Heller myotomy resolves achalasia, a condition in which the individual has difficulty swallowing food and fluids. This condition results from a problem with the sphincter between the stomach and the esophagus. The patient who undergoes this operation needs to follow a special diet for four weeks afterward, according to the University of California at Los Angeles Health System.
Achalasia occurs when the muscle fibers where the esophagus and stomach meet do not relax and allow food to continue to the stomach. Food is stuck leading to regurgitation of undigested food. People with this condition also have a higher risk of pneumonia.
During surgery, the surgeon cuts the circular sphincter where the esophagus and stomach meet. This is done with laparoscopy and is a minimally invasive technique. The procedure disables the lower esophageal sphincter and allows food to pass into the stomach, according to Advanced Medical Technology Institute or AMTI.
The patient begins with a liquid diet the day after surgery as indicated by AMTI. If the patient can tolerate fluids, the hospital allows you to leave after the second day of surgery. A liquid diet continues for two weeks and then you go on a puree diet. After a month you can move on to regular food.
For the first three days after Heller myotomy, drink only clear fluids, advises the UCLA Health System website. Clear liquids include ice pops and gelatin in addition to water, light fruit juice and clear broth. Do not drink sparkling water or thick drinks. Change to a diet full of fluids for the next three days. This means everything you can pour but continues to exclude soft drinks. Some possibilities include liquid soups, slimming hot cereals, pudding and ice cream. A smooth diet is indicated for the next three weeks. This includes liquids and foods that require little chewing. Well-cooked pasta, rice, fish, ground turkey, vegetables and soft fruit are some examples. Do not eat bread, raw vegetables, crunchy foods or unmilled meats that need plenty of chewing.
The first day of your liquid diet drinks only half a cup at a time and you do not gobble, recommends the UCLA Health System website. Work gradually to 1 cup at a time if it is more comfortable. When you switch to a full liquid diet start with 1 cup at a time and then gradually increase the amount. Have frequent small meals. Alcohol is not allowed if you are taking narcotic medications.