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Diet plan after surgery.


I am having the colon, rectum, and anus removed. After the surgery, what is the best way to start with your food? Did you start out slowly and then add foods to it? Did some foods bother you, so you waited and tried the foods later after healing? I know we are all different, but just wondering!

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I had similar surgery 5 years ago (have a permanent ileo), and as I was severely underweight, my surgeon insisted I eat everything I could get my hands on whilst recovering in hospital (and after), even to the point where he would come in and check to see what I had ordered for my meals "that's not enough you need more!".  So I was eating steak, chicken,veges (lots of potatoes), pasta, rice, bread (carb overload basically) and also a protein shake with every meal.  The weight soon stacked back on and am currently trying to lose a few pounds so something must have worked!

As you say though, everyone is different, I am fortunate to be able to eat anything I want including popcorn, nuts, seeds, salads, raw veges, etc that many people have probs with.  All just a matter of trial and error.  Must admit it was an amazing feeling to have a healthy appetite again (after years with Crohn's), not to be on any medication, feel like I can LIVE my life now, instead of simply observing life pass by under a cloud of ill health.

Bon appetit!  
After my surgery I was on clear liquids for days. The dietician gave me a sheet of foods of what not to eat...things with skins or seeds is a no no they say. I avoid a lot of foods I love cause of my ostomy..but I lost a lot of weight and the doctor would come in and ask what I ate and I'd tell him and he said that's not enough...even here recently I came home from the hospital on a Friday and went back in  ten days later and had lost another 12 pounds and I eat like a horse. My ostomy is always liquid so it goes out almost as fast as I eat it. Don't just eat huge meals. We're to eat many small meals a day. I get hungry a lot and it makes my tummy almost sick if I dont eat right away..good luck with your surgery and let us know how your doing when your able.  Barbara
They will feed you and listen to your belly to make sure all is working well and advise you from there. I was told not to eat popcorn cause it could aggravate the stoma which in my case it doesn't. You might see a little blood from time to time but that's ok. In my case I lost a lot of weight (65lbs) but that was needed and now I can see my ankles again Enjoy your meals like
I do. So glad you are thinking post op. Please, please let us know when you get out.
I had serious problems with blockages when I first had my ileostomy, so my advice is to do EXACTLY what they tell you to do, avoid the foods they tell you to avoid (my first blockage -for which I had to have surgery - was caused by a peach, because I ate the skin with it). Then after a few months when things settle down, start to add things to your diet one by one, but always chew very well.
Good luck!
HI after you have your surgery, you will probably be on just water for a days and then theyll just start you on soft foods like mash potato and then work you up from there. Youll probably see a dietician while in hospital so theyll be able to advise you properly x
Said I could eat whatever I wanted but didnt work--for me White Foods Diet - no roughage, no beef , and chocolate causes problems
Best advice is to solidify poop take Imodium 3 xday and citracell fiber drink 2x day and probiotics-- usuatly makes soft formed poop

Had the same surgery and in fact had 3 surgeries total as began with a colostomy, then a reversal then the ileo but had crohns and colitis so that was an awful experience but I can tell you WATCH WHAT YOU EAT AND ONLY EAT WHAT IS SUGGESTED as your guts need time to heal from the surgery! Also, I wouldn't eat popcorn or have high fiber for anything! Stay away from sodas and a lot of sweets as that tends to cause leaks or it did with me. As far as anyone eating anything they want, I cannot do it as if I overeat and trust me I feel it, I always leak! My stomach shrunk and I lost 30 pounds but am doing well now. A long road to recovery--about a year, but you will feel so very much better as time goes on. Just eat SMALL MEALS AND FREQUENTLY and don't overeat and be casreful of what you eat. Keep a food diary so if you have issues you know what food was the offender! Dont' eat a lot of newfoods or foods you haven't all in one day as you will never figure out then why you leak or don't feel well.

Good luck and know that it takes A LONG TIME TO HEAL and don't try and rush things and be careful of what you eat but eat SMALL MEALS!

You will be surprised how great you feel after your body has healed so keep that in mind!!
I haven't seen any mention on this forum yet of iodine and potassium supplementation. After my surgery someone in the hospital gave me some paperwork and in it there was one paper that said I needed to intake potassium and iodine daily in order for my gut to properly work due to having bowel portion removed. I do notice less output and more gas pains when I forget to take them. That could just be my imagination because I believe what I "was told", of course.

I saw another post somewhere here (I'm still kinda finding my way around this forum) and someone is taking folic acid and one of the b vitamins. If I come across the conversation again I might ask it those are specifically recommended or just something the poster came up with on their own and how they feel it helps them.

Hope you are doing well, I'm not sure when your surgery was planned for.
   I have to take vitamin B12, potassium, and magnesium as they were low in the hospital and stay low so I will need them the rest of my life. I was reading somewhere that when part or most of our colon or intestines are removed through any kind of abdominal surgery, it interrupts our normal digestion/absorbing system, and since we can't process the foods the same anymore with a ostomy, we have to have those supplements. Our food don't stay in our bodies long enough to keep us going. But don't just start taking these on your own. Go to your doctor and get your levels checked. I have to go have mine repeated every 6 weeks to make sure I'm taking in enough.

Hey JohnnieJones,

The folks that have written on this thread haven't posted since 2013, but I'm sure if someone else reads it again they will find the information that you posted helpful. Everyone needs a healthy eating livestyle!


Before I had my ileostomy that graced my side on 12 July 17, I ate alot of fresh salads with tomatoes, carrot, cucumber and lettuce.   I also ate fresh strawberries, black berries, kiwi, grapefruit, oranges and raspberries.   Now I have been told that I cannot eat these anymore because the seeds can get caught in the stoma.  I wish I could eat these still because I miss them so much.  Do any of you eat these  items?  I especially would like to eat strawberries again.  I have lost about 25 pounds so far.  I have been struggling with the food part of all of this.  I used to love getting a Wendy's grilled chicken salad!

hi freedancer I,ve had my ileo. for 30yrs. and found the fibrous foods like coconut, oranges,carrots, etc. were the ones that caused the most problems for me, but fruits like strawberrys with tiny seeds were,nt a problem, everyone is different so maybe try a little of something and see how your body reacts.

Hi freedancer,

I agree with Ron, try a strawberry or two, chew them well and keep an eye on what you feel and what you notice. I can eat a little of just about everything. I just have to remember not to eat to much.


Sweet!  I'm glad to hear about your experience with food.  I am scheduled for ileostomy surgery at the end of the month and i look forward to eating more healthy choices.  Especially knowing that i will (hoefully) be able to continue eating nuts and popcorn.


Everyone who is conscience of eating healthy, i just bought a VitaMix and am looking forward to using it everyday after my ileostomy surgery.  I don't want to miss out on starting to eat healthy after 30 years of eating less healthy choices due to a very painful fistula.  I had to eat very bland choices and have not had fruits and veggies in the forefront of my choices. The vitamix will liquify the fruit/veggie, the skin, and even the stems.  


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