Pre Op Diet for Hiatal Hernia Surgery

Pre Op Diet for Hiatal Hernia Surgery

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Getting ready for hiatal hernia surgery? You might be worried about what to do and not do before the surgery. And the case of a pre-op diet can concern you.

Cast off your concern. We have got your back on a pre-op diet for hiatal hernia surgery.

Following a proper pre-op diet is quite essential to prepare your body for the surgery.

Diet to Follow Before Hernia Surgery

You will be instructed to follow a liquid-based diet. Your healthcare provider may suggest a specific diet based on your medical condition.

Avoid foods that are spicy and can increase your stomach acid reflux. Take in foods that do not cause much heartburn. Try taking low-sugar foods too.

Eat Fiber-Rich Foods

Fibre-rich foods will make your bowel movements easier. It is essential to have normal bowel movements as constipation can increase strain on your hernia.

Add carrots, cooked beans, whole grains, sweet potatoes, and cucumber to your pre-op diet. These foods can ease bowel movements.

Stay Hydrated

Staying hydrated keeps you from getting constipation. It will also help in the digestion of food.

Drinking an adequate amount of water every day will improve your overall health and facilitate faster recovery after surgery.

Avoid drinking too much water at a time, as bloating of your stomach can cause pain in the hiatal hernia case.

Try To Avoid Processed Foods

High sodium-containing processed foods can hurt your stomach, cause inflammation, and increase heartburn.

Take in foods that will be kind to your stomach and digestive tract. Processed foods can also contain acidic elements, which are hurtful to your hiatal hernia.

Cut Down Over The Counter Herbs

Certain over-the-counter herbs can cause heavy bleeding during surgery. It is good to stop herbal supplements three weeks before the surgery.

Cut down on supplements such as ginger tablets, garlic tablets, fish oil, and so on.

Avoid Tobacco And Alcohol

Nicotine-based products can increase the risk of infection and reduce surgery wound healing rate.

Tobacco and alcohol reduce blood sugar levels, cause intoxication, and reduce body metabolism. So refrain from smoking and alcohol at least four weeks before hiatal hernia repair.

Start Eating Light Foods 1-2 Weeks Before Surgery

Taking in light foods will help cut down stress in your digestive tract. Avoid foods that are spicy and acidic.

You would have to shift to liquid-based food at least ten days before hernia hiatal surgery. Take in juices, smoothies, milk, or any semi-liquid food.

A light body with no malnutrition complaint will recover quickly after surgery. So start eating a light diet at least a few weeks before surgery.

Can you Eat Anything on the Day of Surgery?

You cannot eat anything on the day of surgery. You would have to go on fasting for at least eight hours before the hiatal hernia surgery without any food or water.

Hiatal hernia surgery requires manipulation of the stomach. And since anesthesia will be administered for the surgery, food in the stomach can turn the surgical scenario adverse.

Also, you will be tested for the presence of any nicotine or alcohol in your system. If found to have used nicotine-based products or alcohol, the surgery would be canceled.

Summing Up

If you have any difficulty with the prescribed diet, talk to your physician regarding it.

Having your body ready for the hiatal hernia surgery can reduce unnecessary complications.

Motivate yourself each day to practice the pre-op diet.

To a successful diet following and speedy recovery!

Contact your hernia specialist if you have doubts regarding the pre-op diet for hiatal hernia surgery.


1) Can I eat tomatoes before hiatal hernia surgery?

You should avoid tomatoes before hiatal hernia surgery. Tomatoes are highly acidic and can cause increased heartburn. To prevent your hiatal hernia from becoming more severe, exclude tomatoes from your pre-op diet.

2) Are citrus fruits adverse for hiatal hernia?

Yes, citrus fruits are acidic and can worsen your heartburn. Avoid citrus fruits such as lemons and oranges. Stay away from acidic vegetables such as onions, chilies, and tomatoes.

3) How long should I fast before hiatal hernia surgery?

Hiatal hernia surgery would require at least an eight-hour fasting before the procedure. Some physicians would recommend a 24-hour fasting before the surgery. Ultimately, the duration of fasting will be determined by your healthcare provider based on your medical condition.

Dr. K. Amilthan MBBS., MS., FMAS., FALS.

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