Nephrectomy, or the removal of one of two kidneys, is done on patients with kidney disease or for people who are willing to donate a kidney to a patient. Doctors recommend this as people with only one functional kidney can still live a normal life. If the remaining kidney is still in full function, doctors only give few dietary restrictions after the kidney removal surgery and the recovery period. If not, the patient needs to have a one kidney diet to preserve remaining function of the kidney left.
After kidney surgery, the patient is given nutrients and fluids for the first two days through an IV in order to let the digestive system recover. A catheter is inserted in the patient’s body to empty the bladder, but this is done only for a few hours. In some cases, patients are allowed to suck ice chips or sip small amounts of fluid for the first 24 hours after surgery.
Within two days, a patient who has nephrectomy is given only liquid as part of one kidney diet to ease the digestive system back into its proper function. You might want to let your doctor or other medical staff know if you are having constipation during this period. It is essential for a nephrectomy patient to keep the bowels moving during the recovery period in order for the doctor to prescribe a stool softener. Drinking lots of water can also help prevent constipation.
After a few days, when the digestive system is functioning normally, the patient can start eating normal foods while still in the stage of hospital recovery. The patient may begin with plain, mild-tasting choices and avoid spicy and fried foods during the meantime. Having gentle choices in their diet prevents recovery strains on the digestive system and avoids adding stress and anxiety caused by surgery.
Once the patient is released from the hospital, the doctor will inform the patient if he needs to take a special diet or not. But the general one kidney diet after nephrectomy is to drink lots of fluids to keep fluid moving from the kidney through the body.
Patients who still suffer from kidney disease even after nephrectomy are given a special one kidney diet by doctors. This diet includes proteins and fluids and must have lower sodium and potassium intake. This diet must also follow certain nutritional guidelines to make sure the body gets enough nutrition while maintaining a healthy weight.