Clean Liquid Diet Review


Health professionals use the term clear liquids to prescribe a specific diet designed to treat a temporary illness. Conditions for which a temporary clear liquid diet is generally required include:

  • Before certain procedures or operations
  • Acute illnesses that cause abdominal pain and / or digestive problems.
  • Immediately after surgery, during recovery from most operations, or up to several days for operations on the esophagus or digestive system.

It is always important to follow the instructions before the procedure or before the surgery to get the best overall experience. If you are undergoing surgery that requires anesthesia , eating a clean liquid diet prior to the procedure will minimize the risk of choking or inhaling food into your lungs while under anesthesia. Your healthcare provider may also require a liquid diet if you are scheduled for an endoscopic procedure. This will help them see better during the tests.

Get Medical Information / Jessica Olah

ENT procedures that require a clean liquid diet

There are many standard ear, nose, and throat (ENT) surgeries that require a clean liquid diet immediately after general anesthesia. This is to reduce the risk of complications if you accidentally swallow fluid into your lungs while still feeling sleepy. When you wake up, the nurse will be able to quickly switch to solid foods and you will be able to eat normal foods after discharge. Examples of procedures that require general anesthesia and a normal clear liquid restorative diet include:

  • myringotomy
  • sinus surgery
  • tonsillectomy or adenoidectomy

While many procedures require a very short and temporary use of a pure liquid diet, there are other procedures that require a longer use of a pure liquid diet. It usually lasts about 1 day, but can be extended to 3 or 4 days. This is used to prevent any nutritional problems during healing of the surgical site. Surgeries that may require a clear liquid diet for about a day include:

In the case of a myotomy, you will most likely have a contrast esophagram to determine if there is a fluid leak at the surgery site. If no leaks are found, you will start on a liquid diet.Oesophagectomy or surgical removal of the esophagus is usually the last resort for treating disorders of the esophagus. Conditions that can result in recommended advanced esophagectomy include cancer of the esophagus, jackhammer esophagus, and Barrett 's esophagus.

Typically, you will eat a clear liquid diet for about a day and then switch to a completely liquid or soft diet the day after surgery. This will be taken depending on your progress after surgery and you should follow your doctor's instructions to minimize the risk of complications. If you have difficult surgery or are waiting for a longer healing time, your doctor may insert a feeding tube through the nose into or out of the stomach and give you liquid tube feeding over a period of time.

Clear liquids

So what are clear liquids? If a healthcare professional has recommended that you follow this diet, it is very important that you follow it correctly to avoid complications. The following foods and drinks are considered clear liquids:

  • Water
  • chunks of ice
  • simple jelly
  • popsicle made with flavored water or fruit juice (no milk, fruit, or pulp)
  • black coffee
  • tea without cream
  • soda water
  • soup broth (liquid only, no food)
  • fruit juice that does not contain pulp, such as apple juice
  • sports drinks like Gatorade
  • Pedialyte (electrolyte drinks for sick children)

The following products are not clear liquids:

  • Milk
  • orange juice (or other juices that contain pulp)
  • coba
  • pudding
  • Coffee with cream
  • any solid food such as pasta, vegetables, whole fruits, rice, etc.

Also, some procedures can be even more specific. For example, you may be advised not to drink any red or blue liquids before your colonoscopy. Some health professionals recommend this because liquids that contain red dye can make blood difficult to see.

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