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Oesophageal Patients Association
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Stretch post op

Hi

I'm 15 weeks post gastrectomy and I've started to notice that some food isn't going down as well as it did and it feels a little...uncomfortable (I wouldn't go as far to call it painful). My Gi nurse told me this might happen and not to panic as it will probably mean I need a stretch. Phoned for an app yesterday and it's looking like 4 weeks before I can be seen. Obviously this brings back memories of dysphagia and the diagnosis and try as I might there is a niggling feeling that thia might be more than scar tissue.

I guess I have a couple of questions... Is it possible for something to grow from microscopic cells to obstructing my oesophagus in 15 weeks, and more importantly, has anyone had a stretch before and how does it feel?

Thanks in advance as ever

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I had issues with food going down strange for the first 5 years at least and still have issues if I have not eaten in a long time. My tumor was in the middle of my esophagus.

Aoife

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Thanks aoife. Just realised I'm only 12 weeks post op. Time flies etc...

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Being scared is understandable after what has happened. It takes a long time for the new normal and even that gets better over time. I am here having a regular sized dinner here as I write.

Take care :)

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my husband had a stretch about 3 months after being discharged. He had a stent fitted after his op because of a leak. I had just about got him eating some solid foods when he seemed to go backwards feeling that food was sticking. Like you he worried and imagined all sorts, but he was fitted in for a stretch and (touch wood) has made good progress since then.

Try not to worry (easier said than done) - he said it didn't hurt at all and the relief was immediate - he came home and ate a dinner!

Good luck.

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Although these things are never guaranteed, it does not sound like a potential recurrence - if the hospital had thought so they would have whipped you in for a scan. Does the texture of the food make a difference? I could imagine that bread, rice, stringy meat, fruit skins and so on might make it more difficult to pass through, but it would depend on how well they had been digested at that point. Having a 'stretch' of the pyloric sphincter is quite a normal thing in these cases, and it sometimes comes as part of the 'fine tuning' after the surgery when your system has settled down.

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