Did you know? Stomach cancer is the 5th most common type of cancer around the globe. Most patients diagnosed with stomach cancer are advised by their oncologists to go for stomach cancer surgery. Getting surgery for any ailment can be a life-changing experience. However, by following proper post-operative care, patients can adjust to this new lifestyle and keep themselves healthy. The motive of stomach cancer surgery is to rid you of stomach cancer so that you are healthy again. But, this goal is incomplete without taking proper care of yourself after surgery.
Here, we have addressed some of the concerns you may have about your health after stomach cancer surgery.
The right diet after stomach cancer surgery
Stomach cancer surgery would entail the partial or complete removal of your stomach to stop the cancer from spreading. Since our stomach plays a key role in digesting food, many patients feel concerned about their diet after stomach cancer surgery. If you have undergone stomach cancer surgery, you will have to be more careful about what and when you eat. If a part of your stomach or the entire stomach is removed, the food will move into the intestine quickly. This can lead to symptoms such as flushing, sweating, diarrhea, and nausea after eating. This phenomenon is known as the dumping syndrome. Though this gets better with time, you may need medicines and thus should get in touch with a doctor immediately if you experience these after stomach cancer surgery.
Here, we have compiled some tips for healthy eating after stomach cancer surgery:
- After the surgery, you will feel full faster. It is advisable that instead of having 3 main meals, you should have 6 small meals or even more in a day. Even when your stomach is smaller or gone, following this can help you eat the proper amount of food.
- You can start out by including protein-rich foods in your meals. Some good sources of protein include eggs, fish, milk, cottage cheese, peanut butter, yogurt, tofu, and poultry.
- You should avoid eating spicy and fatty foods.
- You should take your time chewing as this will enable the digestion of meals by your body.
- To avoid feeling uncomfortable or full too soon, you should eat gradually.
- It is important that you are sitting in an upright position while having your meals.
- You should ensure that you have your meal at least 2 hours before going to bed.
- Drink sufficient fluids at least 8-10 glasses a day.
- Try to minimize your caffeine and alcohol intake.
Every individual is unique. Thus, it is important that you get in touch with a nutritionist after your stomach cancer surgery who can assess your nutritional needs and help in designing the right diet plan for you.
Maintaining a healthy weight after stomach cancer surgery
Losing weight after stomach cancer surgery is a common worry experienced by many patients. In the case of a partial gastrectomy, taking supplements for vitamins and minerals could help. But, if you have complete stomach removal, you may need to get shots for vitamins. Getting sufficient calories is necessary so that you can go back to your healthy weight. If your doctor feels that you are not getting enough calories, you can swap your low-calorie diet for foods that have high calories, low sugar, and are also nutritious. This can help you maintain a healthy weight.
Taking care of your mental health
Surgery is a serious procedure and it is normal for patients to feel emotionally exhausted after the operation. Recovering from a stomach cancer surgery can take a toll on the mental health of patients. You may be worried about the recurrence of the disease and may experience lingering emotions such as anxiety. During your recovery period, in addition to your physical health, you should also prioritize your mental well-being. Some tips you can follow to take care of your mental health are:
- Get involved in activities that make you happy
- Try to stay busy
- Spend time with your loved ones
- Eat a healthy diet and sleep on time
- Go for follow-up sessions regularly
- Talk to your doctor about your fears and concerns
Attending Follow-up sessions
After having stomach cancer surgery, you may be at risk of complications such as infections or blood clots. Thus, you should attend all follow-up sessions regularly after the procedure so that you can discuss these risks with your doctor. Your oncologist will ask you to come in for follow-up tests after every 3-6 months after the surgery. These tests are important to ensure that you are healthy after the surgery. In these follow-up sessions, your oncologist may perform imaging or lab tests such as an endoscopy to check for signs of side effects or stomach cancer. The oncologist may also ask questions about your recovery. Any concerning signs can be caught at this stage by your doctor. Thus, follow-up sessions are instrumental in ensuring that you stay healthy after surgery.
Start your post-surgery journey with us
Finding the right assistance for your post-operative care, whether its is a qualified nutritionist or a psychologist is now made easy with MediGence. We offer comprehensive post-operative care packages for fastening your recovery after a stomach cancer surgery.
Our post-operative care package for cancer patients is inclusive of:
- Nutrition consulting
- Psychological sessions
- Follow-up sessions with medical and surgical oncologists
- Medicine delivery
- Dedicated healh case manager with Chat support
We offer an ouctome based post-operative care for you, delivered virtually.
Staying healthy after a stomach cancer surgery would require taking care of yourself both physically and mentally. Thankfully, you are not alone in this. With the right care by your side, you can make a quick recovery and be your best self again.