Proper Nutrition After Surgery
Appetite and Taste
It is not unusual to have a poor appetite after undergoing surgery. However, proper nutrition is important in promoting healing and getting your strength back. You may feel food doesn't taste "right" when you get home. This can be due to the anesthesia given to you during surgery or also from some of the medications you are on. This will improve over time. If your appetite is not improving and you are not eating you should call your doctor.
Eat Healthy Food
After surgery, it is important to eat healthy food.
- This includes a diet low in fat, cholesterol, sugar and salt.
- This does not mean you can never eat dessert again, but these types of food should be eaten in moderation.
- It is important to read the labels on your food. Food may say "low fat" or even "fat free" but may be high in sugar and sodium. Just be mindful of what you eat.
Anesthesia, pain medicine, lying in bed, a poor appetite and poor fluid intake may all lead to constipation.
You will be sent home with a medicine called Colace (docusate sodium) which is a stool softener. A stool softener will not make you go to the bathroom; it will make it easier. You should not be straining or pushing hard when going to the bathroom.
Increase Fluid Intake and Mobility
If you are feeling constipated and having difficulty going to the bathroom there are things you can do at home to help. You can increase your fluid intake and mobility, and if possible decrease your use of pain medication.
Talk To Your Pharmacist
If this is not helping, you may ask your pharmacist or doctor to recommend an appropriate over-the-counter laxative.
When to Call Your Doctor
If you go longer than two days without a bowel movement, call your doctor.