Taking in enough quality nutrition can be a challenge after surgery – a number of other factors may affect your desire to eat:
- Medications and anesthesia can make you feel nauseated or temporarily affect your sense of taste
- Constipation, which can be caused by certain medications as well as by inactivity
- Fatigue and the physical stress of healing
It takes six to eight weeks – and often longer – to heal after major surgery. So even though you may not feel like eating during that time, you must consume adequate nutrients and calories.
We can't repeat it enough: Good nutrition speeds recovery time, lowers your risk of infection and other complications, and helps you regain your strength and energy. In the next few pages, we'll tell you what nutrients you need – and how to get them.
And be sure to follow your doctor's orders about particular foods to avoid or diet restrictions to follow. Some foods can interact with medications or may not be well tolerated with some procedures, and certain medical conditions – such as diabetes, crohn's disease, and kidney disease – have special dietary requirements.