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Your appetite should gradually return after stoma surgery

Initially after your operation, you might find that your appetite is smaller than normal and that you feel like you're bloated or have indigestion after meals. However, as you become more active, you should find that your appetite returns and that you don’t experience these symptoms any more. If you feel that you can’t face a full meal, soups and milky drinks are a nourishing alternative.

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Aiming for regular bowel movements

As you get better, these practical tips will help you to have regular bowel movements (both in frequency and consistency):

  • Don't under eat - have 3 regular meals a day. You may experience irregular bowel movements and excessive wind if you don't eat regularly
  • Try to eat a balanced diet with low fat and moderate fibre intake. You shouldn’t cut out high fibre foods entirely as these contain lots of vitamins and minerals necessary to our diet
  • Drink plenty of fluids - aim to drink around 8-10 large mugs of fluid a day e.g. water, squash, tea, coffee or milk, unless you have been advised not to (for example, if you have a particularly high output ileostomy)
  • Take gentle exercise

It's not just an Old Wives' Tale: chew your food well if you want to avoid excess wind and have more consistent bowel movements!

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You might find that certain foods cause your poo to change consistency to begin with after your surgery. Rather than 'banning' them immediately, it's worth experimenting with these foods a few times before excluding them from your diet - you might well find that you can eat them again in a few months time, once your body has adjusted to the new situation.

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