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Dietary nursing for esophageal cancer patients before or after surgery

  Cancer surgery causes great damage to human body. Proper diet before the surgery can strengthen patient’s physique and therefore improve the success rate of surgery. Meanwhile, it is a necessary condition for patient’s rehabilitation. Therefore, patients should make a diet plan to supplement nutrient before surgery, so as to reduce the incidence of recurrence after esophageal cancer surgery.

esophageal cancer, diet for esophageal cancer patients

  Diet nursing before esophageal cancer surgery

  1. For patients who are thin, foods rich in calories, protein and vitamin are recommended to help patients gain weight in a short time.

  2. For patients who are to some degree obese, they should be given foods rich in protein but low in fat, so as to store some protein and consume the internal fat, which can affect the recovery of the surgical wound.

  3. Diet plan should be varied according to different locations of the cancer. Esophageal cancer patients who are operated in the abdomen should take in liquid or semi-liquid foods to reduce the food residua. Generally, patients should stop eating 12 hours before surgery and stop drinking 8 hours before surgery, so as to avoid vomiting or complication of aspiration pneumonia during anesthesia or surgery procedure. Besides, too much storage of food in the gastrointestinal tract also can affect the success of surgery.

  Diet nursing after surgery

  1. In a short time after surgery, patients need to rely on special way to supplement nutrient, for example, intravenous injection of nutrient. After their gastrointestinal function recovers, they can take in liquid food and gradually go to semi-liquid food and then soft diet or ordinary diet after some time. To reduce the incidence of recurrence, patients should be provided abundant protein and vitamin.

  2. To advance rehabilitation or further treatment, esophageal cancer patients should be given nutritious diet that contains rich protein, calorie and vitamin, such as beef, mutton, lean meat, chicken, fish, shrimp, egg, bean products, milk, lotus powder, fruit juice, fresh vegetable and fruit, etc.

  Different diets for patients operated in different body parts

  1) For patients who are not operated in the chest or abdomen: liquid food usually is provided within two days after the effect of anesthesia disappears or after small surgeries, and semi-liquid diet in the third day. Patients who are operated in oral cavity should be more careful and are recommended to take in semi-liquid food or soft diet. Diet for esophageal cancer patients should be nutritious, delicate, soft and well-done, such as milk, yoghurt, soy bean milk, lotus powder, mashed vegetables and muddy flesh, etc. and avoid hard or spicy food.

  2) For patients who are operated in the abdomen: 3-4 days after surgery and passing gas, patients can eat some clear food and gradually change to liquid food, then semi-liquid food. It will take some time before going to soft food. After getting used to it, patients should take in foods that are good for the rehabilitation from esophageal cancer.

  Experts from Modern Cancer Hospital Guangzhou point out that esophageal cancer patient should pay attention to above dietary principles. Only in this way, can the nutrient balance be guaranteed and will patient’s condition be improved.

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