Modified Diet: Nutrition After Whipple Procedure
It’s normal to have a lack of appetite after the surgery, and therefore some weight loss. It varies in each case. Below are some common problems people have after surgery - you may or may NOT have them.
This is the slow emptying of the stomach after a meal and it is common after a Whipple. It causes you to feel full and bloated. Gastroparesis should go away by about 4-6 weeks after your surgery. Here are some things you can do to help reduce its symptoms:
- Eat small frequent meals
- Avoid high fiber foods
- Eat soft foods or liquids like Ensure, Boost,or Carnation Instant Breakfast to help gain and maintain your weight.
- Reduce the amount of fat in your diet
- Take a walk after eating. Light exercise can help move food through your system faster.
The pancreas makes enzymes that help digest food. When part of the pancreas is removed, the amount of enzymes may also decrease which can result in diarrhea.
If you notice greasy, frothy stools that smell more than usual, talk to your doctor about taking pancreatic enzymes. You can also change your diet to help with this:
- Avoid high fat, greasy foods
- Eat 5-6 small meals/day
Another reason for diarrhea is “Dumping syndrome.” This is where food empties too quickly out of the stomach. If you feel shaky, sweaty, and lightheaded after eating and feel the urge of a bowel movement:
- Avoid foods high in sugar
- Drink fluids in between meals
- Avoid really hot or cold food
- Eat 5-6 small meals/day
Because the pancreas makes insulin, people with uncontrolled blood sugars prior to surgery have a chance that it will become worse once a portion of the pancreas is removed. Patients who have normal blood sugars have a small chance of diabetes.
What is the most important thing you learned from this handout?
What changes will you make in your diet/lifestyle, based on what you learned today?
If you have any questions or have chronic weight loss after 4-6 weeks after your surgery, contact your dietitian or doctor.
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Last Updated: 04/11/2013
Copyright © 04/11/2013 University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#496
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