Recently out of hospital-Ivor Lewis - Oesophageal Patie...

Oesophageal Patients Association
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Recently out of hospital-Ivor Lewis


Hi all,

Now out of hospital for 17days, having had my 'Ivor Lewis' op on 2nd July, progress seems quite slow but a recent visit to see the surgeons seems to suggest I'm not doing too bad.

Had my feeding tube removed and whilst life has drastically changed for me I would tell anyone who has the chance for this op to go for it.

I had it at the Queen Alexandra hospital, Portsmouth and the surgeon Mr Knight and specialist Upper G I nurses Lorraine and Anne, together with dietitian Lauren have been fantastic.

So far not a lot of problems, 'dumping' has improved and I am now eating a little more at each meal. At 73 yrs I hope for more time with my family and to regain some of my previous life style ( looking forward to a b-b-q ! )

20 Replies

happy to hear you are doing so well,as is my partner Sean,he had his on 9th july,he is eating well,no dumping so far, gets tired and suffers with pressure on his lower spine but a heated bean bag is helping,but the main thing he is recovering even got me running him to the bookies!,I wish you well in your recovery .Dianne.

Well done, I like your positive attitude. I am nearly six months in now and can't believe how much better I feel. I think a lot of it is getting used to the condition and making life easier for yourself. My biggest problem is to remember to chew every mouthful and concentrate on eating, difficult especially at social gatherings. Biggest improvement was after the enlargement of the gullet via an endoscopy. It may need to be done again but so far so good. Swallowing so much easier. Remember the stitches take months to dissolve so don't be in too much of a hurry. Whole body scan booked for later today so I am keeping everything crossed for a clear result. The last bbq we had I enjoyed the chicken breast on sticks and very tender mini steaks but could not cope with the chewy sausages, still that's a huge improvement on cereals and ice cream. Good luck.

in reply to slobjohnb

Thanks for your reply slobjohnb the b-b-q sounds to have been great, I don't fancy any social gatherings at the moment, perhaps after a couple of months. Good luck with the scan.

just had boiled egg and slice of well buttered toast for breakfast, something I used to eat pre condition, so hope it will go towards getting back to a nearer 'normal' life.

in reply to slobjohnb

Thinking of you and everything crossed for a clear scan later today. Xxx

Well done. Sounds like you have a good positive attitude. Just remember its not a marathon you have been through major surgery. Good Luck


in reply to kiddy

Thanks kiddy, one improved so quickly in hospital, then at home your progress seems so slow but I take note of your comments and do realise that progress will be slow.

Hi Jeff. My 79 year old father in law had his op about a week after you had yours. He has been home about 10 days now and doing well like you. He was saying yesterday he feels like he could get back on his motorbike next week... haha. I said “easy tiger” and not to get ahead of himself! Like you he is finding his way with food and he is very slowly increasing his portion sizes. He doesn’t have much appetite at all. He has lost about a stone and a half. All the best to you and here’s to many happy years with your family. Dawn xx

in reply to PhysioD

Thanks Dawn, I wish your father the best, I'm waiting to get back onto my man powered tricycle but may be it's time for an electric assist one !

in reply to jeffw663

You’ll get back on it at some point. All in good time and I’m rooting for you! All the best. Xx

Thanks to all that have replied, your advice and comments are of great help to me.

What is an Ivor Lewis op. Is that different to the usual Oesophagectomy Op?

Ivor-Lewis involves removing the oesophagus and the top part of the stomach where several nodes are situated and where cancer out cells can migrate. The stomach is then reformed and made into a tube which is stretched up and joined to the remaining gullet. Incredible, but has worked for so many. This procedure is now over seventy years old.

Hang in there old son , good diet and exercise most important not too much sugar or carbs high protein and small frequent meals I am four months out and doing some building and farm work. I am 67 and looking forward to seeing some grand kids one day I was looking pretty bad before the op 6 doctors told me I would be dead in 6 months without the op good luck

CJ Mudgee Australia

in reply to Horses444

Thanks for your words of encouragement, it's good to know how well you are doing, I am careful re sugar but find I get tired very quickly. Thanks again CJ good luck with future grandchildren. Jeff

At 73 your progress after 20 days from IL Op is exceptional. Hope to see more of your inputs more frequently to enlighten us all.

Best regards

in reply to Mauser1905

Wow thank you, it seems slow to me but everyone out there seems to think I'm doing OK. Went shopping to the supermarket this afternoon with my wife, about hour and a half trolling the isles, made it back home and even had a 20 min walk this morning so I guess I'm pleased with progress today.

thanks Jeff

I think you sound as if you are doing great. I had my op in september and didnt get to a shop till nov. I think supermarket came after Christmas. I can do it all alone again now but have to be carefull bending. Hope your good progress continues.

Hi grandylynda, thanks for your reply, to be honest I had had enough shopping after 20 min but carried on and then slept for most of the next day.

As I replied to girlbrickie, yesterday was a big milestone for me as I got my trike out and rode about 1/2 mile there and back on our country lanes and did the same today, I took it very gently but found I enjoy this exercise better than walking. Have an electric assist one on order so hope to extend my distances.

Sleeping with the pillow wedge is still difficult for me but hey-ho you have got to get on with what you have.

kind regards

So pleased you are so upbeat about your surgery.

I had this op..rooftop incision from hips to belly button and from under right breast round the bra line and up to my shoulder...quite a talking point at the swimming pool.

My surgery was November 2005..yes a while ago now. It was gruelling as i lost four stones in a month because i caught superbly.. staff aurius and c diff. So was extremely ill. I did find pain pretty awful to cope with as my bowel became so inflamed..this was early days for hospitals didnt have strict enough rules in place but thankfully its all just a memory now..

I had dark days as i adjusted to the loss of social pig outs...big meals at Christmas etc..

However..I'm alive..I've seen both my daughter's be married and each has given us a grandson and now we are awaiting grandchild number 3...

Please contact me anytime if you are having a bad day and also youre good days. I'm in Scotland and dont sleep much so if you have questions or need a matter.. I'm here.

Hi Girlbrickie, wow you had a rough time of it but as you say that's in the past now you have a fantastic outlook that you can be proud of.

Yes I haven't dared to try eating out, we have had friends round once for a light lunch but that's it, I am a little scared of over eating so I will leave that for a while.

Thank you for your offer of contact, if needed I will take you up on it.

Yesterday was a big milestone for me as I got my trike out and rode about 1/2 mile there and back on our country lanes and did the same today, I took it very gently but found I enjoy this exercise better than walking. Have an electric assist one on order so hope to extend my distances.

Odd fact, we also are expecting our 3rd grandchild !

Good to hear from you,

kind regards

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