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Oesophageal Patients Association
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Diet post gastrectomy

I live in Canada and I can't find support and info on line in Canada about diet post total gastrectomy for my mom who had surgery in November of last year ( dx of lymphoma)

Should she or shouldn't she eat food with high fibre percentage ie. fruits, cereals to have her stools forms? Until now she mostly has her stools in shredded forms and so frequently like 3-5 times a day

I'm her caregiver and she's now under hospices care at home. I'd like to learn how to help her enjoy meal without worry about having stools right after this. Also, it seems to me that she does not absorb all the nutrients as she continues to lose weight. Maybe because she's afraid of having stools while be dependent in bed!

Please help and Thank you in advance!

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I too am interested in this topic; a dietician has been out to me twice since the op, but these visits were in the first couple of weeks post op and were solely concerned with maintaining weight and were not concerned with long term nutritional health.

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There is a guide to life after Surgery that you can download from the OPA website opa.org.uk/downloads.html

and some factsheets about diet opa.org.uk/pages/factsheets...

I think she would probably need to eat 'little and often'.

Sometimes absorption of nutrients is more difficult because they rush through the digestive system a lot quicker so having, say, medication in liquid form might be better.

I agree that enjoying food is the prime concern. The state of her stools are probably a very secondary issue as long as she does not have diarrhoea or constipation.

I think most people who have had a gastrectomy are overwhelmingly pleased to find anything that they can enjoy eating without side effects.

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Thank you for your kindness. I'll have a look at your facts sheet today. Thanks again

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You haven't given your Mother's age, this has a bearing.

3-5 motions per day is quite good; some of us start out with up to 20!

7 months is still very early days for things to have settled down.....think 1-2 years for any semblance of normality as well as the onset of weight gain.

I have been experimenting on this quite seriously since my Gastro-oesophagectomy 26 years ago.

For me high fibre & low GI - grapefruit/porridge/brown bread/fish and white meat/basmati rice/pulses/fresh veg, particularly cruciferous/and critically live yoghurt - have proven beneficial for stool formation. Vitamin and minerals supplementation, crucially B12, is most important.

But the only way you can really establish what suits her is trial and error, provided you can cope with the uncertainty and variability since what works one week may be a disaster the next.

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Please see general dietary composition advice here -

healthunlocked.com/oesophag...

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