Bladder cancer

A place for people affected by bladder cancer to support one another, ask questions, and share their experiences.

Weight gain after urostomy

Posted by

my dad recently had surgery to remove his bladder and he has lost an awful lot of weight. Can anyone suggest ways to help him regain some weight? Thanks.

Posted by

Hello and welcome to the community, although sorry to hear your dad is having problems gaining weight. I can't help with any advice as I have not had any experience of this, but I am sure others will be along to help. You could also try posting in the Ask A Dietician  section where you will get professional advice. Best wishes.

Best wishes to All,   rily.  What is a Community Champion ?

Posted by

Hi and welcome to the online community and I'm sorry to see you here asking questions on behalf of your dad but thank you for reaching out to us and I hope we can be of help with this and any other problems or questions you may have.

It's very unusual to be asked how to put on weight and there is very little information on the subject but I did find something that might be of interest to you. 

Having a Urostomy should not restrict the foods you dad eats and he is should be eating lots of calorie loaded foods but always remembering that it's small portions often and in between meals, not during, keep drinking lots of fluids and unless he has another reason, such as being Diabetic, he can ditch the calorie free and zero sugar drinks.

This might be of interest to you.

I've just popped over from the Ileostomy, colostomy and stoma support to try and answer the question hopefully you may find that one of the members of the group will be along soon with some further information.

It could be that a dietitian might have some useful suggestions for you and you can post this and any diet related questions to the Ask a Dietitian group page and the dietitian will normally respond in about 2 working days. 

You may find it beneficial to join us over in the Ileostomy, colostomy and stoma support group as we can give advice and help on products and stoma related problems that your dad might need to ask.

It would be very interesting to hear how your dad gets on in the future however I do need to advise that like weight loss weight gain should be discussed with a medical professional and monitored by them.

Look forward to seeing you over in the stoma support group in the near future.


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Posted by

It's normal to lose some weight as there is often  a period post op when you're not eating at all & then poor appetite. Added to which, a lot of intake is going towards the healing process. Provided he's not drastically underweight, I wouldn't worry. Best to eat little & often ( even a few spoonfuls every couple of hours will all add up), concentrating on protein & carbs, but really anything fancies. 

Encoyrage him to keep snacking for some months to come - but watch that the weight doesn't suddenly start going up too much!

Posted by

Hi, what's Dad's appetite like? If he doesn't feel hungry it is worth checking his Zinc level. You can do this with a straighforward taste test, the solution can be bought online and the balance of the bottle used as a supplement as appropriate.

Because of how agri-business now affects the nutritional value [ie much poorer than a few decades back] of most foods, personally I would always take a decent daily general multivitamin/mineral too-especially afer surgery. You can tell a decent one from a don't waste-your-money one easily: check the ingredients till you see the zinc one. If it says Zinc Oxide choose a different one.

[What you do want to buy has in it Zinc citrate, Zinc Picolinate, Zinc Gluconate or even Zinc Amino Acid Chelate]. For simplicity just remember not Zinc Oxide, the reason is your gut does not absorb that very well, so you need one with an ingredient/s you can absorb to get the benefit.

Hope that's not over complicated but I feel I'd be dishonest if I didn't share relevant hard-won awareness with you.

You are doing a good job, a pat on the back from all of us I'm sure others will agree.


Posted by

Actually it can be unwise to take supplements, depending on the diet you are having. It's quite easy to overdose on certain items, apart from a potentially unnecessary cost. When you've had part of your bowel removed during cystectomy, absorption of nutrients can be different. This will be monitored & appropriate supplements prescribed ( often B12). 

A few months post op one nurse said I was still a bit below pre-op weight (not actually underweight) & recommended a particular liquid without iron, just can't recall the name. I never got round to using it & gradually picked up again OK. I did use complain to boost intake at first, or your consultant or GP might prescribe special nutrional drinks if appropriate. I had them post op in hospital but found them nauseatingly sweet after a few days.

Posted by

Hi All, I did suggest a check on levels before embarking on post surgery supplement use, and none of the mass market multivit/min general tablets have unwisely high levels of anything in as they are all formulated erring on the side of caution. I do have an NHS dietician friend who has always said they are the Cinderellas of the NHS as doctors have so little training in nutrition and diet that they fail to even refer patients to the dieticians until far too far down the line if ever, causing much needless ill health. I did say 'personally' and I would add, if taking any supplements always follow the pack instructions as to taking with food unless otherwise stated. That way your digestion never gets a 'hit' of anything unnatural ie vitamins without food. Ref cost, the ones I buy retail for around £4 for 90 ie three months' supply so under 5p a day.

Worth knowing for anyone who needs the Fortisip/Ensure etc that several of these are available in unflavoured or chicken or mushroom or tomato soup versions, my late mum got fed up with the endless banana and strawberry etc too. A pinch of dried herbs is an improvement on them as well, they don't make them with any 'bits' in case of patients with swallowing problems. But you may have to ask, as often the choice doesn't get mentioned.

all the best,