I have had such a hard time with eating after Whipple surgery. Can you help me to get better nutrition and to deal with the diarrhea? Do certain foods make it worse? Is this going to be a permanent problem?
Lauren Ginipro, Registered Dietician at Penn Medicine responds:
After a Whipple procedure you will need to follow a low fat diet- you should avoid greasy, high fat meals which cause diarrhea and malabsorption. Also you should take prescribed amounts of pancreatic enzymes with all meals and snacks to ensure that you are able to absorb the nutrients from foods. Diarrhea after a Whipple procedure can also be caused by eating concentrated simple sugars which cause a "dumping syndrome". Eating small meals throughout the day rather than 3 large meals is also typically better tolerated.
This question and answer was part of the OncoLink Brown Bag Chat Series. View the entire transcript from the Focus on Pancreatic Cancer Webchat.