I am a friend and family member of a man who has survived the chemo/radiation treatments, but now has to live with an esophageal stricture. CT Scans have shown that the space allowing for food and liquids to pass can be as narrow as a couple of centimeters. On one spot, it is impossible to see where and how food passes through.
In March, the throat was stretched. It was, I believe the 4th time they had done this.
During that procedure, the wire that holds the different sized rings made a tear on the lining of the esophagus.
It took 24 hours (after x-rays and a CT Scan) before we learned the tear was NOT a puncture. Good thing.
Yesterday my friend went for a consult about a new stretch. The doctor was reluctant to perform it. Here's why:
Since the tear occurred before, the docs are hesitant to do it again. Frankly, they did not want to do it. One doc explained the risks of a new tear is high, as would be the risk of a puncture.
They noted that (and as he reports) he is able to eat soft foods; that he likes the liquid nutrition drinks and that his bloodwork and weight had improved dramatically since discharge from inpatient in April 2011.
So the conversation turned to surgery. They want at least one more CT Scan and more bloodwork done. Agreed to a surgery consult in August.
He asks about what surgery would be useful.
I have given him info on MIE, we have talked about laser surgery o reduce the size of the abnormal cell mass that causes the stricture, and asked about hyperbaric oxygen treatments.
Any other suggestions?