After undergoing hiatal hernia surgery, patients are advised to avoid certain foods that contain significant amounts of fat and caffeine. These foods, such as chocolate, can be quite challenging to digest and often lead to acid reflux. The purpose of this article is to answer the question of why no chocolate after hiatal hernia surgery and offer some helpful dietary recommendations for people who have undergone a hernia repair procedure.
A hiatal hernia occurs when a portion of the stomach pushes up through an opening (hiatus) in the diaphragm, a muscle that separates the chest from the abdomen. The hernia can pinch the tube that connects the mouth and stomach (esophagus), causing food to flow back up into the throat, which causes heartburn.
While a hernia is not the cause of acid reflux, it can make the symptoms worse, especially in people who are overweight or have a weaker stomach lining. A hiatal hernia repair typically involves closing the hole in your diaphragm where the hernia came through and tightening the junction between your stomach and esophagus.
During the operation, you will be given general or local anesthesia to put you to sleep. Your healthcare provider will then make a small incision or use laparoscopic surgery with smaller incisions.
After a hiatal hernia repair, your healthcare provider will tell you when you can begin eating a regular diet again. During this time, you should follow a high-fiber diet of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. You should also drink plenty of water. It is important to stay hydrated and prevent constipation during recovery, as constipation can trigger your hernia to return. You can take stool softeners like docusate sodium (Colace(r)) or polyethylene glycol (MiraLAX(r)) with 8 ounces (1 cup) of liquid to help prevent constipation.