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Esophageal Cancer Surgery

shelbydlphn's picture
shelbydlphn
Posts: 1
Joined: May 2008

Mine was phase 1 that required surgery. I would be happy to put fears to rest and help explain my surgery to anyone it might help. To everyone, stay strong and positive and laugh when it hurts. God never leaves your side or misses a prayer, I am proof!

Bobi
Posts: 1
Joined: Jan 2008

I to had phase 1 and had surgery and sometimes I wonder how come I got so lucky. If you want to swap stories we can do it here or email me at robertpearli@msn.com I also have no problem discussing the surgery or onything else involved.
Bob

c0399
Posts: 5
Joined: Aug 2008

I am having surgery on the 19 of Sept at MUSC Charleston Sc I have stage one cancer what should I expect before and after surgery Thanks Frank

Katanna's picture
Katanna
Posts: 3
Joined: Jun 2008

I am proof as well. Stage 4 survivor and still here after almost 5 years!

c0399
Posts: 5
Joined: Aug 2008

Hi Katanna this is Frank I have stage one cancer and will have surgery to remove my esophgaus on the the 19th of Sept the doctor is going to remove all of it if she can how difficult was the recover and the side affect ? Thanks Frank

hopefull08
Posts: 18
Joined: Jul 2008

Katanna -

My Dad was diagnosed w/ stage 4 EC this past Father's Day - Happy Father's Day, right? We are on our last week of treatment, hopefully. When we are done, we get to see if the treatments helped any. He's had an awful time with the treatments. He's a realist and given what the doctors have told him, his chances for surviving aren't very good. I just wonder if the chances are so slim, why put someone through all of this crap? I am glad to see that you are a survivor of this and hope that you continue to stay healthy!! It would be nice to hear from you or anyone that has had to deal with this.

Hopefull08

Sharon7777
Posts: 3
Joined: Apr 2009

Who was your doctor? Your hospital? My doctor said lets wait and see how this progresses.
I can't wait. What were your first signs? Your blood count?
Thanks, Sharon

edith leibel
Posts: 2
Joined: Jun 2009

I was just diagnosed with stage 3 esophegeal cancer. Have seen 2 oncololists who both reccommend chemo and radiation therepy followed by surgery. Will be going to Memorial Sloan Kettering next week to meet with their top gastro oncologist. I am 72 and do not think I can handle such extensive surgery. Any suggestions or support you can give me will be appreciated.

Thanks,

Edith Leibel

cyn0418's picture
cyn0418
Posts: 4
Joined: Apr 2008

Katanna, I was just browsing and noticed you have survived stage IV EC. Had it gone to your nodes or to other organs? My husband was dx'd in February 2008. They said since he was stage IV that he couldn't have radiation or surgery. He has had excellent response to chemo - Oxaliplatin, Taxotere and 5FU (5FU 46 hours infusion at home every 2 weeks). Had an endo last week and doc said no cancer in esophagus and 90% gone from stomach. He said he sees just a little bit at the top of his stomach. We are elated. Still worried though. When he asked his onc at diagnosis if he has 5 years, she said maybe half that. I was just wondering what was your situation, because I am so encouraged by the fact that you were stage IV and still her after 5 years. We pray for that. I would be interested if you wouldn't mind explaining your situation to me in an email. My email is cyn0418@aol.com. By the way, my husband just turned 59 years old and healthy as an ox prior to diagnosis. He is still pretty fit and works outside (though he is retired) doing paver stone landscaping at our house every day since July. Very active!!! Thanks in advance for your input. By the way, he was diagnosed stage IV on PET scan with retroperitoneal nodes and supraclavicular nodes involvement only - no other organ involvement.

Cyndi :)

szaboe
Posts: 31
Joined: Jul 2009

Hello Katanna:

I just recently joined this site after my brother was recently diagnosed with stage 1V esophageal cancer. He just finished his radiation treatments and his second chemo therapy.
He has a JGpeg tube and still can not really eat, has pain still at the esophagus tumor site. If you have time and you are still on this site, I would really appreciate your input and if possible your treatment and where you had gone, if possible\
Thank you for sharing your experiences with me and the people on this site whom I am sure have benefitted immensely

Eileen

NanseB
Posts: 17
Joined: Oct 2009

What treatment did you go through at Stage IV and survival after 5 years?

