How To Eat After Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP) Surgery? Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty, or UPPP, is a surgery that removes tissue from the uvula, tonsils, or soft palate to widen the airway. This is the most common surgery for treating obstructive sleep apnea, a condition that causes the back of the mouth to collapse over the airway during sleep.
If you have undergone UPPP surgery, the most important thing you can do is follow your doctor’s specific instructions. Your surgeon understands your particular situation and will give you the best advice for fast and easy healing. However, there are a set of rules that almost all patients must follow after UPPP surgery. Here are eight rules for eating after UPPP:
1. Make sure you eat enough.
Once you wake up from the surgery, you’ll be given clear liquids. Your doctor will probably advise you to start eating a soft diet over the next few days, and you’ll gradually be able to resume your normal diet over the next two weeks.
Your throat will probably feel sore or irritated for a couple weeks after your surgery, and swallowing might be uncomfortable. Because of these symptoms, eating and drinking may be difficult. You may be tempted to skip meals or eat small meals to avoid the discomfort, but it’s important to eat enough while you recover. You have to eat a sufficient amount to give your body the energy and nutrition it needs to recover quickly.
2. Get plenty of fluids.
Getting enough fluids is just as important as getting enough food. Drinking plenty of water will help ease your sore throat and reduce your chances of bleeding and other complications. Water is the best choice, but you can consume other clear liquids as well, like tea, flavored sports drinks, and most fruit juices. However, acidic drinks like orange and tomato juice can sting or irritate your throat.
Most doctors recommend that you drink enough fluids that you urinate every 2-4 hours. Light or clear urine is a good sign that you’re drinking enough water, and dark urine is a sign that you’re dehydrated.
3. Eat soft foods.
Your diet should consist entirely of soft foods for the first few days after your surgery. After that, most of your meals should be soft foods for two weeks. Some of the best foods during your recovery include:
These foods should be fairly easy for you to swallow, even if you have a sore or irritated throat.
4. Avoid hard or crunchy foods.
You shouldn’t eat any hard, crusty, or crunchy foods for two weeks after your UPPP surgery. Anything that has a hard edge or is tough to chew should be avoided. This includes:
These types of foods can irritate your throat, and they’ll be difficult to swallow as you recover. If you try to make your meals out of these foods after your surgery, it will probably be too painful to eat a sufficient amount.
5. Avoid hot foods.
Hot foods and liquids can cause discomfort in the first few weeks after your surgery. Although tea might help soothe your throat, check the temperature before you drink it, or opt for iced tea instead. Soup is also a great meal while you’re recovering, but you should give it plenty of time to cool down before you eat it. Spicy foods can be irritating during the recovery period, too. Avoid anything with hot peppers or lots of spices.
6. Don’t eat dairy products.
Most liquids are fine following your surgery, but you should avoid drinking milk or consuming other dairy products for at least four days. Dairy can coat your throat, thicken your saliva, and cause difficulty swallowing, which you’ll want to avoid.
Cold foods are great for soothing your throat, and many people choose ice cream or yogurt for easing discomfort. However, popsicles work just as well and are dairy-free. You can either crush them up or eat them whole.
7. Cut foods into small pieces.
After several days of recovery, your doctor may allow you to start eating solid foods that aren’t hard or crunchy, like pancakes, chicken, canned fruits, and cooked vegetables. Cut these foods up into small pieces before eating to help you swallow. Taking large bites could put too much stress on your throat, which could affect how it heals.
8. Chew gum.
Starting a few days after your surgery, chewing gum can be helpful for the healing process. Swallowing frequently can help your throat heal, and chewing gum causes you to swallow. It can also help with bad breath, which many people experience as they recover. The bad breath will go away after a couple weeks, but minty gum can mask the problem while also helping you heal.
Hudson Valley Sinus Center provides treatment for sleep apnea, snoring, allergies, and other sinus and nasal problems. The center was founded by Dr. Rubinstein, who is board certified by the American Board of Facial Plastic Surgery and the American Board of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery. He has more than 15 years of experience as an ENT specialist and is one of the most reputable surgeons in the Hudson Valley area.
Guest Post by Mark Glasgold