Natural Health & Wellness

7 Foods To Avoid For 6 Weeks After Ostomy Surgery and Beyond 

7 Foods To Avoid For 6 Weeks After Ostomy Surgery and Beyond TheWellthieone

You are out of surgery and are well on your way to recovery after having an ostomy. Congratulations on getting through it! You are one of the lucky ones; your stoma very well could have saved your life. Your new stoma should be looked at it with high regard and treated with love and respect. Eventually, like many, you may wish to give your stoma a name with a positive connotation because you will be referring to it a lot, at least in the beginning, as you become accustomed to new routines.

Though things may not be exactly the same as before your surgery, most people are able to live with more freedom because of their new stoma and ostomy.

Before they had a stoma, they were in a lot of pain from Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Crohn’s Disease, and others. Some couldn’t think of going anywhere in public for fear of not being able to find a bathroom since their body did not allow them enough time from feeling the sensation of a bowel movement to actually having the movement. Now they can go out. Now they can do things with friends and family. They actually feel energy and vibrance rather than pain and fear.

After healing, going out with friends and family will become normal again after having ostomy surgery.
After healing, going out with friends and family will become normal again after having ostomy surgery.

After healing, going out with friends and family will become normal again after having ostomy surgery.

After healing a few weeks, you can do a lot of the things that you could not do before because you are now an ostomate, so that is something to celebrate! Consider your stoma as your freedom provider, and look at yourself as a warrior survivor, because that is what you are!

As you work through the next few days and weeks after your surgery, it is important that you understand that your bowel is not accustomed to surgery or the manipulation it causes. It will be swollen as a result, temporarily.  Because of the swelling from surgery, the diameter of your intestine, or the lumen of the bowel, has a smaller circumference, which may restrict certain foods from passing with ease and cause more concern for potential blockages.

Also, when your stoma is constructed, the intestine is pulled through the muscle, fat, and fascia before arriving at its destination on your skin, where it is sutured to your torso. These now-inflamed layers also have an impact on the circumference of your stoma, as they limit the expansion of your new bowel as waste passes through to your colostomy pouch. It is more likely to restrict certain harder, more fibrous foods than others. While this inflamed situation heals, it will be about 6 weeks until you can eat normally again.

As you recover from ostomy surgery, monitor your stoma and pouch for blockages, excess swelling, pain or any different output.

Those who have had an ileostomy will experience more difficulty with the potential for a blockage than those who have had a colostomy, but both groups need to be well aware of what to eat and what to avoid.

What foods should you avoid following ostomy surgery?

Foods that are rich in cellulose, or fiber, which is the natural structure that holds vegetables and fruits together should be avoided during the 6 weeks following your ostomy surgery. 

Humans do not have the right enzymes to digest this fiber in the small intestine. We break these fibers down by other means, like cutting the food into smaller pieces, chewing thoughtfully, and cooking them to make the food softer.

If you have had an ileostomy, and everyone with a stoma is included, and you notice that vegetables and fruits, especially raw ones, drain into your pouch and do not look much different than when they were swallowed, you will most likely be advised to change your diet for the next 6-10 weeks while healing.

Foods to avoid after ostomy surgery

  1. Fruit skins
  2. Raw fruits
  3. Raw vegetables
  4. Nuts, but not nut butters
  5. Seeds, but not seed butters
  6. Food casings like those from sausages
  7. Tough meats like beef

How much is too much when trying to avoid a stoma blockage?

This is where each ostomate is unique. It will take a bit of trial and error to determine if the sesame seeds on a bagel are enough to risk a blockage or if that amount is fine. What about the tomato on a sandwich or the raisins in your muffin? These quantities are likely to be okay, but a dinner-sized salad will not, for example.

Once the minimum of six weeks of healing time has passed, these foods can be reintroduced slowly and in small quantities as you get back to a regular diet.

Go slowly and watch out for the symptoms that will show up if the process is too quick. Feeling bloated, nauseated, crampy, in pain, vomiting, or having different stoma output are some of the symptoms. Begin with some foods that you did not have in your diet while recovering and gradually add others as the days pass. Chew everything really well. If you have any questions or concerns, your WOC (Wound Ostomy and Continence) nurse will be there if you need her.

What foods decrease gas with an ostomy?

Some people find that avoiding high-fiber foods decreases their gas output. Foods that are low in fiber include:

  • Meat
  • Poultry
  • Fish
  • dairy products
  • eggs
  • processed foods
  • refined grains (e.g., white bread, white pasta).

Others find that they have less gas when they eat smaller meals more often throughout the day instead of larger meals. 

What foods increase gas with an ostomy?

There are specific foods that are sure to give you more gas, so most ostomates either avoid these foods altogether or simply time their meals strategically. Foods to avoid for those with an ostomy are:

  • Cabbage, broccoli, kale, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts
  • Onions
  • Beer and other carbonated beverages
  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Legumes (beans, lentils, peas)
  • Chewing gum
  • Dairy products (milk, cheese, yogurt, etc.)

If you’re not sure whether a particular food is a high-gas food for you or not, it’s best to avoid it until you’ve talked to your doctor or dietitian about it.

What product can help me with a noisy or gassy stoma?

If you are nervous about going out, going to church, going to restaurants, and going to public places in general because you are not able to control gas noises from your stoma yet, a noise suppression device like the Stoma Stifler is very helpful. More information on noise suppression can be found here:

We hope that the information on diet after ostomy surgery was helpful.  We wish you well on your new journey as an ostomate.  Remember, your stoma liberated you from prior pain.  Celebrate it and embrace it into your life!

More from

The links used on are affiliate links, which may provide a small commission. This does not increase the price of the goods for the consumer whatsoever. What it does is ensure that useful content like this can continue to be produced. Thank-you for enjoying our content and allowing us to continue to provide more.

Teacher, Real Estate Investor
Every article that you read on The Wellthie One is carefully researched to provide only the best information, angles, products and advice based on experience. The top priority at The Wellthie One is enabling others to discover how living a more natural lifestyle can uplevel their quality of life. No one is going to care more about your health and the well-being of your family than you are. Education about natural health is to be on-going! Consider The Wellthie One a welcoming place for you to visit often, as you find solutions and recommendations that will help you and your loved ones thrive!