Oesophageal Patients Association
3,673 members2,214 posts

Problems with fluid intake after Ivor Lewis

Hello everyone, I am a 67 year old male who had my IL op In Jun this year. Luckily my GIST was benign, but that hasn't prevented terrible after-effects with dry retching and occasional 'dumping". My real problem is with fluid intake. Regardless of whether it's water (still or fizzy) or lemonade. Countless times after I've drunk as little as a couple of mouthfuls it's given me nausea and cramps, usually followed by retching. This makes it so difficult to keep hydrated. I was wondering if anyone else has had this problem after Ivor Lewis and if so, did you manage to find a solution. What hasn't helped my situation either is the fact that I contracted the C.Diff superbug In hospital 2 weeks after my op. Look forward to hearing from you (hopefully with a solution!!!)

8 Replies

Morning. It's quite soon after your op. I know it doesn't feel that way. Do you separate eating and drinking? That seems to help some people. Sweet fruit juices sometimes help. I always drank tea and sometimes got cramps but thta was usually after eating. I am four and a half years post op and things do get better gradually. My cramps have gone. But I still sometimes get tired and nauseous if I drink and eat at the same sitting. Not always. Haward


Hello again, many thanks for your response. Yes I admit I am probably impatient by nature, but I am trying so hard to follow the advise given. I do try to separate food and fluid but sometimes (if there has been a bout of retching), I find I'm ready to eat and haven't had a drink so on these occasions I may not be leaving enough time. However, thanks again for your msgs which helps to know I'm not the only one suffering, which I do feel sometimes!! Best regards.


Does the temperature of the water make any difference?

I wonder if you have some form of lingering infection?

Is food all right, and is it just liquid that causes the problem?


Thanks for your reply. They've given me quite a few scans since the op and everything seems to be in order. I don't have too many problems with food, if I am careful (little, eaten slowly), it just seems to be worse with fluid. But it has helped to hear from you guys to learn that I'm not the only one suffering!!!

Best regards


I haven't had cramps and thankfully haven't felt nauseous for quite a while now but sometimes I find hot drinks too filling. I'm always ok with my first cup of tea of the day, after that they don't always go down well and I can't figure out why. Cold drinks are better but even those I only manage in limited amounts before feeling uncomfortable 'on some days'. It's so random that if I have to be anywhere for a particular time I won't risk having a drink before I go out 'just in case'. But - I've recently discovered that I can drink coconut water literally by the glass full without feeling in the least bit uncomfortable, I'm not that keen on it 'on its own' but with just a small splash of squash to give it some flavour it's really refreshing, and it doesn't leave me feeling bloated, hasn't 'so far' resulted in dumping or discomfort of any kind. Just wish it was a bit cheaper, as I could easily manage a litre (or more) a day. Don't know if it would help with cramps and nausea but it might be worth trying. Had my op in March 2012 btw.


As I've said before, I'm probably being too impatient, but I have to admit that I was never given any indication of what the after effects of the op would be so it has all come as a bit of a shock!! Having read the welcome replies I have received though, I can see that my symptoms are by no way out the the ordinary. I certainly have less problem drinking cold fluids but although I try to eat and drink at separate periods, I must admit is was beginning to concern me when I had cramps and nausea. But again it has reassured me that these are normal occurrences. Thanks again for responding. I have noted all your comments. Best regards.

1 like

Nearly all of us have experienced similar problems. It does get better - time is the great healer- but you do have to adjust to to the new reality and the principal factor is SLOWLY.

You will be nowhere near healed for at least one to two years. Only then can you make the long-term adjustments necessary to cope smoothly as prior to that everything is in too much of a state of flux.

To be sure every day seems like a miracle but keep experimenting to establish what works and what doesn't.

I am 26 years post op and can assure you that I am still making continual tiny, incremental improvements on a daily basis.

Do go back up to five years on this site, you will find that every conceivable question has been addressed a least to some extent and usually in much detail.

Given your C.Diff some of what I wrote here might be relevant :-


1 like

Hello there, as I said before, I have come to the conclusion that I am being just too impatient to get better, probably because most of the symptoms were just not explained to me. It really has reassured me to know I am not experiencing anything that you guys have not already gone through. They say a problem shared is a problem halved and that's really how I now feel. I'll just soldier on and keep adhering to the information I now have with a great deal more patience!!.

Many thanks for the trouble taken to reply. I really appreciate it.

Best regards.


You may also like...