What to Eat after Whipple’s Procedure

Sometimes people with pancreatic cancer have to undergo pancreaticodudectomy (PD) or Whipple’s procedure. This is a complicated surgery whereby, a part of the pancreas, that of the small intestine and the gallbladder is removed. This surgery is mainly used when cancer is limited to the top of the pancreas. The procedure is quite demanding in nature.

Since a part of the small intestine and gall bladder is removed through this, people might need to bring about some changes in their diet. The problem is each person had their own problem, and thus each procedure may vary. In that case a uniform diet might not be helpful.


Diet after Whipple’s Procedure

It is advisable to have a diet chart planned by a professional dietician. However, there can be some general observations made on which a diet can be based. Diet will change as time pass, thus there are certain short term and long term recommendations.

Short Term Recommendations

Here are some short term recommendations for the patient recovering from the procedure-

  • The diet will start with liquid food items, such as clear soups, and will gradually move on to providing solid food for the patient.
  • If a person is being fed through the Jejunostomy tube or the j tube, it is important that his or her food habit be regulated according to the clock. Eventually the food circle will be made according to the night time.
  • It is important to eat a number of small meals throughout the day. People who had gone through this procedure, might have severe problems in digesting a large amount of food at a time. Therefore, they should be given 5 to 6 small meals a day, so that they are well nutritioned and do not have any problems of indigestion
  • After this procedure, you must avoid foods that contain too much fat, too oily or fried or contain too large an amount of sugar, because, generally after this surgery the body will not be able to tolerate these food items.
  • Eat large portions of proteins. It helps to heal the body faster after the surgery.
  • Initially do not eat too many fruits of vegetables. Start with a small amount and then increase the quantity as you recover from the surgery.

Long Term Guidelines

In the long term some of these guidelines change while some remain the same.

  • Even after a longer period has passed since you have undergone the procedure, avoiding fried or greasy food is recommended.
  • After some time has passed, you can eat some health fat from sources such as olive oil, peanut oil, nuts and seeds among other things.
  • This is the time when your body can tolerate a higher amount of vegetables and fruits and therefore, consuming 2 and a half bowls of vegetables and fruits is advisable.

Thus one can see that there are some general dietary recommendations to be followed, though for specialized diet chart, it is better to visit a professional diet chart.