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Crohn's Disease Forum » Surgery » Food after surgery


10-04-2011, 06:42 AM   #1
BoFin1
 
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food after surgery

I know you can't take food for at least several days after surgery.
Do you have a feeding tube? Are you allowed to drink water?
Is it really hard not eating? I like food! I am worried about not being
able to eat.
10-04-2011, 07:46 AM   #2
SarahAnne
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The sooner that you can get up and walk around, the sooner your bowels will "wake up." The docs usually try to get you started on liquids then soft foods to make sure your bowels are working, and that you can pass gas and a BM before you leave. So chances are you won't be without food for more than a few days at most. You probably won't even be thinking about eating the first day after you wake up!

When is your surgery?
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10-04-2011, 07:50 AM   #3
Crohn's 35
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to the forum. I have had two surgeries and it also depends where your surgery was on on your crohns. But as Sarah says liquids first and bland mushy foods gradually. A good helpful hint is to get Ensure or boost to help get the nutrition you need and heal the area. Eating to much too fast could set you back. Like Sarah says, walk, and more walking is best! Good luck.
10-04-2011, 08:28 AM   #4
BoFin1
 
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Thanks for the replies. I don't have a surgery date yet and I don't know for a fact if I need it, but I will probably have to have it. The doctor is suggesting
a ileocectomy. Might I need a feeding tube? Good Luck SarahAnne with your surgery. My MRE is the same day as your surgery, and that should give us a lot more info.
I know walking is important. Are you able to walk by yourself while pushing
an IV? I have never been in the hospital and I have never had any type of surgery so I don't know what to expect.
10-04-2011, 04:26 PM   #5
glum chump
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Hi BoFin

Yes, you can walk by yourself while pushing an IV. When I had my surgery, I was walking around on my own the next afternoon with my IV, but the nurse was helping out with my catheter bag.

I started out on jello and oatmeal and other mushy foods the morning after surgery, and they waited two days before I was to get more "real" but low fibre foods. I also had Ensure to drink when I came out of surgery. My surgery finished at around 8pm, and I know that they were giving me water when I asked for it at about 2am.

I had some weird complications after surgery and was not allowed to eat or drink for about 10 days. They had initially thought that it was only going to be for 2-3 days and I didn't get a feeding tube. Like you, I love food and was horrified about not being able to eat. Strangely, though, I never felt hungry for those 10 days. I had IV fluids, but more than food, I really just craved a tall glass of cold water.

Surgery isn't actually too bad. Just take the pain meds when you have pain, move around as much as you can---the nurses will insist on it and will help you walk around. Take music or something else to amuse yourself, and they'll toss you out just as soon as you're able to be on your own.

Good luck...I'm sure everything will go peachy smooth!

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10-04-2011, 04:33 PM   #6
Emily
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Regarding food - I wasn't allowed to eat until my bowels woke up which took 11 days! After that long my stomach was so shrunk that my first post surgery meal (a single, small boiled mashed potato) got me so full that I could hardly walk up the stairs to get in bed, and fell asleep for hours in a carb coma! lol

Regarding walking, they'll make you walk as soon as you possibly can, you dont wanna get weak lying in bed all day. I did many walks myself with the IV but when people visited me it was nice to let them push it as I walked.

So yeah, if you spend a decent amount of time in the hospital post op, your gonna lack energy (so walk as
much as possible) and your stomach is gonna be used to not doing anything so start by eating small, soft things
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10-05-2011, 06:17 PM   #7
LindaS
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Hi BoFin. The first surgery I had to wait for my bowels to wake up, which took about 4 days. The more you walk and move around, the faster they wake up. Also, the more you walk around, the less likely you are to get some of the post op complications like blood clots and pneumonia, so do your best to try to walk around. With both surgeries, the nurses got me up the next morning to walk. It wasn't easy and it hurt a lot, but it helped. The small walk to the nurses station and back wiped me out. I always push my IV stand because I can lean on it if I get tired of if the pain is really bad.

Your surgeon should answer any questions you have at your pre-op consult. I suggest making a list and bringing it with you, because you might forget something.
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10-06-2011, 12:19 AM   #8
curtis
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I just had an Ileocecectomy; for mine, I was allowed clear liquids after 24 hours, then "full" liquids the next day, and low residue/fiber restricted the day after (supposed to be on that for 2 weeks i think). I had a lot of gas/bloating and couldnt eat much the first couple days. And yeah, part of speeding it all up is walking... my nurse pretty much pushed me out of bed the first morning lol.
10-06-2011, 10:20 AM   #9
Feather
 
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I didn't have a feeding tube after surgery, but I had lots of IVs that kept me hydrated while I couldn't eat. Immediately after surgery, I was allowed to wet my mouth with a sponge and eat ice chips. I had to wait, though, for my bowels to start "waking up" before I was allowed to start drinking water and moving onto soft foods. Definitely get up and walking as soon as you can, as it will really help your digestive system re-boot after surgery.

I had two IV poles, and I had my nurse or my Dad push one while I pushed the other and leaned on him/her for support. Sometimes the poles can be hard to push, though, so don't be afraid to ask for help if you want to take a walk.
10-10-2011, 03:03 PM   #10
tiloah
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I had a right hemicolectomy (resection of my terminal ileum and part of my colon). No feeding tube, just off food for a few days. It might be different if your nutritional status is really low.

