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Healthy living & diet

A healthy, balanced diet will keep you well supplied with the nutrients and vitamins you need. This is an essential part of healthy living. Five portions of fruit and vegetables should be eaten daily. Try not to eat junk food as it is high in fat, sugar, salt and calories. This type of surgery can have an impact on your bowel function. For some this may be short term and for others it may be long term. If you find there is a change within your bowel movement once you have fully recovered from surgery, you should discuss this with a healthcare professional.

It is advisable to chew a piece of chewing gum for 15 minutes, 3 times a day whilst in hospital and recovering from surgery. This is good for peristalsis and encourages bowel movement.

Certain foods such beetroot, cabbage and asparagus can change the colour and smell of your urine. If you notice a change in your urine after eating this type of food, try not to worry until after you have distinguished that it is not food related. However if it persists, then you should contact your GP or hospital to ensure it is not food related.

It is important to drink enough to flush out the chemicals that build up in the blood, kidneys and bladder. Healthy urine is light in colour. Please refer to the NHS Guidelines on fluid intake. Drinking also helps to prevent the possibility of urinary tract infections. ​ There is some evidence to suggest that cranberry juice or cranberry tablets help to maintain a healthy bladder and prevent infection.

Exercise and Activities 

Exercise is an important factor of day-to-day life, particularly in the lead up to surgery and during recovery. It can take some people up to a year before they recover from this type of surgery. Light exercise may be the last thing on your mind during your road to recovery however this will be sure to help you recover from the surgery.  Prior to participating in more physical and challenging sports you should check with your surgeon.

Exercise is not only good for the body; it is also good for the mind. What type of exercise you decide to do is not important as long as you gain pleasure in what you are doing.

Can I drink alcohol? ​

Yes, but we would of course advise that you follow the standard advice.


If you are going to a concert, the cinema or theatre and think it may be difficult to get to a toilet quickly, put a catheter in with a spigot or a flip flow to ensure peace of mind. If you have had high volumes of fluid and you are concerned you may over stretch your bladder throughout the night you may want to consider leaving a bag on and allowing free drainage.


For more information on healthy eating, see Nutritionist Resource

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