Oesophageal Patients Association
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Help!!

Hi All, I am 5 weeks post op for oesophagus cancer Ivor Lewis operation. Things are going well and it looks like they got it all out. I have had a horrendous cough since, bringing up loads of clear mucus. The cough makes me sick most days. Any advice?

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Hi John,

I experienced this, too. It started about 3 weeks post surgery, coughing, mucus and sort of a cramp in my throat. I couldn't eat 'normal food' at the table, but with nuts and wine gums I kept my weight. It's important that you drink enough, even if it's 'unhealthy' lemonade.

In any case this condition didn't last, I think the body needs some time to adjust and then it get's better.

Best wishes,

Monika

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Awww thank you so much. Just driving me crazy. You got me going there. I thought you said nuts & wine.... not gums x

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Well, at that time I didn't like wine, more the sweets. But if you do, why not, no doctor told me so far to avoid alcoholic drinks!

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Thank you Doctor. Now where’s that Rosé.

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Hi this is normal my mum had this after the operation ... It will go eventually

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Thank you. Hope your mum is ok.

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Hello John,

First, bloody well done on getting this far, you're a fighter. I'm three years out now and doing well, I also run a support group for OP in Surrey. Mucocitis, which is what you're describing, drove me made, as still on occasions still does. My surgeon suggested keeping well hydrated during the day and taking hay fever remedies which I do . My own home grown solution is to keep a packet of Trebor Xtra stong mints and sucking on these.

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Awww yeah it’s been a journey for sure. Coughing is driving me nuts. Still better than the alternative. Right x

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Following on from my earlier reply to you, last night we had two of our friends round for dinner. I love cooking and I made watercress soup followed by fish pie with carrots and peas. All easy to eat. My wife made a chocolate dessert and a lemon and lime meringue pie. I only ate relatively small portions and we had a lovely evening with wine and cheeses afterwards. The most difficult thing I have found is remembering to chew each mouthful thoroughly and concentrating on what you are biting off! Especially during interesting conversation. This is 8 months since the op so it shows how you can get better quite quickly. I have Labradors which require loads of walks, luckily we live in the Suffolk countryside, this has helped to get me fit and keep active. No, Suffolk is not flat, we have several hills and valleys.

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Aww thanks for this. I’ve eaten quite well today so I think I’m getting there . Also did a 2 mile walk today. Slowly getting there

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I think I failed to push the send button on my first reply. Basically I said the full stomach feeling is not down to the throat restriction, mainly the much smaller size of the stomach itself, give it time, the internal stitches take up to a year to fully dissolve also the doctors will not give you another stretch for a while as it does take time to settle down again.

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Are you lying too flat? For the first 6 weeks post op I slept in a chair and now have a wedge in bed to keep my mouth above my gullet. Regards Tanktank

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I’m lying on 4 pillows so trying to keep my acid flow down. Sadly I do slip down the bed during the night. I’m sure that doesn’t help xx Thank you x

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It would be worth asking the specialist nurse. Sometimes medication can help. If it is a problem with motility ie your system swallowing and taking food downwards, and that this is the reason for the mucus and cough, it might be that something like domperidone might help, but it is definitely something you need to check with the specialists at hospital, and this is completely unqualified speculation.

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