NanseB
Posts: 17
Joined: Oct 2009

Katanna-where did you receive treatment?

juststandup95
Posts: 1
Joined: Feb 2011

Katanna-

My Nana was just diagnosed with Stage 4 esophageal cancer. It's been really hard for us. You're story is very inspirational. Please if you are still around on this site contact me! What was your treatment? It's so so inspirational to see that you have been so succesfful thanks for giving me hope!

efc22199
Posts: 3
Joined: Aug 2012

Hi Katanna that is so good to hear you are well after 5 years I had stage 2 and I've had the FULL surgery I am now looking forward to a long and happy life!!!

trast68
Posts: 1
Joined: Dec 2008

my dad just got diagnosed with esophageal cancer the report so far is beginning stages waiting on CT scan for staging but as you can imagine we are very scared first of what the ct scan will show and second the surgery that the gastric doctor said is the best option for him since it is in the early stage. I am trying to keep my faith at this point

NGC1514's picture
NGC1514
Posts: 44
Joined: Dec 2008

Good luck to you, your Dad and the rest of your family. This is a tough time for you all, but know that people DO get through it. Early stage esophageal cancer is curable; the earlier the stage, the better the odds of complete recovery.

Surgery isn't a lot of fun, but new techniques are being implemented constantly. The latest is robot assisted surgery with the DaVinci machine. Minimally invasive procedures have been around for awhile and have been very successful as well.

Even if your Dad goes in for "the biggie" - an Ivor Lewis esophagectomy - it's survivable. I had my Ivor Lewis done more than 7.5 years ago and am doing very well today.

cissell
Posts: 3
Joined: Apr 2009

I had "the biggie" - Ivor Lewis esophagectomy on March 3rd of this year. I am only 38 and had stage 2. I went through chemo and radiation prior to my surgery in hope to prevent any spreading of the cancer. I am now back at work, but I have to admit the surgery is not fun. I am still in a little pain but I just keep hoping it gets better.

peterwebb
Posts: 1
Joined: Sep 2010

I had the 'biggie" at age 48. Three days after surgery a nurse came into my room in ICU and jammed an NG tube down my throat and punctured my stomach in two places. I developed Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS). Now only one half of one lung is functioning. I was Stage 3. I have had an incredibly hard time gaining weight. I was in the Mayo Clinic for four months in MN. Do you have any thoughts as to how to gain weight? I was a Pro Athlete prior to getting cancer.

Thanks in advance to your thoughts and suggestions.

Peter

sober93
Posts: 1
Joined: Nov 2008

can you describe the surgery and after surgery

NGC1514's picture
NGC1514
Posts: 44
Joined: Dec 2008

Sober93 -

There are several different surgical approaches used for esophageal cancer. The end result is the same - removal of most of the esophagus and surrounding lymph nodes, pulling the stomach up into the chest and reattaching the stomach to the remains of the esophagus.

Most invasive surgical approaches start with an incision from the belly button up to below the sternum. A general surgeon goes in to "mobilize" the stomach - cut it free from attached tissue - and its blood supply. Next, a thoracic surgeon uses one of the approaches to gain access to the esophagus and remove it. The surgeon pulls the stomach up into the chest, forms it into a tube (a stomaphagous as one person in another forum calls it!) and attaches it to the remains of the esophagus with the site being known as an anastomosis.

During an Ivor Lewis (TTE), the surgeon approaches the esophagus through a sweeping incision in the back that reaches from the right shoulder blade down to the right armpit. In a Transhiatal Esophagectomy (THE), the surgeon uses an incision in the area of the lower throat. Robot assisted and minimally invasive esophagectomies (MIE) are done through a series of small incisions in the upper chest.

It's not a lot of fun, but it is survivable. Most of us who have had the surgery return to work - part time, in most cases - 2 months after surgery. Most of us spend from 7 to 10 days in the hospital recovering from surgery and most are feeling pretty good anywhere from 6 to 12 months after it's all over.

