A lot of people with an ostomy can consume what they want unless the surgeon or ostomy therapist has given them a strict diet to follow. But, before the surgery, some foods may be easier to digest than others. After the surgery, listen to your body on what foods work best for you.
What to Eat Right After Surgery
The most recent research shows that the sooner you eat after surgery, the sooner the intestinal system will function normally again. Just remember to chew your food thoroughly, so that it’s easier to digest.
Recommendations for the first 2-4 weeks
- During the healing process, try to eat foods that are softer, so that they will be easier to digest.
- Eating smaller meals more often will help with bloating.
- Nothing too fancy during this time, keep the foods you’re eating simple and bland.
- Chew your food well. The more broken down the food is, the easier it will be to digest.
Week 4-6 after ostomy surgery
- In the first 4-6 weeks after an ostomy procedure, you may experience a lack of appetite.
- It can be necessary to supplement the diet with protein and energy drinks. They can be bought at the pharmacy or made from scratch.
Is there anything I can’t eat?
You don’t have to restrict yourself from certain foods, but it’s good to know that different food will have different effects on the output from your stoma. If there’s a particular kind of food that you’re unsure about, try a small amount first. If there are no problems, then have at it!
There’s no need to worry about trying new foods. Just be sure that you pay attention to how each food affects your body, and cut down on the foods that produce more gas. It may take a little trial-and-error to find nutritional balance that’s right for you. Some foods, especially higfiberre foods, can cause a food blockage, where undigested parts of food block the bowel. Chewing well can help, but a food blockage can be serious.
How about fruit and vegetables?
You can still get in all of the good stuff. The skins of some fruits and vegetables are really tough, so it might be best to peel them to avoid any problems, especially potato skins and apple skins. And maybe you need to prepare your fruit and vegetables in new ways – try soups to get those vegetables in, or maybe try some fruit smoothies.
Allowing vegetables to soften a bit during cooking can also help, or try mashing some of those root vegetables.
What if I have an accident?
Don’t let one bad experience keep you from eating that one food for the rest of your life. Only if it happens repetitively you should consider taking the food out of your diet. Just remember, everyone has different reactions, so what works for one may not work for one other.