Oesophectomy halted due to fluid on lungs

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Hi everyone,

My dad went in for his oesophectomy yesterday. He got as far as having the general anaesthetic but they aborted the operation before starting as they found there to be lots of fluid on his lungs!!!

They have said unless this issue can be resolved the operation will be too risky to undertake I.e. they will revert from curative to palliative care.

We are now waiting for him to get an appointment with a respiratory consultant to review whether anything they can do.

Has anyone else had this issue? Did the medical team manage to replace and still do the operation or not?

After building to the operation for months and even getting into the operating theatre this is a major blow.

  • Hi 

    I can only imagine how disappointing that must be!  I have not had the same but as far as I am aware no checks were done on my lungs and I was not asked any questions.  When in the operating theatre there were complications and they were unable to re inflate my lung.  24 hours later I was in ICU with complete respiratory failure and not expected to live.

    Somehow I got through and 3 weeks later I was brought out of the induced coma, i was advised that having had pneumonia in the past I had damage to my lungs which may have contributed to the problems,I now have a lot more damage.

    I know it’s horrible to have the op halted but I can see why they did not take the risk. I really hope there is something that can be done and this just becomes a set back.

    Best wishes

  • Hi JacPop. Glad you managed to make it through. They haven’t seen issues with fluid in lungs at start of the operation before! And scans etc how no fluid on the lungs so all very odd.

    it may be that no one else has had the same problem, but posting here in case someone has faced this situation and overcome it?

  • Hi JacPop,

    I'm in second round of chemo heading towards op. You've got me worried now. I had pneumonia some years ago and a pulmonary embolism more recently. They know about it but haven't implied it might be an issue. I've had the lung and heart stress test which they said was ok too.

    Good fancy being put into a coma that long but at least your through it and put the other side. I'm the flip side the rest must have done you some good and by the time they bring you around some of the op pain must be less than it would have been??

    I wonder if they could just knock you out for right months or so, fix you and wake you up all mended.....lol Thumbsup

    Good luck going forward.

    Best regards


  • Hi Geo

    Sorry I did not mean to worry anyone! It was just to say that it is not necessarily a bad thing they are being cautious.  I also had a pulmonary embolism about 3 years before my op.  However they did not discuss my history, I assumed they knew, or do any fit tests on me.  I think being relatively young and active they assumed.  also the complication I had was the initial issue that then meant my history didn’t help. 

    As you say the coma did have some positives I was able to eat as soon as I went onto a ward, I had a lot less pain and when I went home my surgery healing was that more advanced.  There is always an up side Blush

    i hope the chemo is tolerable, it’s good your treatment has started and good luck.

  • Hi  

    What a big blow this must be ! I really hope a solution can be found asap ! .If no trace of fluid showed up on your Dad’s pre op heart and lung test etc ..then it does seem odd ..We were told the surgery can affect the lungs so although it’s a huge disappointment it’s probably for the best that they refused to take the risk until further tests are carried out as it is a major op which carries risks as you’ll no doubt know already ….Very disheartening though when your Dad has no doubt built himself up for the surgery and you must feel deflated . 

    Not similar to your Dad’s situation but my husband was found to have a lesion on his left lung during one of his CT scans during diagnostic tests for OC ..we were told his case was handed over to the lung team and they almost changed his pathway  to lung cancer treatment ..but for some unknown reason whatever it was started to shrink and had completely disappeared on a second scan to check the lesion again before deciding which treatment pathway to go down ….all very odd ! ..He had his oesophagectomy regardless of all this ..but his surgeon did comment afterwards that my husband’s  lungs weren’t in the best condition and were ‘ black’ ! ....which is another oddity as he was a very fit man before his illness…He passed the pre op heart and lung fitness test without any concerns and when he developed a nasty chest infection during his second post surgery chemo cycle ..( probably due to his low immunity at the time ) it was the first lung related issue he’d ever had in his 64 yrs !.. It cleared up with antibiotics and he has been fine ever since  (touch wood! ) 

    Really hope its all sorted out soon and all goes well  …regards J