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jtube for severe weight loss after removal of esophagus

Posts: 1
Joined: Sep 2011

I really need some advice for my 78yr old father who is 10 months post-op esophegectomy. He came home with a j-tube and continuous feed pump. Had that taken out 7 months ago. Has gone from 150 pounds to 110 pounds. Very frail, very weak. I live 1500 miles away and was counting on family closer by to monitor him ans assist and was given a different store than what I have now come to see in person with this visit. I have talked with him about his body starving and have point blank said if he does not do something...feeding tube or some program to gain weight and regain some health he will die. After 3 days he has now agreed to accept help whether be j tube again I do not know. He was adamently refusing the tube and continuous feeds so I have suggested bolus feedings. Takes very little by mouth and very uncomfortable after eating. Revisited surgeon at the Mayo Hosp last week who states surgery was a success and he is fine. Ok surgery may have been a success in her eyes but my father is NOT fine. He is a skeleton and starving. We go to gastro dr next week. I have extended my stay in hopes to get him on a nutrional program. Here's my questions...will the jtube be best option with bolus feeds since he refuses continuous pump? Other idea was a suggestion made to me of drinking 2Cal which I was told would be 2oz at a time high calorie for someone who can not tolerate large volume at one time. Problem I see with this is nausea and he hates sweets. I am pushing for the j tube. Any suggestions welcome.

sandy1943's picture
Posts: 883
Joined: Jun 2010

Hi, I can't help you with answers. I had a similar problem after surgery even though I did start eating.
All of my doctors kept telling me how healthy I was, even though I kept losing weight. I stopped losing after 99 pds. and have gained back 12 pds. This has been over a 4 yr. period. The only explaination my doctors (4) had was my metabolism must have changed. I looked like a skeletin-still do, but i look healthier now.

I did maintain my health because I did eat. Your dad doesn't need to lose more. Hope someone has some ideas on foods to help him gain. I know Donna said she ate a lot of peanut butter.


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Posts: 47
Joined: Aug 2012

It took me about 6 months of forcing myself to eat before I started to want to eat and actually became hungry for some foods. Sweets are out of the question right now. It sounds like he is not hungry for them and high sugar content will cause nausea and in some cases "dumping syndrome". His age is another factor, appetite decreases as we get older. All I can think of is to urge him to eat small amounts of something he can tolerate 4-6 times a day and before too long he will gain some strength and his appetite will increase. Personally for me a J-tube would be a last resort type of thing.

Gail4beagles's picture
Posts: 15
Joined: Aug 2012

You have to get him a feeding tube in order to give him a chance to get well. Maybe he is making the decision to die? He can still eat by mouth with a feeding tube. The tube just assures he gets nutrition he so needs. The weaker he gets the less chance he has to survive. My brother finally got a feeding tube. but he is weak and he cannot have any treatments because he is so weak. Sherri has a good suggestion too about the stretching.
You are in my thoughts. Please keep us informed as to your Dad's progress. Gail

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