Oesophageal Patients Association
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Hi All you fellow survivors

Ever since my op two and a half years ago I have had a dry persistent cough. At first I just put it down to having my lung deflated during surgery. But as time has gone on I got a little concerned that there was something else going on. It has taken nearly a year of calling my surgical team and two barium swallows, but still no definitive answers. I am beginning to think they are hoping it will get better on its own.

After speaking with my GP she said she wanted me to have an xray as my lungs sounded rather crackerly. On Friday I went along for my xray and while chatting to the radiologist she said 'Oh, I see a lot of people who have had long deep anaesthetics like you with persistent coughs, its all due to the anaesthetic gases, and it can take years to disappear!'.

So, I now have some more information to pass on to my surgeon when I see him next month. It does seem that the after effects of this surgery are still relatively unknown, and we are all learning as we survive longer.

I hope this will be of some help and comfort to anyone else out there with a similar problem.

Best wishes to you all

Edwina xxxx

9 Replies

Hi Edwina

We all have problems that we cannot understand that cause us to worry, and I think that coughs and sore throats are a common problem for us all after this operation.Its good that you have found this out and as you say it does help and comfort other patients, well done.



That is helpful to know. I must say I did keep going back to the GP with a cough, who kept saying he could not hear anything wrong, and I was beginning to think that it was the effects of the surgery and infections I had had in the chest cavity; or some kind of nerve reaction. But eventually it did clear up. It seemed ages before I could take a real deep breath without provoking a cough.


Hi Edwina

I two have been coughing since my op which is now three years ago, in fact i am on my third course of antibiotics in the last year as sometimes it gets so bad it goes onto my chest and effects my breathing.after telling my consultant and GP several times, i have to resume its part and parcel of

having this type of operation.



Hi Trev, yes, like you I have had several antibiotics as my doctor just didn't seem to know what eles to do. Hopefully my xray will come back clear, and I will accept that my cough will eventually clear, but I think we all need to tell our surgical team about the anaesthetic gases, and this should be passed onto people undergoing surgery now. At least now we know it will go - eventually.

Hope you are doing well otherwise



I too have had and still have coughs varying in severity - its seems to be down to reflux at night causing irritation - I had problems with pneumonia caused by reflux going into lungs and at that time Gp heard crackling - so it is as well to get it checked out.


I've had a dry tickly cough ever since my operation over 2 years ago and it drives me nuts! Good to hear that it should go eventually.



Too right Peter, nice to know one day we will be cough free. It causes such problems for me, as I rarely eat out now as I usually cough so much I end up being sick.

So here's to a cough free future to us all :-)



I was told that my cough was caused by my stomach being very close to my lungs, so when I eat and my stomach swells, it can rub against my lungs, which makes me cough

So when I eat I cough, and when I cough I'm sick.

But I'm still here!


Good for you, I guess there will be lots of ideas coming from the medic's, and basically I guess they just don't know!

All the best to you anyway x


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