Hernia is a medical condition that is characterized by the protrusion of an organ or tissues due to a defect in the surrounding muscles or the walls of the cavity. The defect in the muscle wall may be congenital or could be acquired due to repetitive strain. Lifting heavy objects, straining during bowel movements or indulging in any physical activity that may put pressure on the muscle walls can cause them to develop tears, due to which, the organs or the contents of cavity are pushed out. This leads to the creation of the characteristic bulge associated with all forms of hernia. Umbilical hernia, hiatal hernia, incisional hernia, inguinal hernia and femoral hernia are some of the types of hernia that occur in abdominal or groin region.
An open surgery or a laparoscopic surgery are usually performed for pushing the herniated organ or tissues back in place. Refraining from strenuous physical activities and following a hernia surgery recovery diet can definitely help in speeding up the recovery process. Wondering what are the dietary guidelines that need to be followed after a hernia surgery? Well, before we move on to the dietary guidelines for hernia recovery, let's look into the common causes of hernia and surgical procedures that are used for treating hernia.
When is Hernia Surgery Needed?
Multiple pregnancies can increase the risk of herniated belly button in women, while acid reflux disease or a weakness of diaphragm can push a part of stomach to herniate towards the chest. Incisional hernia occurs when the formation on weakened spot in the muscle occurs when an incision made during a surgery doesn't heal properly and causes the muscles to weaken. Under such circumstances, surgical repair of hernia becomes essential. Hernia repair surgery is categorized into open surgery and laparoscopic surgery. Both of these procedures require administration of general anesthesia. The procedures involve making incisions, pushing back the hernia and pulling back the muscles with a suture.
One may recover from the surgery within a month, but complications may arise if one doesn't follow the postoperative after care measures. While the patient must refrain from lifting heavy objects and stay away from strenuous physical activities, it is also extremely essential that one follows dietary guidelines. Those who have undergone surgery for abdominal hernia need to make sure that they don't suffer from constipation post surgery. Stress to the abdominal muscles due to strain during bowel movements can increase the risk of recurrence of hernia. The best way to prevent constipation is to start with a liquid diet or have smaller meals that contain easily digestible foods.
Recovery Diet Post Hernia Surgery
In case of an open surgery, a large-sized incision is made for making necessary repairs. Under such circumstances, pressure on the incision due to constipation can increase the risk of recurrence of hernia. It is therefore, extremely essential to follow dietary guidelines after a hernia surgery. A wise thing to do would be to resume with one's normal diet gradually. One must have smaller meals at first and have at least eight to ten glasses of water daily. Those who have recently undergone a hiatal hernia surgery, should have light foods. Fruit juices, soups and mashed foods can be taken during the first week. One must refrain from consuming fried foods, fatty foods, red meat, heavy liquids and alcohol.
Since the body is still recovering, one must not have foods that can cause gas or irritate the lining of the stomach. One must stay well hydrated at all times. Since the incisions take a few weeks to heal, it would be best not to eat solid processed foods. Oatmeal, pudding, milkshakes, soups, mashed potatoes, pastas and yogurt can be taken in the third week. Instead of having red meat, the body's need for protein can be met by having tofu or fish. So, have healthier sources of the nutrients that the body requires. Having foods that are rich in fiber along with lots of fluids can help in preventing constipation. If one does suffer from constipation, one must consult a doctor.
These were some guidelines on hernia surgery recovery diet. Having smaller but frequent meals that comprise easily digestible foods is one of the most essential tips regarding the diet after hernia surgery. The wise thing to do would be to consult a nutritionist and follow the dietary guidelines given by him. Once the incision is healed, one can resume with a normal diet.