Nutrition After Ostomy Surgery

There isn’t enough research to recommend one diet for everyone after ostomy surgery, but when it’s safe to eat again, the hospital will likely give you a specific eating plan. (10) This plan is designed to be:

  • Low in insoluble fiber
  • Low in fat
  • Low in added sugars

The goal is to help your stomach and intestines rest and heal, reducing cramps, diarrhea, and the risk of blockages. As time goes on and your body heals, you can start adding different foods. Some people avoid foods with fiber, but there’s no proof that this helps prevent blockages in the intestines. Talk to your surgeon about when you can start trying new foods or if you should see a dietitian.


Once it’s safe to eat after ostomy surgery, you can include foods like:

  • Easy-to-digest carbohydrates (bread, pasta, crackers, cereals)
  • Lean proteins (fish, skinless or lean chicken, turkey)
  • Soft fruits or cooked vegetables (squash, mashed potatoes, apple sauce, mashed banana, mashed raspberries)
  • Smooth nut butters (peanut, almond, walnut, cashew)

You might not feel as hungry after ostomy surgery, so eating small, frequent meals with lots of calories can help your body heal. (10,11) If you’re worried about what nutrients you need, ask your surgical team to connect you with a dietitian who has experience in this area.



10. Parrish CR, DiBaise J. Part 3: Hydrating the adult patient with short bowel syndrome. Prac Gastroenterol. 2015;Feb(2):10-18.


11. Parrish, CR. A Patient’s Guide to Managing a Short Bowel, 4th Edition. Intouch Solutions, Overland Park, KS; June 2016:1-66.