A hysterectomy is the surgical removal of either part or the entire uterus. Your doctor may also remove the ovaries and fallopian tubes as part of the procedure. After the surgery, you will slowly return to a regular diet. During this transitional period, your medical doctor may recommend a soft diet. The soft diet gives the gastrointestinal tract time to adjust to solid foods, after you have tolerated a liquid diet. After several meals of soft foods, most patients are able to resume a regular diet. Always follow your doctors specific dietary instructions after a hysterectomy.
According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, most hysterectomy patients stay in the hospital for about 2 to 3 days. You must first consume only clear liquids, but gradually move to a soft food diet. Soft foods are often not introduced until you have a bowel movement. The transitional period allows your body time to rest, as digesting food may be difficult immediately after surgery.
Soft Food Examples
Soft, mashable foods that do not require much effort to chew are included on the soft diet. You can soften most types of food by using a blender or simply mashing them with cooking utensils. Soft, tender meats such as poultry and steamed fish are recommended. Add gravy or sauce to moisten foods. Cooked, canned or steamed fruits and vegetables are ideal. Fruits such as fresh bananas, avocados are also good choices. Vegetable juice, as well as overcooked carrots and broccoli are good vegetables choices. Dairy product such as milk, shakes and smoothies without large chunks of fruit are a midday snacks and nutritional supplements. Add yogurt or ice cream into the mix if you need additional calories.
After your hysterectomy, you should avoid some foods on your soft food diet including raw fruits and vegetables as they are difficult to digest. UCLA Health advises patients to avoid stringy beans, lettuce, peanut butter and coconut. You should also avoid alcohol and caffeine. Do not eat foods heavily seasoned with spices.
Additional Hysterectomy Tips
According to the University of North Carolina School of Medicine, if you are having trouble moving your bowels after surgery, a stool softener such as docusate sodium is advisable. Eating foods slightly high in fiber may increase your bowel movements. However, high-fiber foods should only be included in your diet if approved by your medical doctor. Do not forget to drink plenty of liquids to avoid dehydration after your hysterectomy.