A reader wrote that he was going to have heart valve surgery in a few weeks and asked about advice on vegan nutrition afterwards, as well as communicating with hospital staff.
Reed Mangels replies: Good luck with your upcoming surgery. After the surgery you should be able to resume your usual diet. Your doctor will tell you if any modifications are needed. Make sure your doctor knows that you are vegan so that a vegan diet can be ordered for you when you are admitted to the hospital. You may want to speak to the hospital dietitian prior to admission (several days before, if possible), explain your situation, and ask how they will meet your needs. You can find out if you are allowed to bring food from home. Depending on what’s available in the hospital, having your own supply of soymilk and other staple foods may help. Ask what the best way is to contact the dietary department once you’re in the hospital and what you should do if you get non-vegan foods.
Nancy Berkoff’s article may also be of assistance to some of our readers who have different procedures and need access to textured altered foods: http://www.vrg.org/journal/vj2009issue2/texture.htm
Other foodservice articles are here.