Diet After Patient Nephrectomy

Ask the Nutritionist

Q: I was diagnosed with kidney cancer and underwent a partial nephrectomy. Because the cancer was caught early, I don't need any further treatment. Do you have any advice for diet and prevention?

G.A., New York, New York 

A: Prior to surgery, you may have been asked to follow a specific diet. After surgery, you can resume a normal diet. We recommend eating a well-balanced diet of fruits and vegetables, whole-grains, and a moderate amount of protein, meaning you no longer need to restrict or eat high amounts of protein. Protein foods include meat, poultry, pork, fish, eggs, nuts, beans and soy foods.

Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water. A good indicator of your hydration status is the color of your urine; the lighter the color the better. If you were restricting calcium and potassium prior to surgery, you can reintroduce those restricted foods back into your diet. Continue to follow a lower-sodium diet, especially if you have a preexisting medical condition that requires you to restrict the amount of salt in your diet. Finally, taking a multivitamin every day will make sure you are getting the recommended amounts of vitamins and minerals. For more individual recommendations, we suggest you meet with a Registered Dietitian.

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