ZocdocAnswersWhat food should someone with no large intestine eat?

Question

What food should someone with no large intestine eat?

My father (62) is soon to have his large intestine removed due to a cancerous tumor. I feel blessed that he will probably pull through, but I wonder how this will affect his life in the future. What kind of diet and which foods specifically are ideal for someone with no large intestine?

Answer

I am sorry to hear that your father is dealing with a cancerous tumor, but it is good to hear that he has a good prognosis. If you or he has any specific questions about this diagnosis, the best physician to discuss these with will be the surgeon performing the operation. The colon or large intestine is involved in the formation of normal, formed bowel movements. Therefore the most common problems after removal of the large intestine is diarrhea, cramping, and gas. Immediately after the surgery, your father will not be able to eat until his intestines recover from the shock of the surgery. After that, he will advance slowly from thin liquids to more solid forms of food. He may go home from the hospital with instructions only to continue eating soft foods for a while still. Over the weeks to months after the operation he will be able to increase the quantity of fiber in the diet (fruits, vegetables, and the like). He may need to continue to avoid foods which can cause diarrhea (such as prune) and lots of gas (such as beans). As always, the management of this problem should be under the direction of the surgeon who is performing the surgery and the doctor who is supervising his recovery. Scheduling a visit with these doctors to discuss any concerns is recommended.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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