GolfingDeb
Posts: 8
Joined: Feb 2009

I'm curious as to how you are doing? Did you do surgery? My husband has stage 4 EC(dx 7-18-08) and he chose chemo (24/7 wearing a fanny pack) along with radiation daily x 30days, then a cooling off period and ultimate surgery, lap assisted esophagectomy on 11-28-08. He had major complications, spent 2 months in ICU and went right to the edge of life, but hung on. He is now recouperating in a nursing home, 02 continuously due to lung damage by chemo/rad/surgery, walks with a walker and can't eat anything so of course, his J-tube is providing everything. He's got an absess above his lung so they might go in and do another endoscopy and put a stent in his throat.....argh..........can only imagine how lovely that will be. Murphy's Law seems to be hoovering, but he's still alive and for that we are greatful.
How are YOU doing?

SelmaO
Posts: 2
Joined: Feb 2009

My husband was first diagnosed with State 2 and underwent chemo and radiation the. that was 2005. September 16, 2008 it was back, at Stage 1, we have been back and forth with doctors and hospitals since then. He is going to have the Transhaital Esophagectomy. I a wondering
about when I bring him home, what kind of food should I have on hand? Is he still going to be fed thru a tube. This is so scarry. Will he be on a soft diet for a long time, will he be able to do anything such as, snow removal, wouldn't that be too much of a strain on him? He
thinks he'll be able to do it. He does know he won't be able to drive for a while. How long
is that problem in effect?

Will he be able to sleep in bed, or should he sleep in the recliner? How will be take his meds, thru a tube or will he be able to swollow them?

I don't know what else to ask, if you have any other ideas, please share - I know there must be things I'm missing.

Thank you for any information you give, it is greatly appreciated. Selma O

topsss
Posts: 2
Joined: Mar 2009

I WOULD LIKE TO HEAR ABOUT YOUR OPERATION AND WHERE IT WAS DONE.

THANK YOU IN ADVANCE FOR YOUR INFROMATION.

TOPSSS

J_MAC
Posts: 1
Joined: Apr 2009

Mine is "high grade squamous dysplasia" and several specialists recommend surgey to remove the esophagus. Although it is not yet cancerous they say it will soon become stage one. This scares the daylight out of me. Any suggestions?

kitten0385's picture
kitten0385
Posts: 278
Joined: Apr 2009

J_MAC, my suggestion to you would be to listen to the specialists. My surgery recovery was fairly easy, I was on a feeding tube for a few weeks, but then was able to begin eating quite normally.....I am 6 months out from my surgery and am doing quite well. I am nauseous quite often, but believe it is from the chemotherapy not from surgery. I was diagnosed with stage 3 esophageal cancer, and if you can prevent yours from turning into cancer, I would say it would be the best choice you have ever made. I have found my radiation and chemotherapy treatments to be a lot longer road than my surgery was. Good luck, and I wish you the best!

Cathy

Sharon7777
Posts: 3
Joined: Apr 2009

Two years ago the gastro dr did an epidectomy against his better judgement but to my insistence. They found a level 3 erosive esophagus. They put me on nexium 1 a day. 3 months later they did another and it was better but not good. They increased nexium to 2 a day.
A new gastro dr did a test last year, said esophagus looks great. Nexium 1 a day.
Now I have a WBC of 14.8, neutrophils of 73, 452 white blood cell count, and lots of pain in my esophagus. I am supposed to see gastro dr Wed.
The local MD said to prepare myself for leukemia.
Does any of this sound familiar? What did you do?
I heard I should just give up. There was not hope. I dont want anyone around me because they are all negative.
Sharon

Amber W
Posts: 3
Joined: Apr 2009

This sounds very similar to my case. I met with the head cardiothoracic surgeon and the head GI Oncologist at Duke University at the same time. They had reviewed all my labs told me that my best bet was to remove the "infected" organs since chemo would most likely prove ineffective for me.
I was very scared! I had my crying lags and then I did research. I research everything to death. Unfortunately everything I read online sounded very ominous and didn’t really reassure me much.
I went ahead and scheduled my surgery for Monday July 7th, 2008 anyways. I planned a big BBQ with friends and family for last 4th of July and ate all I could since I knew I wouldn't be eating for a while post op. :D I had a J-tube for food and medications for a few weeks after surgery but was then able to progress to a liquid diet and am now eating regular foods though much smaller portions.

