Oesophageal Patients Association
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"The surgical scars all heal after 6 weeks so you will not do any damage as such "- mmm ,anyone else have doubts about this timescale ?

I had op 13 weeks ago and have had considerable pain from site of surgery . It's made significantly worse by movement and improves with rest . Indeed ,after 3 days in bed following chemo the pain finally lifted . But now 18 days later it's returning .

So should I be concerned and ask to see surgical team ? Saw oncology today and told them ,but there was no response to this particular issue .

9 Replies

Hi there Violetqueen,

I can see that you are concerned about the pain from your scars and with these operations and chemo, pain can occur.

The scars typically heal after 6 weeks, but it depends on the individual. The pain from the scars can last a lot longer as your nerves in the area regrow.

If you have any concerns then you should raise them with your medical team. It might be worth seeing if you can talk to your nurse specialist or surgeon.




General pattern is that skins heals in 10 - 14 days; muscles and incisions regain strength in 2-3 months; nerves approximately 9 months, but it does vary for individuals.


Thanks . I suppose my concern is that movement worsens the situation and rest improves it . Makes me nervous that I'm damaging something by carrying on as much as I can as normal . Not sure how careful I should be .


Hi .. my partner is 4mths post op and till in pain in scar area but more in the front rib area, he worries but I try and reassure him that it is the healing process , so we keep being informed. He has gone back to work I think ... to early and maybe makes the problem worse. Hope things get better for you soon.



You don't say exactly which type of surgery you had. In my case, I had an Ivor Lewis oesophago-gastrectomy carried out some 2.5 years ago and still have discomfort in my right rear ribs, which is the result of nerve damage. It is relieved by support and rest but it is by no means unbearable. I am told by the medics that things will not change.

Best wishes,



Hi violet

My husband has same and is 15 weeks post op. Has been walking daily and restricting oramorph to 5-10mg in morning only. Pain is under right rib and sometimes slight shooting pains up and around rear scar. Hot water bottle has helped in past as has heat pads but over all rest is best. Have been advised by physio that some kind of hydrotherapy may help but am going back to surgeon to validate .


Thanks for the replies everyone . My pain is less severe than it was so I'm sure I'm on the right track .

i had a transhiatal esophagectomy - with "roof top " scars . Pain is near ribs ,worse on my left than right .And it's still all really swollen .odd as I've lost weight everywhere else but still have a big torso bulging out !


Hi Violet queen, i am just over 5 months post-op and didn't experience much pain after leaving hospital, took no pain relief etc. the area was "uncomfortable" for the first 10 weeks or so, after which i could resume sleeping on my side without feeling that all my insides were tipping over!

I'm back at work and resumed gym and swim 3 weeks ago with no discomfort.

We're all different and have different medical backgrounds and fitness levels but your pain does sound exceptional and seems to warrant further investigation, maybe best to speak to your surgical nurse specialist, mine is always really helpful, and maybe try and log what makes it better or worse?

Good luck, Hilary


Thanks hilr . Maybe I should . I kind of feel all they can do is a CT scan which may or may not show something . I know if it's scar adhesions there isn't much they can do .

I'll monitor it as you suggest .


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