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Surgery is an ancient medical specialty that uses operative manual and instrumental techniques on a patient to investigate and/or treat a pathological condition such as disease or injury, to help improve bodily function or appearance.

The following suggestions for a pre-surgical diet, in case where the gastro-intestinal tract would be involved in the surgery, have been provided for general purposes only.

One week prior to surgery - Stop all nutritional supplements (vitamins/minerals including iron and calcium).
The day before surgery - Follow a Low Fiber Low Residue Diet & do not eat any solid food after midnight.
The day of surgery - Take clear fluids only up to 2 hours before surgery or up until arrival at the Hospital & do not eat or drink anything after arriving at the hospital.

After the surgery involving any part of gastro-intestinal tract, starting from mouth to the anus, the patient has to be given full nutritional support for faster healing of the wounds and speedy recovery. A 4-stage diet is usually followed.

Diet Stage 1 - Clear Liquids: Strained fruit juices, clear soups, water, flat diet sodas, sugar-free jelly, broth, etc.

Stage 2 - Semi-Liquid Diet: All foods must be of a consistency of thinned mashed potatoes. Add non-fat dry milk powder to all foods and beverages to increase the protein. Skim milk, blenderized fruit and vegetable juices and soups, mashed fruits, potatoes, yogurt, etc.

Stage 3 - Semi-Solid Diet: To begin the 3rd-4th week after surgery. Diet must be bland and residue free. Bread, boiled egg, cooked vegetables without much oil and spices, cooked lean meat, low fat cottage cheese, low fat yogurt, etc.

Stage 4 - Low-Fat Solid Diet: All foods can be included but the diet must be bland, soft in texture, easy to chew and digest, without much fat, fiber or spices.

Points to Remember:
Add one new food at a time and observe your reaction to it.

Remember to chew all food very well and sip only limited amounts of liquids with meals, if necessary.

The diet must consist of 4-6 small meals per day.

Eat and drink slowly. Take at least 1/2 hour to eat a meal.

Avoid raw vegetables and raw fruits with skins at this stage in your diet progression.

Continue to take the vitamin/mineral supplement everyday.

Continue to drink low calorie liquids between meals at least 6-8 cups per day.

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