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Colon resection surgery is the operation in which a part of large intestine (colon) is removed.

The colon is a part of the large intestine and its function is to absorb electrolytes and water from the undigested food.

Colon resection surgery is performed for various medical conditions, including colon cancer, perforation, diverticular disease, blockage of the large intestine, intussusception, and ulcerative colitis.

Patients who have undergone colon resection surgery have to give up some foods and consume a special diet. This is one of the most important points of post-surgical care, because eating the wrong diet may result in severe complications. The goals of post-surgical care are to:

  • Put a minimal workload on your intestine

  • Prevent stretching of the bowel

  • Prevent excessive gas production

To achieve the desired goals, patient must stick to a special diet plan. The following products are best for the patients who had undergone colon resection surgery.

  • Fluids: You must prevent constipation after the surgery because delayed gastric emptying may cause irritation and even inflammation. Clear fluids are the best option. Drink plain water and stick to fruit juices without pulp. Avoid soda drinks, caffeinated beverages, and pulpy juices.

  • Fruits and Vegetables: No doubt, natural products including fruit and vegetables are good for health, but not in this case. Avoid fresh fruits and vegetables as much as you can because they are rich in fiber. A high level of fiber in the intestine enhances gas production, which results in symptoms like flatulence, bloating, and abdominal cramps. If you cannot live without fruit, you can eat cooked fruits and vegetables without skins but in moderation.

  • Cereals, Breads, and Grains: A high level of fiber in breads, whole grains, and cereals causes the food to stay in the intestine for a longer period of time, resulting in irritation. It is better to select pasta, white bread, and refined cereals. You can also try oatmeal, eggs, and puddings.

  • Dairy Products: You are advised to cut down on milk and dairy products. The production of lactase (an enzyme for the digestion of milk) is remarkably decreased after the colon resection which makes it harder for the digestive system to process and digest dairy products.

  • White Meat: Proteins are good for healing. Meat, and especially white meat, is rich in proteins. It is a good idea to eat boiled chicken or fish without skin. Do not eat fried food or food cooked in oil or butter.

Here are some other points that must be kept in mind:

  • Take small meals frequently rather than eating a big meal twice a day

  • Do not keep your stomach empty for more than 6 hours

  • Have a glass of water as soon as you get up from bed

  • Drink a glass of water before each meal -- avoid water after meals

  • Set up a meeting with a registered dietician and keep track of what you eat and drink

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