After your fundoplication surgery, you may experience issues with eating and swallowing. Although the procedure has been proven to be a safe and effective option for treating gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), understanding how fundoplication surgery affects your ability to swallow and knowing what you can do to minimize any issues will make the recovery process smoother and easier.
Fundoplication surgery can be fairly traumatic on the tissue of the esophagus. The procedure temporarily causes swelling in the esophagus, which impedes its ability to push down food into the stomach. There will also be swelling where the stomach and esophagus meet, which will contribute to any issues with swallowing. These issues will be most prominent during the first few weeks after your surgery.
To help minimize any issues, you will be placed on a liquid diet immediately following your surgery. Liquids should still be sipped, because taking large gulps may cause issues. It is best that you drink your liquids at room temperature. You will also notice that it takes less food to make you feel full, so it is better to eat small meals frequently. Take your time while eating.
Once you have returned to solid foods, it is important that you take small bites and thoroughly chew your food. This makes it easier for the food to pass through the esophagus without issue. Chicken, steak, and bread tend to form into balls after they have been chewed, which can make them difficult to swallow. You should wait until you feel comfortable with how swallowing feels before eating these foods.
At SOFI Center for Esophageal Wellness, we know that recovering from fundoplication surgery can be a difficult and uncomfortable process. We are here to provide you with all the care and information you need to help you through your recovery. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.