Diet before and after surgery

Diet before and after surgery

If you are about to have your surgery - or just had it, there are certain things you should be aware of to try and limit complications.

Diet tips before surgery

Good nutrition is essential in order to have a speedy recovery. Therefore you should try to follow a healthy and balanced diet in the time leading up to your surgery. That means:

  • Eat a variety of fruit and vegetables.
  • Base meals in starchy carbohydrates like potatoes, bread and rice.
  • Include dairy or dairy alternatives (e.g. soya drinks) in your diet.
  • Get protein from fish, eggs, meat or beans and pulses.
  • Choose unsaturated oils and spreads and eat in small amounts.
  • Drink 6-8 glasses of fluid a day.
  • Cut down on foods and drinks, that are high on fat, sugar or salt.
Keep a low fibre diet after surgery

Keep a low fibre diet after surgery

Right after your surgery the area around the ostomy may be a little swollen. This means that certain foods will have a harder time passing through - especially high fibre foods and nuts.

In the first days after surgery it is a good idea to adopt a ‘little and often’ approach to meals in order to avoid blockages, which can be painful and uncomfortable. Start of with ‘soft foods’ such as fortified soups, runny porridge, rice pudding, yogurts and smoothies.

Until the swelling and discomfort around the ostomy wears out, it is a good idea to stick to a ‘light diet’. This means you should stick to plenty of protein based foods, low fibre fruits and vegetables along with pasta (not wholegrain) and white bread.

Getting back to your normal diet

Getting back to your normal diet

When you feel that the outside peristomal area starts to heal and you feel less sore, it is a sign that the inside is also starting to heal. Around that time you can start introducing some of the foods that are part of a balanced diet.

You should, however, do this little by little in order to avoid complications. This is especially important when you introduce more stodgy food like high fibre vegetables and nuts. Remember to drink lots of fluid to help the food move along the gut.

To top