fast, giving me no alternative but to use a laxative.