Healthful Eating for the Surgery Patients
Before Your Surgery
If you were following a physician-prescribed diet before hospitalization, it is important that this information be conveyed to the physician and registered dietitian. It is also essential that you let your doctor or nurse know if you have recently been taking any of the following: vitamins, minerals, herbals, and nutrition supplements. By letting them know what you are taking, they can avoid any possible problems with the medications and treatments you may be getting during your hospital stay.
The Day of Surgery
You cannot eat or drink anything before the surgery, not even water. Sips of water may be allowed with your medicines as directed by your doctor.
During your hospital stay, it is important to consume balanced, nutritious meals with adequate calories and nutrients to maintain your nutritional status. This will enable your body to heal with less risk of complications, such as infection or poor wound healing.
There is no "special" diet for total knee replacement. After the surgery, you will be on a clear liquid diet. You will get liquids such as chicken broth and apple juice. By the next day, you may be ready for a general diet unless you have special diet needs.
A therapeutic or modified diet such as a sodium-restricted diet, low fat diet, or diabetic diet may be ordered by your physician based on your medical condition. Your registered dietitian will visit you during your hospital stay to provide diet instruction on the therapeutic diet.
Keep in mind that your body is healing and requires adequate nourishment for tissue regeneration at this time. Therefore, your hospital stay is not a good time to begin a weight loss program.
If you have questions or concerns about your diet or wish to speak with your registered dietitian, please call: 4-FOOD or 43663 (The above number can only be reached from inside the hospital.)
Nutrition After Hospitalization
After you leave the hospital, your diet continues to be important for successful healing, as well as for building the muscle structure and strength required to take full advantage of your knee(s). Continue a well-balanced diet and follow any diet instructions given to you during your hospital stay.
If you are interested in weight loss, discuss the appropriate time to begin a program with your physician and registered dietitian. Outpatient nutrition counseling can be arranged by calling the Nutrition Wellness Center at 212-746-0838.
Constipation may occur after surgery because of reduced physical activity and the use of pain medication. To solve this problem:
Continue to eat well for your health and well-being!
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