Oesophageal Patients Association
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Do I need another stretch? (I am 6 years post op) last few months been woken up on and off with throat closing up. (sleep propped up)

The the last few weeks has progressed to swallowing, getting food down. I rang the upper GI nursing and got an appointment to see a registrar. He helped to assure me it was stress and reflux. (I should not have gone on my own did not want to worry anyone.) I wanted to hear good news stress and reflux!

Told close one's after, lived through the journey we know it is not either!

Is there anyone had the stomach, part oesophagus taken away had this?

I know I should not worry but scary the same symtoms, experienced and fought for so long to get diagnosed!

6 Replies

Yes you may need a stretch ans medication for reflux.Not experienced it myself but know others who have.2 thirds of my stomach was removed!


I had similar op to you just over 2 years ago but so far have not had any problems. I take omeprazole twice daily for reflux and also sleep propped up. I count myself as one of the luckier ones.

Hope all goes well for you

All the best



I think it is one of the relatively common things that people do experience after this surgery - but you do have it have it checked out!

Is the reflux acid or bile? If it is bile (alkali) the medication like omeprazole will not work the same way as it is a proton pump inhibitor that switches off stomach acid, whereas bile comes from the liver.

Sometimes the valve (pylorus) at the bottom of the stomach does not work properly, and needs a stretch so that food passes through properly, but the surgeon would probably have checked that.

I think you are quite entitled and justified to feel worried about these developments. Instinct and knowledge about how one's body normally reacts is a good asset! So if this session does not solve things, do not be worried about going back because it may be something less obvious, but still not sinister!

Gaviscon works differently (it is an alginate) and creates a protective raft against reflux for a few hours, so you can experiment with that without it affecting the other medication you may be having.

Sucralfate is a medication that some people find helpful, but it would need to be prescribed, probably from the hospital.



My surgery will be 7 years ago this September and I have experienced the same issue, I had the throat stretch 3 times within the first 2 years, the last one was the permanant fix, some others I know only needed 1 stretch, it is a common occurance after this kind of surgery so not something to worry about too much.

Also at 3 years out I thought it had returned but it was the pylorus valve getting narrower this time, again just an endoscopy procedure to inject botox, this can be a permanant fix after 1 or 2 goes, or if not, it is simple keyhole op to cure.

I have not had a problem for 3 and a half years now.

It can be worrying issue but please do involve others as it does help to share and talk, they will know something is not quite right and can help in sharing the concerns.

Stress can be caused by the reflux and swallowing issue if sort of got worse over time with and yes, you will fear the worse and not want to worry anyone else, so stress could be factor now.

It is quite common within our support group and can be an easy fix in most cases so do not worry.

Please let us know how you get on at the appointment.

Best wishes and kindest regards,

Dave C


Sorry,but I am not clear about what symptoms you are experiencing.

I f you are having increasing difficulty with swallowing (liquids &/or food ?) then this might indicate a narrowing -- this narrowing is likely to be of the scar tissue in the area of your Anastomosis ,which is where your pulled up stomach tube is joined to the remaining stump of the Oesophagus.

This narrowing can be either temporary or permanent .If the latter,permanent ,then the cure is


Temporary narrowing can be brought on by swelling from irritation.A likely culprit is reflux containing either acid &/or bile .

Tackle this at source by seeing if you can minimize reflux .What have you changed recently-

what you eat , when you eat and crucially how you sleep .I have very strong views,expressed in earlier posts,about the inadvisability of sleeping propped up.

If you find this improves things then you may have found a solution which avoids hospital intervention.You will have entered the virtuous circle ,which is the antidote to the vicious circle.

You will be more comfortable ,your self-esteem will have grown so you will sleep better so you will have less reflux,so your discomfort will decrease ,so you will be less anxious , so...... .

I am 22 years post-op.I can't claim that these difficulties get less BUT their impact fades as understanding increases and the ability to manage them gets slicker and slicker.

Only three weeks ago I feared I was in need of a stretch when something got stuck.Nothing would go down and nothing ,not even a burp,would come up.Fortunately the obstruction was below my Trachea so I could breath.As it was Saturday evening I wasn't prepared to chance Casualty.Fifteen hours later my swallowing reflex kicked in and with a gurgle it was gone.



Sorry for my late reply I dont get on the computer everyday. Thank you for your replies they did help me feel better. I do believe it is a stretch the narrowing of the scar tissue, I had to have one after my op my surgeon explained they had not widened it enough, may or may not have to be done again.

Like everyone I have had to learn and suffer with all sorts living with the new body, tried to conquer it and just the last few years realised I have got so used it accept it alot better. (Have bowel problem too)

The swalling problem I am having is best described as tonsilitas without the pain and then stuck where the join would be, liquid also difficult now. My daughter has got app for friday see a specialist, unfortunatly I have moved away from my surgeon who knew me. Honest! tell me anything I asked even if it was not what I wanted to hear. My daughter and I have thought the same from the start would rather know what to come good or bad, be prepared for it. Helped us get through the op although it did not go to plan. ha Can anyone let me know honestly if there is a chance the cancer come back and if so all the info. My daughter is googling reading all sorts, we laughed last week, same symtoms when I had my cancer. We would rather know, celebrate just needed a stretch but prepared for the worse not hear it on a consultation.

Love your name gutless wonder all you been through. ha


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