I am almost 4 months post op for esophageal cancer stage 2.I have been through radiation and chemo before operation,I am having problems with frothing and when I am elevated in my bed my wife can hear the gurgling.I have lost 50-60 pounds and I am still having trouble eating.Eating is a big challenge for me..I want to eat but have a hard time getting it down,I drink water with every thing not because I want to its the only thing that pushes my food down.I also cough a lot which I never use to.Everyone keeps saying it will get better and I have enough faith and love to know that it will,I still have a long road to go.

5 Replies

  • It does take time - I found the first 6 months post surgery incredibly difficult but gradually it got better and I even went on to have 2 children - I am back at my weight pre-cancer at this stage and I was diagnosed in 2006 (stage 3 query stage 4) when I was 32.

  • Thanks,I know it will get better,just not use to being laid up and not being able to work like this.I get dizzy at times.

  • I think you have reached a crucial stage in your recovery when it does seem in your minds like you will never get properly better. It is a common thing, and many people go through it, but they invariably get through this stage OK, and I am sure you will do so too.

    Do contact the specialist nurse for an appointment rather than waiting for the next scheduled one. The frothing does happen fairly often and they might give medication to help. It sounds like the food may be being blocked and not passing through past your new stomach as soon as it should. So they may give you medication to help with this, or possibly give your pyloric sphincter (valve at the base of your stomach) a stretch - which is a very straightforward procedure with an endoscope.

    The gurgling sounds dramatic, but it is probably your digestive system trying to do its job, and having air mixed up with the digested food, and the quantity of water, perhaps. These things always sound worse in the middle of the night. It might also feasibly be the result of eating a bit too late in the evening, perhaps?

    Drinking lots of water with your food is not always a good thing. I know you do so to try and solve the problem of your food not going down properly, but your words about 'pushing' your food down suggest that either you are trying to eat too much in one go, or there is a bit of a blockage (which does not mean anything to do with cancer returning, but just the need for an adjustment with a 'stretch' as mentioned above.) Major surgery, like you have been through, does sometimes require a bit of adjustment afterwards. You must feel very anxious about it, but I am sure that the hospital can sort it out and will be able to tell you what is happening better than we can. You are very justified in giving them a call.

    You will feel very different at your new weight, and this does require adjustment in how you perceive your body, but the amount you have lost is not disproportionate (depending on the weight you started) compared to quite a few others who have had the same operation. It does affect the way others regard you, and they may comment accordingly, but weight does not always equal health. It is more important that you maintain an intake of nutrition and you will gradually settle in to a new healthy weight, which may, or may not, be radically different from what you were a year or two ago. But that is an issue that can wait until after this other food transit problem has been resolved.

  • Thank you,you really helped me understand,I have an endoscopy coming up and I am sure they will fix whatever is wrong,I really have great doctors!!

  • SHAY: From: Joseph R. USA,. Mass:. My esophagectomy was 16 1/2 years ago done open in Boston. I had multiple J tubes due to dumping syndrome and delayed gastric emptying. That bought on my gastric bypass as we were trying to divert vile lower. That has led to a massive hernia behind my left lung and then scar tissue that needed to be removed.. I had the Vagus nerve cut "twice" The vagus nerve is along the side of the esophagus it controls tons of secretions some heart rythmn and food passage in the gut. The GI doctor can order a GI Motility test. You eat a radiographic scrambled egg. The tech makes the egg with a very small amount of radioactive tracer. The tracer is followed using a special ultrasound once the test is done your GI or GP can get the results and discuss them with you. It does take time to heal up. A pyloroplasty is done with many esophagus surgical procedures. The muscular ring that goes between the stomach and duodenal portion of the small intestine. Any scar tissue their could be causing your symptom.

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