• How to get back to eating after surgery?

    Asked by MSchaner on Monday, January 20, 2020

    How to get back to eating after surgery?

    My husband had surgery 5 months ago and is still not eating. He will only drinks protein drinks and creamed soup. Any advice to get him to start trying would be great! He passed a swallow test and the therapist have tried to encourage him but no luck! I'm getting frustrated with his weight loss. He doesn't have a feeding tube.

    3 Answers from the Community

    • JaneA's Avatar

      Perhaps he has developed an unconscious fear of eating - like he's not comfortable with eating because of hurting the surgical area.

      I had to have a permanent colostomy because of my rectal cancer. It took a lot of courage plus the fear of losing weight to gain the courage to try to eat "normal foods" again. I've found that getting our spouse to do something that good for them is like leading a horse to water - you can't "make" 'em drink. Will he drink homemade milkshakes? That would be a step in the right direction of eating regular foods again.

      29 days ago
    • GregP_WN's Avatar

      I can understand his situation. I am on my fourth diagnosis, this one will require a laryngectomy and a feeding tube for at least a month they say. I have had swallowing issues and choking problems for years after my radical neck dissection and tonsillectomy for the malignant tonsil back in 2009. I did not have a feeding tube then, I refused it, but I also choked on some things. The lack of appetite is hard on us too. I used the nutrition shakes too, didn't like them so we added ice cream. My wife made mashed potatoes and gravy for me because I could and still now can swallow them without much trouble. Try to get him to take small amounts of something that he likes several times a day, hourly if you can. It will add up by the end of the day. I wish you both the best.

      29 days ago
    • po18guy's Avatar

      In hospital after my stem cell transplant, I had zero appetite and zero desire to eat. Doctor prescribed Marinol, a synthetic THC, which is a well-known appetite stimulant. Once my appetite was "jump-started" I no longer needed the Marinol. I took it for less than one week.

      29 days ago

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