Diet Tips For The Weeks Following Surgery And Endoscopic Procedures

Immediately following the endoscopic procedures, your doctor may prescribe, in addition to a pain killer, a diet for you to follow. The diet usually consists of at least one meal that is clear liquids and moves up through soft foods to a regular diet in less than a week. Usually not anything that would be served in a five-star setting, the diet is intended to allow the area around the LES to continue healing with the least amount of strain. To assure the best results possible, it is important to follow the diet to the letter.

For those recovering from the fundoplication surgery, a return to eating normally may take a little while longer as the body adjusts to having a tighter LES and a possibly newly elongated esophagus.

When Robin was recovering from his laparoscopic Nissen fundoplication procedure in the hospital, his first tray of food was topped off with a can of coke. "Someone had made a mistake. The last thing a fresh fundo patient needs is anything carbonated," he said.

In the following days and weeks, he kept his diet to mostly soft foods such as puddings, soft or mashed vegetables, fried or soft-boiled eggs, applesauce, pureed soups. and yogurt as well as noncarbonated beverages such as water, fruit juices, tea, and milkshakes. He stayed away from carbonated beverages due to the burping factor, alcohol because of its possible interaction with pain medication, gassy vegetables for obvious reasons, and meat and bresd, as they tended to hang in his esophagus. Gradually in the mouth after his surgery, he was able to add soft fruits and vegetables such as avocado, ripe melon, peaches, and tomatoes as well as broiled fish and pasta. Red meat was cautiously added and well chewed in the next month and, with the exception of bread, he was able to return to a normal diet during that time. Bread continues to give him trouble on occasion, something he remedies by drinking warm water to counteract the problem with sticking.

"Within six to eight weeks after surgery, I was eating a normal diet including red meat - small bites chewed very well. Bread continued to give me troubles for another month or so. Even then, for the next three or four months I would occasionally have bread hang in my esophagus," Robin said. "Today, more than thirteen months postfundo, there is not anything I can't eat, although I must say I am far more conscious of eating a well-balanced diet."

Additionally, some individuals find that they can experience nausea or spasms due to the gas-bloat syndrome. There are antispasmodic medications such as Levsin, Bentyl, or Levbid that can help with the spasms but be forewarned that they are also anticholinergic and can slow the movements of your intestines. There are antinausea medications such as Compazine that can ease that symptoms as well.