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.
How should I manage my diet with a duodenal stent?
Pancreatic cancer can 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.
You should get information about your diet after having the stent put in. You will have softer foods at first. It may help to start with semi-liquid or pureed foods and then move on to soft foods.
You will need to be careful about what you eat to make sure the stent does not get blocked. These tips may help.
- Take your time eating, and make sure you chew your food well.
- Eat smaller meals more often.
- 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
- pureed 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 or dry cereal, as it expands in your stomach
- wholegrain foods, such as wholegrain pasta or rice, as they are more difficult to digest.
If you are not sure if you can still eat your preferred foods, speak to your doctor, nurse or dietitian. You can also talk to the specialist nurses on our Support Line for information about diet with a duodenal stent.
Updated October 2023
Review date October 2026