Diet after a duodenal stent

If you have had a stent put in to treat a blocked duodenum (first part of the small intestine) you will need to be careful what you eat. This is to make sure the stent doesn’t get blocked. This page has information to help you plan your diet.

What's in the 'Stents for a blocked duodenum' section?

How should I manage my diet with a duodenal stent?

Your dietitian will help you to increase what you eat after having the stent put in. You will have softer foods at first. It may help to start with foods like jelly or yoghurt.

Sometimes it can take a while for your stomach to start emptying properly again. You may be given medicine (such as metoclopramide) to help your stomach empty.

If your stent gets blocked you will feel full and may be sick. If this happens contact your doctor or nurse. Or go to A&E if it is out of working hours.

You will also need to be careful about what you eat to make sure the stent doesn’t get blocked. These tips may help.

  • Eat smaller meals more often.
  • Take your time eating, and make sure you chew your food well.
  • Eat a variety of foods to make sure you get enough nutrients.
  • Sit up when you eat and don’t lie down after meals. This will help to digest your food.
  • Avoid drinking too much with your meals as this can fill you up.

You will need to eat soft foods that are easy to chew, such as:

  • porridge or cereal soaked in milk
  • soup (add cream, milk or cheese for extra nutrients and calories)
  • poached fish or minced meat
  • eggs, including poached and scrambled eggs or an omelette
  • soft pasta dishes, such as macaroni cheese
  • mashed potato (add butter, cream or cheese for more calories)
  • vegetables well cooked until they are soft
  • rice pudding, stewed fruit, yoghurt, custard or ice cream.

Try to avoid foods that might block the stent. These include:

  • raw vegetables or vegetables that are harder to digest, such as salads, celery, green beans and sweetcorn
  • nuts and dried fruit
  • citrus fruits like oranges or grapefruit – this is because of the skin around each segment
    tough or gristly meat
  • bread, as it expands in your stomach
  • wholegrain foods, such as wholegrain pasta or rice, as they are more difficult to digest.

Speak to your doctor, nurse or dietitian for more advice about what to eat when you have a duodenal stent.

Pancreatic cancer can also reduce the number of enzymes your pancreas makes, which help break down (digest) food. You can take pancreatic enzymes to deal with this and help you digest your food properly.

Read more about diet and pancreatic enzymes

Questions to ask the doctor or nurse

  • Will a stent improve my symptoms?
  • How quickly will I recover after the stent is put in?
  • Will I need to change my diet once I have a stent?
  • Will I see a dietitian?
  • Will a stent affect future treatment such as chemotherapy?

Questions about diet and stents?

You can also speak to our specialist nurses on our free Support Line with any questions about eating after having a duodenal stent.

Speak to our nurses
Pancreatic Cancer Nurse Jeni Jones

Updated October 2021

Review date October 2023