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Post Surgery Diet

Post Surgery Diet

Posted by gem1007 on Mar 10, 2019 1:41 am

Hi there,

I'm finding that my husband is experiencing a lot of cramps. And he also goes back and forth from the extreme of constipation to diarrhea.

For background context he had a cystoprostatectomy (bladder and prostate removal) and his bowels are still recovering (he was off of solids and liquids for 15 days post surgery).
He also has lost a lot of weight, so we are trying to get him to gain more wait. The dietician has recommended meal replacement drinks, but we have to be selective with those because he is also lactose intolerant.

Does anyone have recommendations/tips for diet or recipes to share.



Re: Post Surgery Diet

Posted by cancertakesflight on Mar 21, 2019 11:31 pm

gem1007‍ Thank you for your question. I have several friends who struggled to keep their weight up. One person had tongue cancer and the other one started with endometrial cancer that ultimately spread to other parts of her body. The latter drank a lot of meal replacement drinks. The other one had a feeding tube while she was recovering.

Since I have not had any personal experience with eating and losing weight, I am tagging WesT‍ and JamesT‍  to see if they can provide some insight. 

cancertakesflight (Debbie)

Re: Post Surgery Diet

Posted by WesT on Mar 22, 2019 9:36 am

gem1007‍ Sorry to hear that your husband is having issues.  Thanks cancertakesflight‍, Deb, for tagging in me in....

Stewed Prunes!  Good source of nutritional value, easy to eat and works wonders for getting things moving, when they are not!  I was severely constipated after my surgery (prostate removal) and bleed terribly around the catheter tube while forcing bowel movements.  In two weeks I only had three and none were substantial.  It was only after eating stewed prunes that I was able to go at all.  None of the stool softeners did anything (tried three).

That being said his medical team should be able to provide more specific insight as they are hopefully aware of the entire situation.  Cramps and diarrhea may be resolved with Pepto-Bismol but again, the medical team should be able offer more specific advise tailored to him.

Re: Post Surgery Diet

Posted by ashcon on Mar 22, 2019 11:15 am

Hi gem1007‍ 

I don't blame you and your husband for wanting to find alternatives to those meal replacement drinks.  They tend to be contain refined sugars, sweeteners, dyes, and emulsifiers and are not-so-friendly to lactose intolerant folks. In addition to what WesT‍ suggests, here is a list of suggested foods + a smoothie recipe that is a great alternative to tho.se meal replacement drinks, based on a great cookbook I found called The Living Kitchen. This book specializes in meal & nutrition planning for those going through cancer treatment, and post-treatment as well.

Suggested Foods to manage weight loss (cachexia).  Play with these options depending on your husband's ability to take down solid foods
  • High calorie smoothies (preferably home made versus store bought or commercially prepared)
  • Eat healthy snacks between meals to keep blood sugar balanced. For example, nuts, seeds, nut or seed butter (like peanut, almond, or tahini), avocadoes
  • Try to eat protein and carbs together.  For example an apple with almond butter, or healthy crackers/toast with hummus.
  • Healthy fats: drizzle or spread these onto meals or snacks where possible:  extra-virgin olive oil, coconut oil, coconut butter, hemp oil, flax oil, ghee, or butter
  • Eat low-glycemic healthy carbs like brown rice, quinoa, millet, oats and root vegetables, which can be cooked and pureed if he struggles eating solids.  For example, sweet potatoes, squash, beets, parsnips.
Restore Smoothie (great alternative to those meal replacement drinks).  These ingredients make look a little 'out there', but this delivers on taste and nutrition! Makes 1 large serving, or 2 small servings.
In a blender, combine:
1 3/4 cups unsweetened dairy free milk (almond, soy, oat milk)
1/2 cup frozen cauliflower (about 5 florets)
1/2 cup frozen or fresh blueberries
1/2 cup frozen or fresh raspberries
1/4 baby spinach
2 TBSP hemp seeds
1 TBSP almond butter (or nut or seed butter of choice)
1 TBSP vegan protein powder
1 medjool date, pitted.

I've sent you an invitation to join the group, Eating Well When You Have Cancer.
I wish your husband a healthy, wholesome journey to his recovery.

ashcon (Ann)

Re: Post Surgery Diet

Posted by Diana BC on Mar 23, 2019 8:55 am


Sorry to hear about your husband.   I would encourage you to get the book called Living Kitchen.  I bought mine at Costco.   It’s written by two Canadian nutritionists who have supported people with cancer. At the back of the book they organize the recipes by common symptom.  They have a large number of recipes for appetite stimulants and a section on diarrhea prevention, digestion constipation aid.

It’s my go to book for what to do around food.

All the best Diana
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