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Oesophageal stent

Posted by


my husband had an oesophageal stent inserted in October last year in the last week he is starting to struggling to swallow food again . Is there a life span on a stent? 

He has recently had a CT scan, has finished his last of 6 sessions of chemo and tomorrow the Consultant has stopped his Herceptin until he sees her next week. Over the last 3 week since the last Herceptin he has been suffering from stomach and rib pains and was put on MST and Oramorph. Which has eased the pain but he was also constipated which with medication has eventually been sorted and he is able to sleep and rest.

i am just concerned the tumour has grown or the stent is dissolving he was diagnosed with Stage 4 lymph nodes and curvature if the stomach, and invasion of the lung 

many thanks 


Ellen M-Macmillan
Posted by

Hi Cath ()

Thanks for getting in touch with us.

I’m glad to read that your husband’s pain and constipation have been sorted out and he’s now managing to sleep and rest. But it’s understandable why you’re concerned about his swallowing problems, and why you’re questioning if it’s due to his tumour growing or the stent dissolving.

Oesophageal stents can be in place for many years after they are inserted, they don’t dissolve as they are either made from metal or plastic. But they can get blocked or can move.

It’s important that he lets his specialist nurse or hospital team know that this is happening today. They will be able to assess the reason why this is happening. We’d advise you to encourage him not to wait until he sees his consultant next week as this could get worse. Or you can ask him if it’s okay for you to call them on his behalf.

Best wishes and take care.

Please don’t hesitate to get back in touch with us to let us know how he gets on.

Ellen-Macmillan Online Digital Nurse Specialist.

Posted by


saw the oncologist today after bringing the appointment forward a week. Unfortunately despite the chemo treatment and herceptin the cancer has spread to his liver, more lymph nodes and lungs. He is going to start another chemo in 2 weeks. His food is starting to get stuck again in the oesophagus so just hoping they can do something for that but otherwise feeling so deflated


Linda - Macmillan
Posted by

Hi Cath,

Thanks for letting us know how your husband got on. Feeling deflated after finding out a treatment hasn’t been as effective as hoped is understandable. And waiting to see how effective the new chemo will be can be just as unsettling, but hopefully this will help.

In the meantime, would it be worth contacting the hospital dietician to help with some guidance about his diet? If he’s having some problems swallowing certain foods they may be able to advise of ways to maintain his calorie intake in preparation for his treatment. Sometimes this can include diet supplements if needed. Our building up diet can also help with hints and tips too. And we also have Nicola, our dietician who you can post questions to.

It might be helpful to post in our carers only or family and friends groups too. Sometimes being in touch with others who in a similar situation can be a great support. Finding out how they cope with uncertainty and sharing your own experience can be invaluable.

Would it help to phone our support line? We’d be happy to chat with you to see how we can support you both further.

Take care, Linda (Cancer Information Nurse Specialist)