Complication after dilation? - Oesophageal Patie...

Oesophageal Patients Association

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Complication after dilation?

Tilly1000 profile image

Hi, my husband has had his 1st dilation & is now experiencing something, during the day he.s fine but as soon as he starts to lay backwards to go to sleep, his throat tickles then he coughs, his mouth seems to fill with saliva? GI nurses said probably acid reflux as narrowing of oesphagus initially kept acid down now it has room to flood up, he’s now on a drug to speed up the digestion of food, changed his biggest meal from evening to lunch time so only a small snack in the evening, no food or drink 5 hours before bedtime, raised the head part of the bed by 9 inches, bought a recliner chair with footstool, he already takes Lansoprazole, tried gaviscon all types, chewing sugar free gum, tried bicarbonate of soda, anyone had similar issue?

8 Replies

I initially had a lot of saliva in my mouth and throat but it was never a big problem. When I first started choking on food after the op I wondered how my body could produce so much saliva. Thank goodness it did as I had something to spit out after endless coughing. I got through many boxes of tissues. Luckily this slowly went after my first dilation. If your husband is not suffering pain or bad tastes in his mouth don't worry about it. The body has a lot of adjusting to do.

Tilly1000 profile image
Tilly1000 in reply to slobjohnb

Thank you, it all came to a head last night and had to call an ambulance, turns out during dilation there was a small tear that has lead to an infection, he was put on IV antibiotics and already is feeling better, what a relief!

slobjohnb profile image
slobjohnb in reply to Tilly1000

Oh my goodness, what a problem, thank goodness it was spotted quickly, that can be really difficult, glad that he is on the mend. Lets hope that he soon gets back to normal. I had my op at the end of January and after one dilation I have had an all-clear body scan and I'm feeling really well. I've got used to living with my new self and am amazed at how the human body can recover. Good luck.

I hope he is OK. My dad just had dilation (2 days ago) but last night he couldn't stop coughing so I'm a bit concerned. Did he have any other concerns which made him go to the hospital to find he had a tear? I'll see if elevating when sleeping will make his cough less... He can swallow soft food but unable to drink any liquids unless thickened as it goes down his airways or lungs...

Hi, in the end nothing helped him stop coughing, doctors think maybe pneumonia now, there doing a CT Scan today, I’m wondering if there thinking cancer has spread to his lung but trying to stop thinking like that, his other symptoms were a rattle when he breathed, I thought & the GI Nurses that it was acid reflux but it wasn’t, my husband coughed bad when he laid down, maybe your dad should go to A&E if he has another night of coughing just to make sure?

Hi, my dad has been in hospital since dilation - he was admitted a few days before that as he couldn’t swallow anything. He has stage IV cancer which has spread to his lungs and lymph nodes.. Was doing well on Chemo but stopped when he lost his voice suddenly. Found out his vocal cord has damaged and they found a tumour on his neck...

The Drs don’t seem to be concerned but he has had aspiration pneumonia before and the symptoms were coughing. If my dad’s cough gets worse we’ll ask for a CT.

Good luck with your husband, good he is at the hospital to get checked out. I think it would be pneumonia if anything (but I’ve heard dilation can cause coughing??) and he’ll be given antibiotics and will be better in no time xx

Thanks Tilly1000

Alan_M profile image
Alan_M in reply to Tilly1000

Tears can occasionally happen, and hopefully small ones might heal themselves OK, but do go back to them straight away if there is any further trouble. I do not think that it would be a matter of cancer in the lungs, but if food leaks through the wall into the chest cavity it can lead to infections / pneumonia and these can be dangerous.

If the worst comes to the worst (which seems unlikely from what you have said) he would need to be taken off food / drink by mouth for a while. The tears normally heal by themselves, but it can, in some cases, be frustratingly slow.

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