Nutrition after Whipple Procedure
It’s normal to have a lack of appetite
after the surgery which may cause
weight loss. It varies in each case.
Below are some common problems
people have after surgery. You may or
may not have them.
This is when the stomach empties slowly
after a meal. It causes you to feel full
and bloated. It should go away by about
4-6 weeks after your surgery. To reduce
ξ Eat small frequent meals.
ξ Avoid high fiber foods.
ξ Eat soft foods or liquids like
Ensure®, Boost®, or Carnation
Instant Breakfast® to help gain
and maintain your weight.
ξ Reduce the amount of fat in your
ξ Take a walk after eating. Light
exercise can help move food
through your system faster.
The pancreas makes enzymes that help
digest food. When part of the pancreas is
removed, the amount of enzymes may
also decrease which can result in
If you notice greasy, frothy stools that
smell more than usual, talk to your
doctor about taking pancreatic enzymes.
You can also change your diet to help
ξ Avoid high fat, greasy foods
ξ Eat 5-6 small meals/day
Another reason for diarrhea is “Dumping
syndrome.” This is where food empties
too quickly out of the stomach. You
may feel shaky, sweaty, and lightheaded
after eating and feel the urge of a bowel
movement. To reduce symptoms:
ξ Avoid foods high in sugar
ξ Drink fluids in between meals
ξ Avoid really hot or cold food
ξ Eat 5-6 small meals/day
The pancreas makes insulin. People with
uncontrolled blood sugars prior to
surgery may have a chance that it will
become worse once after surgery. This is
because a portion of the pancreas is
removed. Patients who have normal
blood sugars have a small chance of
What is the most important thing you learned from this handout?
What changes will you make in your diet/lifestyle, based on what you learned today?
If you have any questions or have chronic weight loss after 4-6 weeks after your surgery,
contact your dietitian or doctor.
If you are a UW Health patient and have more questions please contact UW Health at one
of the phone numbers listed below. You can also visit our website at
Nutrition clinics for UW Hospital and Clinics (UWHC) and American Family Children’s
Hospital (AFCH) can be reached at: (608) 890-5500
Nutrition clinics for UW Medical Foundation (UWMF) can be reached at:
Your health care team may have given you this information as part of your care. If so, please use it and call
if you have any questions. If this information was not given to you as part of your care, please check with
your doctor. This is not medical advice. This is not to be used for diagnosis or treatment of any medical
condition. Because each person’s health needs are different, you should talk with your doctor or others on
your health care team when using this information. If you have an emergency, please call 911. Copyright ©
4/2016 University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Clinical
Nutrition Services Department and the Department of Nursing. HF#496