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Light Diet Before a Hysterectomy

By Holly Case ; Updated August 14, 2017

Hysterectomy is a major surgery in which a woman's uterus is removed. The uterus is the part of the body in which a baby grows. According to MedlinePlus, one in three women undergo hysterectomy by age 60. This common surgical procedure is performed to relieve health concerns. Although the surgery carries some risk, recovery is usually uneventful and most complications are preventable.

Reasons for Hysterectomy

Hysterectomy is performed to relieve problems with the female reproductive system. Common problems necessitating a hysterectomy include endometriosis, uterine fibroids, uterine prolapse and pelvic pain. Heavy vaginal bleeding for unknown causes is also relieved by hysterectomy. Although less invasive procedures are usually tried before hysterectomy, surgical removal of the uterus often provides symptom relief.


Hysterectomy is inpatient surgery performed under general anesthesia. According to the American College of Surgeons, the surgeon removes the uterus either through an abdominal incision or through the vagina. Surgeons may be more likely to use the abdominal incision method when cancer is suspected because it allows better viewing of the internal organs. Doctors may remove the uterus alone or the uterus and ovaries.

Reasons for Light Diet

Surgeons recommend that patients consume a light diet the day before surgery. In addition, patients are often advised to only consume clear liquids after midnight the night before the surgery. These requirements are in place to prevent the risk of vomit aspiration and so that the body is not trying to do the hard work of digestion while also recovering from surgery.

Foods for Light Diet

Some of the foods you can eat on a light diet the day before surgery include yogurt, lean meats, eggs, rice, bread and rolls, pasta, cold cereal, cooked vegetables without skin or seeds, peeled apples and fruit juice without pulp. Prepare foods with as little fat as possible. The morning of the surgery, items you can consume on a clear-liquid diet include beef or chicken broth; apple, cranberry or grape juice, gelatin, and sports drinks.

Risks of Surgery

Like any surgery, hysterectomy carries risks. According to the American College of Surgeons, some women are at higher risk of complications from surgery. Some predisposing factors that make complications more likely include obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure and other chronic health conditions. Smoking also increases the risk of complications from surgery.

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