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Dietary advice for Pelvic Pouch patients

A pelvic pouch is a laparoscopic surgical procedure used to treat severe inflammatory bowel diseases such as ulcerative colitis and Chron's disease.

During the procedure, the colon and rectum are removed, and a reservoir (pouch or J-pouch) is created from the small intestine to collect waste and pass stools from the body.

It can take up to 12 months for a pelvic pouch to reach optimum performance. As the pouch increases in size and the number of stools per day decreases, some dietary changes will be required.

While everyone responds differently post-surgery, the overall objective is for the patient to return to a balanced diet that's easy and enjoyable to maintain. 

As the pouch adapts, some dietary changes will contribute to the frequency, consistency and odour of stools to provide the best possible outcomes for the patient.

Foods that may thicken stools

Bananas, barley, bread, pasta, peanut butter, rice pudding, tapioca, potatoes, cheese, marshmallow.

Foods that may increase irritation

Coconut, olives, peas, pineapple, popcorn, whole grains, raw vegetable.

Foods that may cause gas

Brussel sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, cucumber, onions, radishes, peas.

Foods that may increase the frequency of stools

Alcohol, apple juice, caffeine, chocolate, prunes, prune juice, spicy foods.

These lists aren't definitive. As each patient may react differently to specific foods or nutrients, this is only a guideline. It’s recommended that each patient creates their own list while adapting to their pouch.

The following general information is a guide for anyone adapting to a pelvic pouch

  • Don't overeat – eat little and often and avoid big meals.
  • Don't cut out food groups without first consulting with a dietician.
  • Keep a food diary. The only way to understand how your pouch will respond to foods is through trial and error. Detailed records will help your dietician make informed recommendations.
  • Everyone adapts to a pouch differently. There is no ‘normal' so you must respond to your body's messages.
  • Tolerance to foods and food groups may change over time.

Dr White works directly with patients and allied healthcare providers to offer a multidisciplinary level of support to pelvic pouch patients. If you require further information about pelvic pouch surgery or post-procedure nutrition, please contact Dr White's office on 07 5598 0955 to make an appointment with a specialist.