Oesophageal Patients Association
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coughing when eating


I am 9 months post op and heave been coughing for the last 5 months when i eat most foods. i have found the only things that i can eat that don't make me cough are soups and yogurts. i have spoken to my surgeon who didn't seem worried he just said it is caused by reflux when i'm eating. he did not tell me what i could do to help myself with this problem. I don't enjoy eating now as i spend the whole mealtime coughing. does anyone know if there is anything i can do to stop this problem please?

thanks Marg

7 Replies

Hi Marg

I am almost 3 years post op and I still cough when I eat. I was told by a radiographer that anyone having long deep anaesthesia would be left with a cough due to the gases during surgery. But my surgeon was a little dismissive of that. I have recently seen an ENT consultant and he thinks it is sensitive scar tissue.

Basically Marg many of us are left with a cough but they don't know why.

Hope work isn't too stressful


Edwina x


Hi Edwina

Thank you for your reply I do find it embarrassing to eat when I'm out so just stick to soup all the time and wish I could enjoy eating again as I cough that much I make myself sick with other foods but hopefully this will calm down soon. Work is ok thanks very tiring now I'm back fulltime but need to earn some money now my husband has lost his job. Hope you too are ok and keeping well

Take care

Love Marg x



It might be that you need a dilatation. I always cough a lot coming up to the time when I need a stretch. Check my other answers or do a search on coughing when eating.

best wishes



If you use the tags, you will see that this has come up before.

I think that you do need more medical help to work out exactly what is happening. I understand what the surgeon meant, but this is a significant issue that affects your quality of life, so it does need to be sorted out, either by a dilatation, medication, or some other approach. Part of your treatment should be to try to restore you to a stage when you can eat without this sort of thing happening.


Try asking for dilation or some form of medication like lazansoprol for reflux


thanks Griff

would i be able to see my GP and ask for a dilation or Lazansoprol? sorry if i sound stupid not knowing

regards marg


At only nine months post-op you should still be in the care of the hospital team,particularly if you have recurrent/ongoing problems.

Don't be shy about making a nuisance of yourself.

The NHS operates a de facto rationing policy by only dealing with the most acute &/or the most persistent.You were the former now you have to become the latter.

It would be most unusual if your GP knew anything at all about your condition.

Become an expert about yourself - then 'they' will listen and take notice.


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