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  1. Olsson, Ulla RNT, BSN, RN
  2. Bergbom, Ingegerd PhD, RNT, BSc, RN
  3. Bosaeus, Ingvar MD, PhD


Several studies have documented patients' intake of parenteral and enteral nutrition following gastrointestinal surgery. There is a lack of knowledge, however, regarding patients' experiences of intake of food and fluid following gastrointestinal surgery. The aim of this study was to describe patients' experiences of their appetite, hunger, changes in weight, and intake of food and fluid three months after gastrointestinal surgery due to tumor. Fifteen patients were invited to be interviewed regarding their experiences following gastrointestinal surgery due to tumor. The method used for data analysis was a qualitative content analyses approach. The categorization of data identified three themes: 1) the struggle to eat and drink; 2) bodily estrangement; and 3) nutritional treatment regimens. These three themes consisted of subthemes such as: lack of appetite and hunger; difficulties in eating and drinking; feelings of nausea; and fighting and adaptation. The findings contribute to a deeper understanding of these patients' nutritional regimen and suggest the individual's personal situation and living circumstances should be considered when developing a nutritional plan following gastrointestinal surgery for tumor.