Many patients discover varying degrees of issues with food and drink during the weeks and months after their operation. Although appendix cancer and pseudomyxoma peritonei patients may have similar cytoreductive surgery (CRS), including the partial or total removal of particular segments of the digestive system, each of us is unique. We all have different bits of our bowel removed, have different health issues, are different ages and so one.
Nausea, diarrhoea and bowel obstructions are the most common post-operative digestive problem that patients (and their family caregivers) have expressed concerns about. These are serious symptoms as they can contribute to weight loss, malnutrition and painful blockages.
Based on the experiences of patients in our support groups, if you are having issues longer term post-surgery, you might find it useful to keep a daily “food diary” by noting any food or drink you have. The “diary” can just be simply written down in a notepad.
Using a food diary food diary, you can note when you have symptoms (ie nausea, diarrhea, obstructions, etc) occur. You might then be able to “track” back to what may have contributed to it by looking back at what you have had to eat and drink in the previous hours or days.
For most of us, the food diary will quickly become a helpful tool in working out which foods and drinks are well tolerated and which might be causing problems.
It should be noted note that foods or beverages that are not well tolerated during the early stages of post-operative recovery may eventually become well tolerated. Likewise, in the future, foods that are initially well tolerated by some patients, including fibrous foods, may problematic in the future if scar tissue/adhesions occur.
An interesting symptom many of us have experienced after surgery is pain in the left shoulder when having a large drink!