You don't really want to eat, at least not the first couple of days. I think that is because your digestive system is not "awake," that's why you can't eat but it's also why you don't want to. I was up and walking a few hours after my surgery (but it sucked). They let me have some ice chips every once in a while, but no drinking water. I was on a Dilaudid pump because I couldn't take it orally.

On the day they finally let me eat again I was feeling it. I was not started on mushy foods... although I was still very food phobic at that time so even though they told me I could eat what I wanted, I ate very small amounts of "safe" foods.

Welcome to the forum and I hope if you do end up having surgery, it goes very well for you.
10-27-2011, 03:21 PM   #11
sararay
 
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I am going into surgery next week. Thank you for the info. Just one question: how do they tell when your bowels "wake up"?? What symptoms do they look for?
10-27-2011, 03:23 PM   #12
curtis
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gas and bowel movements
10-27-2011, 05:02 PM   #13
Crohn's 35
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Yep, gurgling and lots of noises.
10-27-2011, 05:07 PM   #14
Nyx
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I was on ice chips and TPN for 5 days after my surgery. I was so excited to Ensure on day 6...lol..how sad is that?? After a few days of Ensure I was allowed bland mushy food..then I was on to regular food after about a week and a half. I had a colostomy though and it was a rather major surgery and I had complications as well, so I 'm sure that effected things too. While I was still in the hospital I had my fiance bring me a burger from Wendys...omg..it was the best thing ever!!! lol
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10-28-2011, 12:18 AM   #15
tiloah
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Good luck with the surgery, I hope it goes well and the healing isn't too rough.

As the others said, when your bowel "wakes up" they will be able to hear bowel sounds (they will listen to your stomach with a stethoscope). I was supposed to go home after my first bowel movement, but it ended up being basically the first time I farted. I had a couple of BMs but they were "leftover" from the prep I think.
10-28-2011, 09:24 AM   #16
sararay
 
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Thanks for the info. They told me to bring two packs of sugar free gum with me to the hospital. Does chewing gum help get things moving again?? It must. I thought it was a strange thing to put on my prep paperwork. My first thought was "man, they are WAY offended by bad breath after surgery!!" LOL!

I do plan on walking as soon as they let me. Hopefully the pain will be manageable, they are putting in a pain pump for at least 3 days.
10-30-2011, 09:50 PM   #17
tiloah
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Oh yes! I had forgotten about that. I chewed gum in the hospital but I don't think it helped me. But it is supposed to and there is research that supports that. The faster they get you out of there the lower your risk of complications, so chew away! When we chew food, it stimulates the part of our brain that triggers digestion. So chewing gum is good because it can get things moving for you again, but it won't make you sick the way actually eating food would.

Good luck with the surgery and the healing!
10-30-2011, 10:11 PM   #18
sararay
 
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Thank you. I hope that it all goes well. Mostly I will miss my daughter and husband a lot while I am in the hospital. I will be having surgery in a hospital that is 60 minutes away from home. My husband also started a new job so he can't take any time off, so he will be driving up every other day or so to visit me. I haven't been away from my daughter overnight since she was born and it might be harder on me than her. She is 20 months. Luckily we have both grandmas available and willing to help.
10-10-2013, 11:33 AM   #19
NatalieM
 
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@Sararay
Hello! I just got home from having an open surgery ileocecectomy. I too have a 23 month old daughter at home. I am in recovery now and I was in the hospital for 2 1/2 weeks. Hardest thing to be away from home and the freedom to care for my daughter. I have watched her since day one so she is having to adjust ALOT to others coming to help and look after her when dad needs a little break.
Now that I am in post op recovery, I can't lift anything heavier then 10lbs. It can be that way 1-2 months depending on how my insides are healing and if I don't strain it too much. I am taking it easy- but it is a depressing thing to come home and not be able to clean, care for you child or cook for your family. I've felt like complete crap. My daughter understands I have an "ouchie" but still asks for me to pick her up and gets confused that mommy isn't responding the way I once did. Since being in the hospital, daddy has been the main caregiver so now she favors him. That is a different thing nd hard thing for me to adjust to as well. Be prepared. You will have a lot of adjusting to do and being on pain pills will make your mind foggy and you may feel very disconnected when coming home.
I hope this helps. It's such an emotional time but adding the fact that we have small dependant toddlers at home waiting for us makes things much trickier.
Good luck!
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10-12-2013, 01:23 PM   #20
Mimzim
 
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Hi! I'm three weeks in recovery from having a right hemicolectomy. Like the others have said, walking helps get the bowels moving and you will hear your tummy gurgle, pass gas, and maybe you'll have a BM. The docs also gave me a medicine to wake up the bowels. The name started with an E. Once my bowels were awake, which I think was day 2, they said I could eat anything I wanted, but I stayed with the liquid diet. I felt so nauseous, because of the pain meds! I also chewed gum, because it relaxes me. At home, I tried chicken and shrimp, about a week after surgery, but my stomach really hurt after eating those, so I am staying towards the soft foods until the pain subsides more. I eat pasta, soups, etc. Everyday is better, but it is a slow recovery. Recently, my surgeon gave me bentyl, along with pain meds, which is an antispasmodic and it helps. I'm not fond of pain meds, so I was given that with a lower narcotic. I still feel like myself and not groggy and blah. Let us know how your surgery goes.
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