It hasn’t always been fun but I definitely don’t regret going through this procedure. Even though my tumor was only a Stage 1 it was large and had the potential to become life threatening. I am a pediatric nurse and have had many oncology patients in the past. I have seen how fast cancer stages can progress and ultimately I trusted the physicians I saw. If you are still unsure on your physician’s recommendation then I would suggest going for a second opinion and preferably one in a completely different area, i.e. another town or even state.
Best Wishes!
Amber

Sharon7777
Posts: 3
Joined: Apr 2009

Two years ago the gastro dr did an epidectomy against his better judgement but to my insistence. They found a level 3 erosive esophagus. They put me on nexium 1 a day. 3 months later they did another and it was better but not good. They increased nexium to 2 a day.
A new gastro dr did a test last year, said esophagus looks great. Nexium 1 a day.
Now I have a WBC of 14.8, neutrophils of 73, 452 white blood cell count, and lots of pain in my esophagus. I am supposed to see gastro dr Wed.
The local MD said to prepare myself for leukemia.
Does any of this sound familiar? What did you do?
Sharon

twristen
Posts: 1
Joined: Jul 2009

My father had stage 2 and started with Chemo and radiation. After a petscan they determined the cancer was dead, but the surgery still needed to take place. The went thru the stomach and the side of his neck to remove most of the esophagus and to form the stomach into a tube and attach it to the remaining piece of the esophagus in the neck. He is really nervous about the life changes. For about 4-5 weeks he will be fed thru a feeding tube. Is there anyone he can talk to that has gone thru a similar situation? He would like to be able to talk to someone to find out what life is like after sugery. Please let me know. Thanks

kitten0385's picture
kitten0385
Posts: 278
Joined: Apr 2009

Hi!

Your father's surgery sounds pretty much like the same surgery I had, an incision in the stomach and the neck. I had all of my esophagus removed, and my stomach pulled up into a tube and attached. I had stage 3 cancer, and also went through radiation and chemo. After the few weeks on the feeding tube he will start taking a few bites of softer food at a time to make sure all goes down well, and then he will gradually be able to eat various foods. I am a few months out from surgery, it was in October, and I am able to eat anything I want to....with limited amounts of sugar due to a thing they call dumping syndrome, although I am able to eat more sugar now than I was closer to the surgery. Also, eating smaller meals several times throughout the day will be ideal, as he obviously has less room in his stomach. I am only 24, 23 at the time of surgery, and have not had to make many life changes because of the surgery other than just eating in smaller portions and not being able to have quite the sweet tooth I did before. I did lose some weight, but am putting it back on now that I am able to eat more. Hope this helps!! Anything else, please ask!

Cathy

MOE58's picture
MOE58
Posts: 649
Joined: May 2009

my husband is due for surgery 7-23-09 and i am scared out of my pants he is stage 2 and given good things about all this but its still scary.

thanks
Moe

kitten0385's picture
kitten0385
Posts: 278
Joined: Apr 2009

Lori,

You're right...surgery is scary. You guys will get through it just fine though!! and remember, I should be around on the day of his surgery, so check in, I'd like to know how it's going!! I'll check my facebook that day too. :0) Hope you're having a good day!

Cathy

MOE58's picture
MOE58
Posts: 649
Joined: May 2009

I need encourgement william has scared the poop out of me but yet i see living proof of you and him, I know these tubes won't be forever, but knowing and thinking the worst and sitting all day is the worse. I will try to check in thursday night or friday. i will have mylaptop so i plan to check in.

thanks
Lori

yolibee
Posts: 1
Joined: Jul 2011

What treatments did you do to become a survivor?

thank you

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