Phuong wrote:My question is - does anyone know how I can expect my diet to change following the big surgery? I haven't been able to find the answer anywhere and would like to start transitioning to my new diet in the next month so that it isn't a sudden change.
HI, Phuong. My diet changes a bit after each abdominal surgery because after each one, my guts seem to think they're back to those first few weeks after I had my colostomy placed in 2005. I have to eat a low residue diet that is limited to about 15-20 foods, mainly easily digestible protein, fats and just a very few specific fruits and vegetables (all cooked.) I have to stay on that pretty controlled diet for anywhere from 6 months after surgery (the first time) to about 8 weeks after surgery (the third time.) Then I can slowly add in new foods one at a time. But the limits on my diet are because of the intestinal changes due to my colostomy and a peristomal hernia - not so much because of my liver. I can't really eat nuts (unless they're ground up into nut butter) or any quantity of raw vegetables or fruits (too high fiber.) No corn, only very small amounts of things like broccoli or asparagus, no artichokes, nothing with seeds.
So today (26 months after my last surgery) I had about 1 1/2 cups of spinach salad (spinach, red onions, mushrooms, parmesan cheese, shredded cucumber, chopped bacon) and I put about a half-cup of full fat greek-style yogurt on top as 'dressing.' No nuts or seeds, no croutons. Baby spinach is easier to digest (lower fiber) than, say, romaine, but 1 1/2 cups of baby spinach is about the limit of my greens consumption for a couple of days.
dianne052506 wrote:When I had my liver resection, nobody mentioned that they were also removing my gall bladder. Apparently the attitude is that you don't need it, and it's just in the way when they are doing the surgery. Ask if that is the case for your surgery. If so, a low fat diet would certainly help.
SkiFletch wrote:Things like really fatty fast foods should be avoided, and don't go eating whole sticks of butter, but you should be OK without much change.
Your mileage will definitely vary with the advice to avoid fatty foods or to eat low fat.
I had 65-70% of my liver resected - all of one lobe, and two smaller wedges from two other lobes - and my resection included removing my gall bladder. I had my resection after 16 rounds of conventional systemic chemo over nine months, followed by another 13 months of chemo administered by HAI pump directly into my liver. My post-liver-resection liver has mostly-normal liver enzymes and lipid profiles. I low-carbed prior to cancer, controlled my carb intake while on active treatment, and low carb at weight-loss/maintenance levels now...and low carbers who do it right do *not* eat low fat because proper low carbing teaches our bodies to use fats and proteins for fuel. Yes, some of us actually *might* use most of a stick of butter (or a 1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil or a 1/4 lb of nitrite free bacon) in a recipe.
I don't have any issues digesting fats, whether animal fats or things like extra virgin olive oil or unrefined coconut oil - and in fact, my calorie ratios are around 15% carbs : 30% protein : 55% fat. Low carbers also find out, soon enough, that reasonable fat intake helps moderate any constipation issues. I don't really deep fry foods, but I eat full fat dairy, I leave the skin on poultry (and eat it!), I eat fatty fish, I don't trim the fat off beef or pork, I put butter or EVOO on my vegetables, etc. I don't add a lot of extra fats to food, and I avoid partially hydrogenated oils (trans-fats) but I don't limit the other kinds of fats in my diet.
The things I've found that affect me following my resection are that I simply cannot consume more than a very small pour of wine or beer (cheap date!), and I can't really tolerate harder liquor at all. For practical purposes, I don't drink much. As mentioned, I also don't take much in the way of liver-toxic over-the-counter drugs like Tylenol and Ibuprofen - in fact, I don't take much in the way of OTC drugs at all.
But those are really the only limits imposed on me by the liver resection.
Hope that helps.