After open surgery or laparoscopic surgery diet is progressed gradually which allows patients to move through different stages of the diet eventually leading to eating solid (regular) diet without experiencing any complications like nausea, vomiting, constipation, abdominal distension etc. The diet plan is as suggested by the treating doctor. The various stages of dietary progression after surgery are:
Stage 1: Water or clear liquids followed by all liquids – After prescribed 2-24 hrs. of varying post-operative period of NBM (Nil by mouth) depending upon the operation performed, patient is advised to drink water to break pre-operative fast. Patient usually informs nursing staff if feeling nauseous or has vomiting following water or liquid intake. If the patient feels comfortable in case of short procedures she / he eat ice cream, lemon juice, fruit juice milk or tea& are discharged from the hospital. Other category of patients will follow diet plan as suggested.
Stage 2: Soft diet or solid food intake –After surgery sooner you start solid foods; prompt is the recovery of bowel function. However, patient starts eating solid food on same day or after few hrs. to 12-24 hrs. after surgery as per doctors’ advice. Patient is also encouraged to be mobile as soon as possible after surgery unless there are contraindications for the same. Balanced solid food diet with cereals like rice, vegetables, fruits and proteins in the form of pulses, curds, milk are started. Proper liquids intake is emphasized. Delivered patients are advised for adequate fluid intake as they are lactation too. High protein diet is given when patient is malnourished.
Stag 3: Full Diet – Is advised after the patient has no complaints in terms of nausea, vomiting and or abdominal distension which can be there because of weak or absent bowel movements. After 24 hrs.once soft diet is tolerated by patient she / he is now on full diet as per advice of doctor. A balanced meal consisting of all five food groups is given.
Post Discharge patient is advised to consume adequate amount of nutrition in terms of protein, carbohydrates, vitamins and fat to recover from the surgery.