Can't stomach as much. Get it?!!

I am 2 years post op (full gastrectomy and partial oesophagectomy) and in the last 4/6 weeks I have developed problems in eating as much as I was used to. I never really did whole little and often thing, and could even manage a 3 course meal. Now, however I eat halfway through a burger and fell like its almost struggling to go down. If I force more down I end up spitting out saliva and keep feeling I need to burp or hiccup. I only had a PET scan a fortnight ago and CT scan, where the CT showed a thickening around my new join, which the PET scan showed wasn't cancer thankfully so must be scar tissue.

I have been referred for an endoscope, which hopefully won't take the 12 weeks it took the first time before I was diagnosed.

Anyone else experienced anything similar?



7 Replies

  • Hi, im also 2 years in, had the same op but with many problems, only just beginning to feel normal. It sounds like scare tissue to me, when food sticks the saliva is produced to assist the transport of food, so it sounds like it is getting stuck. if you need a stretch, it is a straight forward procedure, i have had 9 or 10 in total, the interval between gets longer each time, so its working, hope this is some help. take care and keep in touch if you would like any further advice...Mike

  • I had a total gastrectomy 4 years ago and have always had issues eating and food as well as liquid hurts going down, I often bring up the first couple of mouthfuls of food and after that seem to be okay. Maintained my weight around 10 stone (used to be 15) so happy with that. I too have the saliva bit plus burp very often that seems to relieve the pain. Very often bring up bile but some days can be fine. Been told it is something I have to live with although pushing for another endoscopy to see if anything going on down there as not had one for over a year. If only I could eat a burger??


  • If your food is not getting past your pyloric sphincter (at the base of the stomach) as well as it has in the past, the surgeons may well consider giving it a stretch, depending on what the cause of the 'blockage' is. Definitely one to discuss with them and it is good that the scans have shown that it may be scar tissue.

    Changing tack a bit, your new stomach will swell and get bigger, but I think, subject to any advice you get on this from the surgeons, that you need to be careful about overloading your stomach. If food is not passing through properly, you get extra weight of undigested food and this might feasibly cause your new stomach to get a bit 'baggy' and to lose its proper shape. This might result in the loss of the funnel or tube shape that the surgeons create to make sure that the sphincter valve is always at the bottom and that it drains well. Probably this is being over cautious, but, generally, trying to force food through (and I know you did not write that you were doing this) is not a good idea. It comes back to the 'little and often' principle, as you say.

  • MIchael

    Snap. I am eighteen post op (Transachial Oesophagectomy). I had/have the same as you. CT & PET Scans say NOT Cancer but I do have some thickening. Like you this makes eating uncomfortable. I feel full up when I have eaten very little.

    I have a theory that it is all seasonal related. I get very bad hay-fever which gives me a sore throat. Not agony, just there and uncomfortable. I figure that the anti-histamine adds to my full up feeling. It also when bad is affected by the texture of the food I eat. Salmon is very bad as is potato. Oat cakes are fine as is tea and coffee.

    Please keep us posted.

  • I hope evrything goes well for you my personal experience is this. My "thickening of tissue" from a CT in March was followed by a endoscopy with biopsys which were clear. A follow up CT in early June shows the "thickening" has grown and is if fact a regrowth of the original tumour. :-(

  • Hi westhamwhit

    In terms of capacity what did you expect?

  • Hello yes i still have swallowing issues more than 12 years post Ivor Lewis. Now if i eat a little i have to stop and wait for half an hour and then try to eat somd more. Told my surgeon this last week. Within 4 days i had an appointment to go for a gastroscopy and dilatation. I am to have the camera down yet again and stretch my neck anastomosis, stretch my pylorus and have botox around my pylorus valve also.

    An Oesophagectomy Revision was discussed if i keep having swallowing problems but only as a last resort. This will be my 9th gastroscopy and dilatation in 3 years. Getting a bit fed up of them now.

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