Digestion: Hi everyone. I am 18 months... - The Roy Castle Lu...

The Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation

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Hi everyone. I am 18 months post left lower lobectomy. Does anyone have digestion problems since their op?

I also have a pain breathing in on the side of my cancerous lobe. Is this right 18 months on?



16 Replies

Hi Ronnie57,

Had Left upper lobectomy 5 months ago and have had digestion problems ever since. Had ct scan to see what was happening. Everything was fine, Oncologist said gullet can be pulled to side when muscles are returning to normal therefore food doesn't go straight down easily. Told to eat small amounts little and often with plenty fluids to wash it down. Does help but still suffer excessive burping and hiccups. lol. Not ladylike and really uncomfortable at times. Have you had problem from early on?

Ronnie57 in reply to Poodlie

Thank you for your reply. Yes just hasn’t been the same since my op. Burping is the worst!!

Poodlie in reply to Ronnie57

Oh dear! Had hoped this would improve but obviously not. Have given up on foods which are hard to digest or too spicy, but nice food is spoiled by the dreaded after effects. Did you question the problem at any time or have you just put up with it.

Ronnie57 in reply to Poodlie

Yes I have told oncology no end of times. They have doubled my dose of Pantaprazole. It hasn’t helped. I don’t eat citrus fruit. Spicy food. etc. I keep asking if it’s cancer elsewhere as the pain is so bad at times. I have a ct scan on 7 September and hope they can give me answers then. I have a toy poodle 🐩. What do you have?

Poodlie in reply to Ronnie57

So glad you have a date for your scan. It is worrying when things don't improve. Is easy to say don't worry but not easy to do. I take omeprazole, but doesn't seem to be working now. Support nurse advised to see GP to try something else. Will have to do so. Fed up eating such a bland diet and food like babyfood. lol. I don't have a dog myself but look after my daughters goldendoodle and two spaniels. Great dogs.

Ronnie57 in reply to Poodlie

Yes I am going to have to see why I am still in pain 18 months on. I hope and pray it’s not back in that lung. I have two nodules in right lung that they are watching. Dreading the results of the scan but can’t wait to have it to see what’s going on. Will let you know.


Dear Yvonne

Sorry to hear you are having ongoing digestive issues, this can happen for some people and if there has been irritation of the phrenic nerve during surgery this can cause the hiccups and can settle down.

Cancer research UK provide some information on managing hiccups:



The American Cancer Society provide the following advice on what may help hiccups:

Breathe slowly and deeply into a paper bag for 10 breaths at a time.

Drink water slowly.

Bear down gently as if having a bowel movement (called the Valsalva maneuver).

Hold a teaspoon of sugar in your mouth and then swallow.

Avoid forcing yourself to eat.


It may be worthwhile asking to be referred to a Gastroenterology for review, whilst you are waiting for your scan.

As Poodlie has advised, small frequent meals along with what you are already doing avoiding hot spicy foods.

You may wish to consider speaking to your local pharmacist to see if there is anything else they can advise to ease your symptoms.

If there is anything else you would like to discuss you can either email us at lungcancerhelp@roycastle.org or call our freephone nurse led helpline number on 0800 358 7200

Hope you do feel better soon.

Kind regards

The Roy Castle Support Team

Thank you so much. Yvonne

Hi Ronnie

Shortly after surgery I started getting indigestion and a frog like crock. I never left the house without Rennes.

I have been on Lansoprazole for two years and no longer have the indigestion or frog noise

The chest pain might be nerve pain in your ribs as they might have moved your ribs to remove your lobe, this should settle down once your rib goes back into the right position.

Thank you. They have mentioned nerve pain.

I found that going to the gym and doing exercises made the pain go away quicker than doing nothing and taking pain killers.

My gym days are long past. I am disabled with arthritis. But I do try to keep moving every day.

Try lifting your left arm straight up over you head while seated and lean your upper body to the right if possible . This stretches your left side and my help your ribs back into place.

Thanks. Will try that. Yvonne

Hi Ronnie 57 I had right labectomy in February and suffer with swallowing and hiccups which is starting to ease now having a ct scan tomorrow hopefully everything OK Best wishes

Ronnie57 in reply to Doppydan

Thank you. Hope the scan goes ok. Swallowing is a problem. I feel like I have a lump stopping my food going down. Can’t wait to get me scan to see what’s going on.

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