Persistent pain post stenting - looking for post stenting survivor experiences

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mainak_82
mainak_82 Member Posts: 2
edited March 2014 in Esophageal Cancer #1
Hello:
I shall start with a some background information of the patient (my Dad), before posing my question to this forum. My Dad is 67-1/2 years old and was diagnosed with esophageal cancer (adenocarcinoma) this march. He has stage IV cancer with a primary tumor at the esophagus - stomach junction and some secondary nodes in both lobes of the liver. Due to a high creatinine level, he was unable to undergo a more agressive chemotherapy treatment. Also, a recent angioplasty due to minor blockages in his coronaries (though not a major arterial block), added to the Doctor's hesitation in putting him on a aggressive treatment routine. We were told that since the cancer had spread to both lobes of the liver, there were'nt many treatment options and any treatment from here on would mostly be palliative. He was put on a chemo regime that is processed mainly through the liver thus avoiding taxing his kidneys or increasing his creatinine levels. He is on a 1/3rd chemotherapy dosage per week thus breaking up each round of chemo into three weeks which gives enough time for his body to cope with the treatment effects. Thankfully he has not had many persistent chemo related side effects. He has some of these side-effects (irregular bowel movement, tingling, hiccups) briefly for a day or two after the chemo but nothing persistent.

Coming to my question. My Dad had a CT scan after 3 chemo rounds. Although there has been a significant improvement at the secondary sites (liver), there has not be appreciable improvement at the primary location. Thus the Doctor conducted a stenting procedure to avoid any swallowing complications in the future (he has been able to have semi-solids, even before stenting). But my father had severe pain post the stenting procedure for about two weeks. After three weeks from the procedure he resumed his chemotherapy. Although the pain intensity is much lesser now, Dad is still in discomfort. I've read about pain from stenting lasting for 10-17 days but this has persisted past 4 weeks now. He is not having problems swallowing food, his blood-work is improving each week and creatinine levels are dropping steadily (2.4 at diagnosis to 1.7 presently). X-rays indicate that the stent is in place.

I was wondering if anyone knows of a similar case where the post - stenting pain has persisted so long. The doctor's don't seem to be very clear/convincing as to why he's still in pain. Though I must add that due to his renal and cardiac condition he was given basic pain killers after the procedure unlike the morphine dosages given to most patients undergoing this procedure. We are eagerly looking for some guidance/direction on this issue. Dad had been pretty courageous and positive up until the stenting but this constant discomfort is starting to affect his mood and general demeanor. I think the suspense of not knowing what is going on is bothering him and preventing him from dealing with the issue. I apologize for going a bit overboard with the description of his condition, but if you have managed to read this far and know something that might shed more light, then please do reply. Any help in this regard is greatly appreciated.

Regards,
Mainak

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  • Unknown
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  • mainak_82
    mainak_82 Member Posts: 2
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    unknown said:

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    Thanks
    Thank you William. That was pretty insightful. I will look into the treatments you mentioned about. Hopefully we can find a way to relieve him from this constant pain.

    Thankfully,
    Mainak
  • Lylesmyprince
    Lylesmyprince Member Posts: 130
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    Mainak
    My husband did not want to have a feeding tube or a jtube so he chose to have a stent placed. From the moment he woke up from the surgery he had pain and vomitting. It was miserable. The doctor told us that the stent was pressing against the tumor and he would have pain for a few weeks. However, Lyle's pain never subsided so we decided to go in and have the stent removed. When the doctor went in to get it...it had began to become part of the body and tissue grew around it so it could not come out. His hiccups and pain were terrible and pain meds was the only way to make it through. He could no longer lay down due to the open junction between the stomach and the esophagus...so he sat up at night. Our experience was not a good one so I'm not a big fan of a stent. If the pain continues...don't wait too long if you think you might want to have it removed. Best wishes on your journey.

    Susie
  • unclaw2002
    unclaw2002 Member Posts: 599
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    Mainak,
    My 78 year old

    Mainak,

    My 78 year old father had two stents placed in his esophagous because he did not want a feeding tube. He also had pain all along with the stent and although he could eat more by mouth he still had to be very painful and would get horrible pains in his chest from the food moving through or I am not sure what - then he would get hickups and he would have horrible spasms that could last from minutes to an hour. It was really painful.

    The last April he had horrible pain and could no longer swallow --- after one stent fell into his stomach because his tumor shrunk they operated on my dad, removed the stent from his stomach and put another one in and did not put in a J or G tube. He was so dyhydrated and undernurished when they preformed this surgery (and after two round of chemo and about 12 radiation treatments) we thought the surgery would kill him. I can tell you I was upset that they did not put a feeding tube in with the first failure of the stent. Then less than 2 weeks later the stent fell into his stomach again and he needed another operation. This time he was so week we were very scared - He ended up spending almost a month in the hospital and then another month in a rehabilation hospital. He is now beginning to walk without the walker and back home. Not having a feeding tube kept him from getting the proper nutrition and the stent required two operations which have really compromised his health, and may prevent him from pursuing surgery to remove his esophagous.

    After the second stent failure they did not try to put a third one in. My word of advice is that if you go for a stent - get a J-tube inserted at the same time. That way if you have problems you can make sure your dad is able to continue to get nutrition if the stent doesn't work.

    Best,
    Cindy
  • emg09
    emg09 Member Posts: 228
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    Mainak,
    My 78 year old

    Mainak,

    My 78 year old father had two stents placed in his esophagous because he did not want a feeding tube. He also had pain all along with the stent and although he could eat more by mouth he still had to be very painful and would get horrible pains in his chest from the food moving through or I am not sure what - then he would get hickups and he would have horrible spasms that could last from minutes to an hour. It was really painful.

    The last April he had horrible pain and could no longer swallow --- after one stent fell into his stomach because his tumor shrunk they operated on my dad, removed the stent from his stomach and put another one in and did not put in a J or G tube. He was so dyhydrated and undernurished when they preformed this surgery (and after two round of chemo and about 12 radiation treatments) we thought the surgery would kill him. I can tell you I was upset that they did not put a feeding tube in with the first failure of the stent. Then less than 2 weeks later the stent fell into his stomach again and he needed another operation. This time he was so week we were very scared - He ended up spending almost a month in the hospital and then another month in a rehabilation hospital. He is now beginning to walk without the walker and back home. Not having a feeding tube kept him from getting the proper nutrition and the stent required two operations which have really compromised his health, and may prevent him from pursuing surgery to remove his esophagous.

    After the second stent failure they did not try to put a third one in. My word of advice is that if you go for a stent - get a J-tube inserted at the same time. That way if you have problems you can make sure your dad is able to continue to get nutrition if the stent doesn't work.

    Best,
    Cindy

    The stent was a horrible for
    The stent was a horrible for my dad too. He had terrible pain in his chest and hiccups that drove him crazy. He was on constant pain meds as well. The stent ending up falling into the stomach and tissue started to grow around it. Upon removal of the stent the G tube was put in place. I would recommend a J tube instead to the G tube.

    Erika