What to Eat After Jaw Surgery (Osteotomy)

To assist healing after jaw surgery it is recommended that you eat foods that require a minimal chewing for approximately 4 to 6 weeks. However it is important to maintain a balanced diet whilst recovering from your surgery.

After the surgery your jaw is tender and to prevent strain on the surgery area you need to rest the jaw and chew minimally.

Foods to select while healing

As a general principle choose soft moist food and Avoid dry crunchy foods. Tip- if using a blender or stick blender to puree foods, make sure you add extra sauce or gravy to keep it moist.

Food Groups

Protein

  • Scrambled, poached and boiled eggs
  • Very soft and moist pureed cooked meats
  • Well mashed beans and legumes
  • Pulses such as dal

Dairy

  • Milk
  • Ice-cream and frozen yoghurt
  • Melted cheese
  • Ricotta and cottage cheese

Bread and Cereals

  • Porridge or semolina
  • Weetbix or other cereal soaked well in milk
  • Very soft well cooked small pasta (eg risoni, small macaroni)
  • Very soft well cooked rice (risotto, rice pudding)

Vegetables

  • Pureed soft cooked vegetables
  • Finely mashed soft cooked vegetables

Fruit

  • Pureed fruit
  • Mashed banana
  • Stewed and mashed soft fruit (peaches and apples)
  • Mashed avocado
  • Mashed tinned fruit

Sample meal ideas

Breakfast

  • Porridge, weetbix, weeties Vita Brits softened with warm milk
  • Very moist scrambled eggs
  • Mashed stewed fruit
  • Fruit smoothies, milk shake or Up and Go

Lunch and dinners

  • Pureed canned or homemade soups with meat, vegetables barley, canned legumes or cooked split peas or pasta
  • Dal
  • Pureed casseroles or stews
  • Very moist steamed fish with mashed / pureed vegetables

Snacks

  • Custards, yoghurt, creamed rice, sago and other dairy desserts
  • Puree fruit- canned, stewed, soft fresh fruit
  • Jelly mousse, crème caramel
  • Cheesecake without crust
  • Milk drinks- milo, smoothies, milkshakes, up and go
  • Nutritional supplements drinks- Sustagen, Proform, Ensure

Keeping Healthy

To keep you body healthy and prevent loss of muscle mass during your recovery, it is recommended that you eat a variety of foods.

Each day you should aim to eat foods from all the food groups and you should be eating enough food to satisfy your hunger.

As eating my be difficult you will likely be eating less food than before surgery. This will mean that you will be lacking in calories and vitamins and minerals which can lead to deficiencies in the long term (eg Iron deficiency anaemia).

To prevent weight loss and muscle loss you should choose high energy and protein foods, plus

  • Eat small frequent meals
  • Boost the energy in your meals and snacks by adding the extra;
    1. Margarine, butter, oil, gravy, cream, mayonnaise, grated cheese, smooth peanut butter, hazelnut spread.
    2. Sugar, honey, syrup, ice-cream
  • Boost the protein in your meals by adding: eggs, cheese, milk, ice-cream, yoghurt, moist, pureed meat, pureed chicken or fish
  • Choose full fat protein products (not diet or low fat) unless you are recommended to reduce your weight by your local doctor
  • Monitor your weight and notify Dr Gibson if your weight drops by more than 3-5 Kg

Using Supplement Drinks

In addition to choosing high energy and protein foods a nutritional supplement can be an easy and comfortable way to balance your diet. There are an number of nutritional supplements on the market available from pharmacies and some supermarkets.

As a guide choose the supplement that includes the following:

  • Approximately 300 calories or 1300Kj per serve
  • 10-20g for protein per serve
  • Added vitamins and minerals

It is likely that you will need to drink at least 1-2 nutritional supplements a day to prevent weight loss.

When the swelling is at it’s greatest you may not be able to open your jaw to chew at all. You will need a FLUID DIET that is high in energy and protein.

Tips for getting fluids in:

  • Use thick straw
  • Use a small syringe
  • Use a sports drink bottle or a sauce bottle to gently squeeze fluids into you r mouth

You will need to persist with small amounts of fluid at regular intervals (i.e. every 20mins ) to ensure your fluid intake is enough. Aim for 2L per day.

Breakfast

  • 250ml nutritional supplement (eg Sustagen hospital formula)
  • Mid morning
  • 250ml flavoured milk or soy beverage
  • 100ml of fruit or vegetable juice.

Lunch

  • Broth or thin puree soup
  • 200ml of drinking yoghurt or fruit juice

Mid afternoon

  • 250ml flavoured milk or soy beverage

Dinner

  • Broth

250ml nutritional supplement (hospital formula)

Supper

  • 250ml flavoured milk or soy beverage