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Is egg good after surgery?

Eating the right foods after surgery can promote healing and minimize complications. Eggs are often considered a good food choice during recovery, but there are some important factors to consider.

The nutritional benefits of eggs after surgery

Eggs provide high-quality protein, which is essential for wound healing and tissue repair after surgery. Protein helps maintain muscle mass and strength when activity is restricted during recovery. Eggs also contain important micronutrients:

  • Vitamin A – supports immune function and new tissue growth
  • Vitamin D – aids calcium absorption for bone health
  • Vitamin B12 – assists red blood cell formation and energy production
  • Choline – helps maintain liver function
  • Iron – carries oxygen to wounds to promote healing
  • Zinc – accelerates wound closure and reduces risk of infection

The protein and micronutrients in eggs can help the body recover after surgical stress. However, there are some potential downsides to consider.

Concerns about eggs after surgery

Here are some reasons eggs may not be ideal immediately after surgery:

  • Fat content – Egg yolks are high in fat, which may be difficult to digest until bowel function returns to normal after surgery.
  • Gas production – Eggs contain sulfur-containing amino acids that may cause gas and bloating, which can cause discomfort after surgery.
  • Allergies – Some people are allergic to eggs and may risk an adverse reaction if they are consumed after surgery.
  • Nausea – The high fat content of eggs can provoke nausea in some patients, especially when recovering from anesthesia.

For these reasons, eggs are often introduced gradually after major surgery or procedures involving the abdomen. Smaller portions or egg whites may be better tolerated at first.

Best practices for eating eggs after surgery

Here are some tips for incorporating eggs into your post-surgery diet:

  • Start with small servings of 1 egg or less per day.
  • Try egg whites before whole eggs to reduce fat intake initially.
  • Choose hard-boiled, poached, or scrambled eggs instead of fried eggs to decrease fat content.
  • Avoid egg dishes with added fat like omelets, quiches, or fried eggs.
  • Stop eating eggs if you experience gas, bloating, nausea, or other discomfort.

Eggs can be a very healthy addition to the post-surgery diet for most people. But it’s best to introduce them slowly and cautiously monitor your tolerance. Pay attention to your body and how you feel after eating eggs.

When can you eat eggs after specific surgeries?

The optimal time to add eggs back into your diet depends on the type of surgery performed.

Surgery Type When Eggs Are Typically Allowed
Appendectomy After bowels sounds return, around 24-48 hours
Hernia repair After tolerating clear liquids, around 1-3 days
Breast surgery (lumpectomy, mastectomy) Immediately after surgery
Thyroid or parathyroid surgery Within 24 hours after surgery
Brain surgery After tolerating clear liquids, around 2-3 days
Orthopedic surgery (joint replacement, fracture repair) Once regular diet resumes, around 1-3 days
Bariatric surgery After advancing to puréed foods, around 3-4 weeks
Bowel resection After bowels sounds return, around 3-5 days
Gallbladder removal After tolerating clear liquids, around 1-2 days
Heart surgery (bypass, valve repair) Once regular diet resumes, around 4-5 days

This table provides general guidelines, but your surgeon will give you specific instructions on introducing eggs after your procedure. The most important factor is that your bowels are functional again and you are tolerating liquids and other soft foods without issues before trying eggs.

Are eggs allowed on a soft food diet after surgery?

A soft food diet is commonly prescribed for the first few days to weeks after surgery before transitioning back to regular foods. Soft foods are easier to digest and won’t aggravate the digestive tract as it recovers.

In general, eggs are not included on a standard post-op soft food diet, which consists of foods like:

  • Yogurt
  • Pudding
  • Applesauce
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Broth
  • Ice cream
  • Milkshakes
  • Custard
  • Smoothies

However, eggs can often be slowly incorporated into a soft diet under a physician’s guidance. Some options include:

  • Soft boiled eggs – boiled for just 3-4 minutes until whites are set but yolks are soft.
  • Poached eggs – cooked gently in simmering water.
  • Scrambled eggs – made with milk or cream for extra softness.
  • Adding egg whites to oatmeal or smoothies.

Preparing eggs to a soft, gentle texture can make them easier to tolerate. But it’s still best to get approval from your doctor first.

Nutrition tips for recovering from surgery

Here are some additional diet tips while recovering after surgery:

  • Eat small, frequent meals to prevent fatigue.
  • Drink liquids between meals, not with meals.
  • Choose nutritious, vitamin-rich foods to aid healing.
  • Increase fiber slowly to prevent gas and bloating.
  • Avoid greasy, fried, and heavily spiced foods.
  • Prevent constipation by staying hydrated.
  • Reduce caffeine and alcohol, which can dehydrate you.
  • Take any supplements recommended by your doctor.
  • Listen to your body and rest when needed.

Recovering from surgery takes time and energy. Eating a balanced diet tailored to your situation will help you heal.


Eggs can be a healthy addition to your post-surgery diet thanks to their high-quality protein, vitamins, and minerals. But concerns about fat, gas, nausea, and allergies mean they should be introduced slowly and individually tolerated after abdominal, bowel, or any major surgery.

It’s best to follow your surgeon’s specific guidance on when to add eggs back into your meals after a procedure. Listen to your body and start with small portions of boiled, poached, or scrambled eggs without added fat. Allow your digestive system time to recover before enjoying eggs again.

Focus on getting adequate nutrition from a variety of soft, easy-to-digest foods in the weeks following surgery. With your doctor’s approval, eggs can gradually become an option to get the protein and nutrients needed for wound healing, strength, and energy.