It is necessary to follow a specific diet after laparoscopic anti-reflux or hiatus hernia repair surgery to avoid dysphagia (difficulty swallowing).

Bruising and swelling after surgery is very common and lasts for several weeks after surgery, therefore the type of diet after surgery has to be modified.

Post surgery the following symptoms have been noted in patients:

  • Difficulty swallowing (dysphagia).
  • Abdominal bloating and pain after eating.

These symptoms usually last for between two and six weeks.

The following diet aims to minimise these symptoms and is only temporary.

Week 1 Clear fluids progressing to puree food

Week 2 – 3 Soft/sloppy food

Week 4 – 5 Soft food progressing to a normal diet

Week 6 and onwards Normal healthy eating


  1. Take your time with eating and drinking.
  2. Chew your food well.
  3. Avoid solid lumps (e.g. bread, steak) during the build up phase.
  4. No carbonated drinks for ~4 weeks.
  5. If you feel you are losing weight please contact your GP.

If at any point you are struggling with a certain stage please drop back to the previous stage and continue to build up as tolerated.

You should call your GP if you develop any of the following symptoms:

  • A fever
  • Unusual degree of pain Nausea and vomiting and can not eat or drink properly

Liquid diet

Whilst you are only able to manage fluids it is important that these are nutritious.

Nourishing drinks made with fortified milk (see below) can be as nutritious as a light meal and are quick to prepare.

  • Fortified milk: 50g (four heaped tablespoons) of dried milk whisked into one pint of full fat milk.
  • Milkshakes: drinks such as Build Up, Complan or Nourishment are available to buy in pharmacies or supermarkets and come in sweet, savoury or neutral flavours.
  • Smoothies &  Hot drinks (Hot chocolate, malted drinks and coffee).
  • Soups: Sweet or savoury Lassi (whisk ½ yoghurt and ½ milk and add sugar or salt to taste). Alternatively your GP can prescribe ready made high energy and protein drinks

Purée diet

A purée diet should be smooth and moist, contain no lumps and be of the same consistency throughout. To achieve a suitable texture use a blender or food processor or push well cooked food through a sieve. As purée meals can be lower in calories, use full fat milk, sauces, gravy, condensed soup or custard to moisten foods rather than water. Purée foods separately, rather than together. This will make sure the colour is appealing and the food tastes pleasant. Puree food can go cold quickly. Make sure that the food is hot before serving. Only ever reheat food once.

Sample meal plan for a puréed diet:

  • Breakfast: Cereal; Porridge, Ready Brek or Weetabix with milk.
  • Mid morning Snack – Chocolate mousse or instant whip
  • Lunch: Puréed beef casserole or fish in parsely sauce Mashed potatoes and carrots Pureed rice puddings with seedless jam Mid afternoon Snack Pureed tinned fruit and cream or yoghurt
  • Evening Meal: Puréed lentil curry or puréed macaroni cheese
  • Snack: Milky drink e.g. malted drink or hot chocolate.

Soft diet

A soft diet should be moist and of uniform consistency throughout. It should be easily mashed with a fork and is best served with a thick gravy sauce. Finely chop or mash food that is not naturally soft. A blender or food processor is a useful piece of equipment; if you do not have a blender, food can be mashed well with a fork or potato masher. Cooking food well will help produce a softer texture.

Sample meal plan for a soft diet:

  • Breakfast: Cereal; Porridge, Ready Brek or Weetabix with milk Mid morning Snack Yoghurt, mousse or smooth dessert
  • Lunch: Minced meat/fish or egg/cheese dish Mashed potato with finely chopped/mashed vegetables
  • Mid afternoon Snack: Dunked biscuits or piece of soft fruit Evening Meal Similar to midday meal
  • Snack: Milky drink e.g. malted drink or hot chocolate.

Foods to avoid: bread, chipped or roast potatoes and savoury snacks, crispy or crumbly foods, stringy meats, vegetables with skins, pineapple, oranges and other fibrous fruits .

Make An Appointment

In order to make an initial private appointment with Mr Ewen Griffiths, at BMI Edgbaston to discuss surgery, it is desirable to have a referral from your GP, but not essential.

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