Immediately after colon surgery, also known as a colectomy, the patient remains in the hospital until he regains regular functions of his bowels and most likely receives nutrition intravenously, according to Mayo Clinic. The patient is also given medication to help manage postoperative pain.
If a patient has his intestine attached to the outside of his abdomen, he is shown how to take proper care of his stoma, which involves changing out the waste gathered in an ostomy bag, notes Mayo Clinic. While in the hospital, the patient is kept on a liquid diet until he is able to drink clear liquids. After a while, he should be able to consume solid foods.
To help speed up the healing process in the gastrointestinal tract, walking and refraining from narcotic pain medication are often suggested, states the University of Chicago Medicine. One of the dangers of taking narcotic pain medication after colon surgery is it impedes the healing process within the gastrointestinal tract. The patient might be prescribed a diet low in fiber to keep bowel movements at a minimum and to keep from harming the intestinal tract. An additional advantage of a low-fiber diet is that it allows food to be digested more slowly.