The first 24 hours after surgery

Now that your surgery is complete, you’re probably wondering what you can eat. Here are some recommendations. The basic principle is to only eat soft foods (nothing that requires chewing or that has a rough texture) and keep the temperature of food and drinks neutral (not too hot):

  • Do not drink alcohol
  • Do not ingest hot foods/liquids
  • Do not eat anything that requires chewing

It is recommended that you eat cold, soft foods, including:

  • Ice cream
  • Jello
  • Pudding
  • Yogurt
  • Cottage cheese
  • Milkshakes (with added protein powder)
  • Smoothies
  • Applesauce
  • Meal replacement drinks (Ensure, Boost, Carnation Instant Breakfast)
  • Water
  • Juice
  • Warm broth (not hot)
  • Warm tea (not hot)

The first 48 hours

The first 48 hours are the most critical and so, while it is tempting to get back to your normal habits, it’s important to adhere to the following:

  • Do not drink alcohol for the first 72 hours after surgery
  • Eat soft foods that don’t require much chewing
  • Drink more fluids than usual

The following foods are recommended:

  • Mashed potatoes
  • Scrambled eggs
  • Pasta
  • Soup
  • Fish (not battered/fried)
  • Soft bread (with no crust)
  • Canned fruit

The following foods should be avoided:

  • Salad
  • Raw vegetables
  • Toast
  • Chicken / Steak / Pork / Beef
  • Chips
  • Candy / Chewing gum
  • Popcorn
  • Poppy seeds / Sesame seeds
  • Seeded fruit

3-6 months following surgery

It’s important to pay extra attention to what you eat so as to not irritate the area. The general guideline is that if you can mash it with your fork, you can eat it. Some good food options are:

  • Fish (any kind)
  • Canned tuna
  • Moist chicken
  • Mashed/baked potatoes
  • Yogurt
  • Pudding
  • Shakes/smoothies
  • Steamed vegetables
  • Pasta
  • Soft bread, rolls
  • Cottage cheese
  • Canned fruit
  • Bananas
  • Applesauce
  • Ice cream
  • Strawberries
  • Blueberries
  • Grapes
  • Raisins
  • Avocado
  • Salsa
  • Canned vegetables
  • Hamburger

You should still avoid eating tough, hard foods that require a lot of chewing. Foods to avoid are:

  • Steak
  • Raw vegetables
  • Apples
  • Pears
  • Corn on the cob
  • Pork chops
  • Hard candy
  • Chewing gum
  • Chips
  • Crusty bread
  • Chips/Nachos
  • Chicken wings
  • Pizza
  • Tacos

Tips

While it’s important to limit the types of foods you are eating, it is also important to ensure you are receiving the nutrients your body needs to heal properly:

  • Ensure you’re getting adequate vitamins, minerals and nutrients
  • Take a daily supplement of 500mg of Vitamin C to balance your diet
  • If you are taking antibiotics, yogurt with active cultures or acidophilus can be eaten to prevent diarrhea