Gullet (oesophagus) cancer

A support group for anyone affected by gullet cancer (also known as oesophageal cancer) to come together, share experiences and ask questions.

Post op

Elaine-65
Posted by

I had a 2 stage oesophagectomy on 15th October. I am slowly getting strength etc back the only thing really getting me down is when I eat solids I just bring it all back up it feels like it goes so far down gets stuck then I sick it all up. I am ok with soups etc but even mashed veg etc is no good. I have had  different  anti sickness pills but nothing is helping. All I seem to be able to eat is soup and puddings and I am beginning to worry about my weight loss now. Has anyone experienced this and did they manage to resolve the problem. Have appointment  on 6th January with surgeon. 

Elaine
jayceeh5
Posted by

Hello Elaine-65

I can’t give any first hand help because it was my husband who had OC several years ago but he did have to have a couple of stretches after surgery.  The scar tissue can thicken and restrict food going down so this might be a possibility, obviously your surgeon will advise you in a few days.

In the short term you could try to get the calories in by having full fat shakes (I used to make these for him before surgery to keep weight on) - I used ice cream, cream, milk and fruit then blitzed it all and it slipped down easily.

Sorry I can’t be of more help, I hope you get some positive news on the 6th.

Best wishes for the New Year x

Chris1973
Posted by

Hi Elaine , I’ve had pretty much the same experience with eating and keeping loosing weight , when I swallow the food doesn’t go down and you just vomit it straight back up again , and the sickness was constant felt like crap all the time , for sickness I was given cyclizine and metaclopromide which stopped the sickness but not the food sticking , that still came up after it got stuck I’ve had 3’gullet stretches so far each one would widen the scar tissue that stops the food going down by 2mm each stretch , I can now eat a good bit better and I’m due my 4th stretch in January which will hopefully make it better , as for eating for weight gain I could mostly eat soup and custards but would add double cream and a spoon of butter in my soup and put powdered milk into full fat milk which gave me double of calories , but I’m would talk to surgeon about a gullet stretch it will make it better .you can still only have small meals , but little and often , you’ll get there in the end .some times when you can’t eat it’s makes you really down , especially this time of year every time you turn on the tv you see food adverts and cooking shows and it is depressing but just remember the worst bit is over with .

regards Chris 

Elaine-65
Posted by

Jayceeh5 5hank you for your reply. I have been having soups and milky puddings or full fat yogurts etc as they slide down. Hopefully my surgeon will be able to check on monday and see what can be done or needs to be done. Best wishes to you too x

Elaine
Elaine-65
Posted by

Chris1973 thank you for reply. Think the stretch is something I will have to discuss with surgeon on Monday as I can't go on like this. I am also tired but don't know if it still post open tiredness or not getting enough calories. Can I ask how they do the stretch and did you have to wait a certain length of time after the initial surgery to get this done. It does get you down not being able to eat I think I will try this today but nope a couple of mouthful and it comes back up. Didn't think it was going to be as hard as it is but I am hopeful that it can get sorted soon. 

REgards Elainr

Elaine
Chris1973
Posted by

The gullet stretch is more or less like getting an endoscopy but there is a balloon on the end to dilate the oesophagus, i also got the option of sedation or throat numbing had my surgery April last year then I had a few complications but I think it’s maybe 4 months after the did the first stretch so 4-5 months after op got stretch done , but it works , I can now eat a lot more since and I’m hoping this next stretch coming will be my last , but some people have had to have 8  or 9 before it works and I’ve heard people on here only needed one 

regards Chris

Zappaman
Posted by

Hi Elaine, I don't know what a two stage oesophagectomy is, I had the Ivor Lewis surgery. That was in October 2016,and whilst the surgery was taking place the surgeon inserted a feeding tube into my jejunum part of the intestine. I had lost a lot of weight prior to surgery and was put on a feeding supplement pumped in to get nutrition into my body. I had the gullet dilation about 8 weeks after surgery because I had slight difficulty swallowing. Never had a problem since. Good luck at your appointment and I hope things get better. Believe it or not but you are still in the early stages of recovery, However I can relate to your frustrations. Happy New year and kind regards Frank.

jimmycity
Posted by

Hi I had ivor Lewis op 7.5 year ago and I can more or less say your symptoms wont be bad news it is very scary at the early stages of adjusting to your new way of eating and the tissue is still healing I hope you are feeling better soon x

James