Not wanting to eat after surgery

You may not be able to eat or drink after surgery.

Keep in mind that your doctor may recommend that you avoid certain foods and drinks. This is to protect your stomach and prevent the spread of infection.

Restrictions on your diet

While you recover after your procedure, you may want to avoid foods and drinks that may make you vomit and/or cause you to throw up. These foods and drinks include:

  • Red meat, particularly ground beef and other types of red meat
  • Raw fruits and vegetables
  • Dairy products, including yogurt
  • Spicy foods, including hot sauce
  • Alcohol

It is important to discuss these concerns with your doctor. They will review your diet and provide advice.

You may also want to avoid any new foods, such as:

  • Caffeinated beverages
  • Sugar
  • Carbonated drinks
  • Cigarettes

What to expect in recovery?

Recovery from this surgery may take a few weeks to a few months.

To help speed up your recovery, your surgeon may recommend doing some of the following:

  • Taking an antacid or antiemetic medication.
  • Drinking fluids and eating a bland diet.
  • Taking a pain reliever, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol).
  • Using a heating pad to treat minor pain.
  • Moving around as much as possible.

When to call your doctor?

While you recover, call your doctor if you have any of the following:

  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Vomiting or diarrhea
  • Fever
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Redness or swelling at the incision site
  • Discomfort or pain around the incision site
  • Pain or itching at the incision site that is not relieved by medication
  • You are having trouble breathing
  • You have problems with your vision

These symptoms may be signs of infection. Call your doctor if you have any of these symptoms.

What is the long-term outlook?

With proper care, you can expect to be out of pain within a few weeks. Your doctor will discuss the long-term outlook with you.

It is very important to follow the tips and advice given by your doctor. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask!

At MD Anderson, we are committed to sharing the latest research-based information and best practices for patients with cancer.

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