What foods to eat after appendix surgery?

what foods to eat after appendix surgery

Appendix surgery, also called appendectomy is the surgical removal of the appendix. The appendix is a small tube or bag that exists at (a person’s) right end of the large intestine. The other end of the large intestine ends with the rectum and anus. Laser Appendectomy will be performed when a person suffers from inflammation of the appendix.

How is appendectomy surgery done?

Appendectomy can be done in two ways – conventional way by making one large incision or by using a laparoscope wherein 3 to 4 small incisions are made to disconnect and remove the appendix. At The Chennai Laser Gastroenterology Clinic, Chennai, appendectomy is usually done using a laparoscope owing to its benefits such as minimal blood loss, quick recovery and fewer chances of infection.

When an appendectomy is done using a laparoscope, the person may have shoulder and chest pain for a couple of days because of the carbon dioxide pumped to inflate the abdominal area to perform the surgery. This is common and nothing to worry about. Our expert gastroenterologist will keep the patient informed on what to expect and what not to expect post-surgery.

What are the Indian foods one can eat after undergoing appendix surgery?

Our doctors at the gastroenterology clinic Chennai usually guide the patients on what to eat and what not to eat, what to do and what they shouldn’t be doing after the surgery until complete recovery. Our doctors or nutritionists at our clinic will guide the patient through recovery and the diet suggested includes the foods that help the patient heal and boost energy levels. Consuming wrong foods after any surgery can lead to the formation of abscess, increase recovery time and drain energy levels. The diet should also avoid constipation and keep the blood glucose levels steady.

Inclusion of fibrous foods in the diet

Many people may get constipated after the surgery. It is important to increase fibre intake so that the passing of stools becomes easier and the patient need not put any kind of pressure on any of the muscles involved in pushing the stool out of the body.

Eat only easy to digest foods for the first few days

Including cheese, non-vegetarian foods etc may require more work from the body to digest. Instead, include lighter foods such as fruits, vegetables, items made with rice (idly, dosa etc if you are South Indian) or wheat. Soups, milk or light breakfast type of foods can get digested easily and can also give energy to the body. Carbohydrates present in rice not only give the body energy but also help in the formation of new tissues, repair damaged tissues and formation of blood vessels.

Get back to a normal diet after a few days

If the patient is not suffering from any kind of nausea, vomiting or indigestion, our doctors may recommend going back to normal/usual diet. This can help in energizing the body better and in quicker healing. If possible, include nutrient-rich foods such as more fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy, chicken, seafoods. Adding a little bit of unsaturated fat such as ghee and dry fruits to the diet helps reduce inflammation.

Foods to strengthen the immune system

However hygienic the clinic may be and however sterilized the surgical instruments are kept, the chances of getting an infection are not zero. The risk varies with the clinic and the medical standards that are maintained. Including immune-boosting foods in the diet always helps in fighting possible infections. Of course, the patient will be put on antibiotics until recovery but including vitamin A, C foods such as eggs, carrot, fresh vegetables, lemon, oranges, amla (Indian Gooseberry) help in the production of antibodies, digestion.  Vitamin E consumption can help cells from getting damaged by free radicals.

Foods rich in Zinc such as dry fruits, eggs, whole grains and zinc supplements can help fight infection and is a necessary ingredient in the generation of white blood cells.

What NOT to eat after appendix surgery?

Just opposite of what is mentioned above, foods that are difficult to digest, unhealthy or saturated fats, processed sugars must be avoided at least until complete recovery from appendix surgery.

It is important to avoid alcohol as it may interact with medicines taken during recovery. Alcohol doesn’t really inhibit recovery but at least until recovery, avoiding drinking is advised.  Smoking should be stopped weeks before the surgery and for a month of two after surgery. Smoking hinders the recovery of an injury or surgery.  Processed sugars are generally not good for health and they have to be avoided during the recovery period. Refined sugar can trigger diarrhoea and frequently moving the colon after appendix surgery is not advised.

Dr. Karthik Gunasekaran