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Oesophageal Patients Association
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Advice need please

Hi all. Its been nearly a year since i was diagnosed with OC. I was very fortunate to only need surgery . I had the IL procedure on the 16th of march . Its been a long and difficult journey with many ups and downs! more downs than ups!! recently i noticed food sticking and coughing again fortunatley i had my three month check up with my consultant yesterday who has now booked an emergency endoscopy for next tuesday with a view to have a look at whats going on and possibly carry out a stretch. I didnt think to ask about how long it would take and what the procedure involves. it would be great if somebody who has gone through it could give me some advice ? also to end on a good note , i am due to have my jejunostomy tube removed sometime in march :)

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Hi - well done on getting this far !

The stretch is really simple and quick ,I don't think you will notice the difference between the procedure and a standard endoscopy .Tho the sedation might be a little deeper .

Good luck ,it must be scary having trouble again . Let us know how you get on.

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thank you violetqueen

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I had stage 1 cancer and like you was lucky only to have just the operation. I'm no 3 years down the road. However, 4 months after IL I had the same problem as you and had 4 further stretches. The first was blind what I mean by that is the doctor had to do the stretching without using the camera because the diameter of the new conduit was only 2mm and the camera was 10mm. I elected to not have any anesthetic because the doctor preferred to have some sort of feedback from me. I know the doctor fed down a gold wire which was used as a guide then this was followed by a small device the stretched the conduit. In all, I guess I was in the operating theatre about 40 mins plus another hour in recovery to make sure there was no bleeding.The stretching of the conduit was done on 4 separate visits to the hospital over a 3 month period. The first stretched to 5mm, 7mm and 11mm and finally 13mm which is were I am now. I can eat pretty well now and the doctor has decided he doesn't want to go any further. I have a review in August 2018 and will discuss whether there is any advantages to stretch a bit further. I hope this helps a bit, but of course everyone is different and you procedure with depend on you and your doctor approach. I wish you well. Nigel

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Hi beatthis62,

My husband has had this procedure done 7 times in the last 12 months, and as violetqueen says, you probably won't notice the difference too much.

A balloon is normally inserted and blown up to stretch the gullet, and if you elect for sedation it will probably be similar to the endoscopy. You should notice a change in swallowing straight away..

Good luck xx

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thank you lynnbibb

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thank you Nigel

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Hi beatthis62, I am glad to hear you are having your tube removed soon and hope you are otherwise well? Did you have an endoscopy before the surgery? It is the same procedure, only they look again at how everything is. My husband had a large ridge were the surgery healed which caused the same effect as the tumour for making food stick as it went past. They just carefully move the pipe up and down a couple of extra times which helps to 'stretch' this lump and then hopefully make a difference after. It did for him. I do not recall it taking any longer than the normal check up ones. If you haven't had one before, the main thing is to decide is whether you want sedation or not. He originally didn't and trying to swallow the camera / tube was very difficult. For his later ones, and I think this stretching one, he was sedated. If you choose sedation, someone needs to drive you home. Good luck with everything.

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thank youNpride

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hi Npride thank you

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I would strongly advise, that you insist on sedation. The procedure itself is quick and painless and offers instant relief. I have had this done many times now. But..... Without sedation many complain about gag reflex etc. As a confirmed wimp, I like to ensure that I have no such issues hence my insistence on maximum sedation.

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thank you bruce

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Had a procedure booked early January as I was getting severe pain in my side especially after eating early evening and occasionally even though eating a very small amount was being sick. During the procedure (for which I was out cold!) my surgeon stretched where my oes. had narrowed and injected 2 botox into the area. Since I have been OK but have started very occasionally with the pain again although he did say the procedure may have to be repeated. No problems during or after the procedure other than getting rid of the air that had been pumped into me!!!! Good luck for next Tues. am sure you will notice a difference immediately.

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I had by far more discomfort from the jeju tube (4 months) than the Ivor Lewis op

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