Severe Back Pain After Esophagectomy

Options
jrbholland
jrbholland Member Posts: 15
edited March 2014 in Esophageal Cancer #1
Hi Everyone,

My Mom had a successful Esophagectomy in October 2010. This was to remove a Stage 3B adenocarcinoma. The surgeons were thrilled with the results of the surgery and so far her first CT scan came back clear (fingers crossed that this continues).

My Mom has started adjusting to her new dietary restrictions and reflux etc. However, her biggest problem has been SEVERE BACK PAIN from between her shoulder blades right down into her lower back.

Has anyone else experienced these issues?

Unfortunately, this is really hampering her recovery.

Thanks,
Jeff

Comments

  • paul61
    paul61 Member Posts: 1,392 Member
    Options
    I am afraid it will take some time to get better
    Jeff,

    I had Ivor Lewis surgery in December of 2009. For approximately six months after my surgery any mild exertion caused me to have pain in my back in the area just below my right shoulder blade. By “mild exertion” I mean sitting upright in a chair for more than 10 minutes, brushing my teeth, pulling a sweater over my head, walking, etc..

    It gradually improved over time. Now I feel more of a pressure or tightness back there than pain. However, if I use that side of my body for an extended period of time, I still have a dull pain in that area. I think because the incision they make in that part of your body is so large and deep it takes a long time to heal.

    The good news is that it does get better over time, but like your Mom, I had some real concerns with the pain I had in my back. I discussed it with my surgeon and of course her response was “you have to give it time”. But I would think it would be a good idea for your Mom to discuss it with her surgeon just to be sure.

    Best Regards,

    Paul Adams
    McCormick, South Carolina

    DX 10/22/2009 T2N1M0 Stage IIB
    12/03/2009 Ivor Lewis
    2/8 through 6/14/2010 Adjuvant Chemo Cisplatin, Epirubicin, 5 FU
    6/21/2010 CT Scan NED

    Life may not be the party we hoped for, but while we are here we might as well dance!
  • sandy1943
    sandy1943 Member Posts: 824
    Options
    Hi, I also had pain in my
    Hi, I also had pain in my back. When I ate at the table I would start hurting between my shoulder blades. I couldn't just sit there. When I did anything physical, I would have to stop and rest, because of the pain. I agree with Paul, this does get better over time.

    Glad your moms surgery went well. I also was stage 111. My surgery was in May 2008, and My scans are still clear.

    Sandra
  • jrbholland
    jrbholland Member Posts: 15
    Options
    thanks so much
    Hi Paul and Sandra,

    thanks so much for taking the time to reply. I am really sorry that you both also had to deal with this disease and the back pain too. It is nice to know that my mom's back pain is somewhat common. I will pass along your words of encouragement and tell her that it does get better with time.

    Any other advice is always greatly appreciated.

    Please take care.


    Jeff
  • GerryS
    GerryS Member Posts: 227 Member
    Options
    back pain.........
    I continue to experience back pain, Ivor Lewis surgery in March '10. I have found that soaking in hot bath to be quite helpful, also as previously stated it worse after exertion. Hope all goes well for you.

    Gerry
  • Max Mortenson
    Max Mortenson Member Posts: 2
    Options
    Severe back pain

    Hi, my mom had stage 3 cancer and after chemo radia she was advised to do the surgery and her esophagus was remove. Everything looked normal for two month after surger. Howeve, it’s been 20 days that she is feeling severe back pain. She has done CT scans and MRI but results do not show secondary bone cancer. Is there any one who has experienced this pain before? The pain is so severe which has made her recovery difficul. This pain is not localized which is typical of bone cancer. It’s almost all her back.

    Thanks much for your response in advanc,

    Max

  • Deathorglory
    Deathorglory Member Posts: 364 Member
    Options

    Severe back pain

    Hi, my mom had stage 3 cancer and after chemo radia she was advised to do the surgery and her esophagus was remove. Everything looked normal for two month after surger. Howeve, it’s been 20 days that she is feeling severe back pain. She has done CT scans and MRI but results do not show secondary bone cancer. Is there any one who has experienced this pain before? The pain is so severe which has made her recovery difficul. This pain is not localized which is typical of bone cancer. It’s almost all her back.

    Thanks much for your response in advanc,

    Max

    Hello Max

    Hello Max,

    Glad to hear that they didn't find any secondary cancer.  That's the number one thing.  You don't say if your mother had a laproscopic surgery or if she had an open procedure.  With the MIE/Laproscopic surgery there is a lot less pain and suffering during the recovery process.  With an open surgery, there can be a lot more side effects and problems with recovery.  A good chunk of pain is to be expected.  I was scheduled to have laproscopic surgery and had to have it changed to open halfway through when they ran into too much previous scar tissue.  My recovery was painful.  I was prescribed opiods by the 300 count.  I used a lot of them until my pain subsided (a few months post surgery) and then stopped.  

    I hope your mother's pain subsides quickly and she can get back to healing up from her surgery.  There's a whole new world of living she's going to have to adapt to.  

    Best Wishes,

    Ed

  • Max Mortenson
    Max Mortenson Member Posts: 2
    Options

    Hello Max

    Hello Max,

    Glad to hear that they didn't find any secondary cancer.  That's the number one thing.  You don't say if your mother had a laproscopic surgery or if she had an open procedure.  With the MIE/Laproscopic surgery there is a lot less pain and suffering during the recovery process.  With an open surgery, there can be a lot more side effects and problems with recovery.  A good chunk of pain is to be expected.  I was scheduled to have laproscopic surgery and had to have it changed to open halfway through when they ran into too much previous scar tissue.  My recovery was painful.  I was prescribed opiods by the 300 count.  I used a lot of them until my pain subsided (a few months post surgery) and then stopped.  

    I hope your mother's pain subsides quickly and she can get back to healing up from her surgery.  There's a whole new world of living she's going to have to adapt to.  

    Best Wishes,

    Ed

    Thanks much Ed!

    My Mom had open surgery. Doctors just prescribed her with regular painkillers like ibuprofen and acetaminophen. As I mentioned before since she did not get well, after 17 days, yesterday she recieved an injection of dexamethasone and acetaminophen. She was relieved from the pain and could eat with ease. I just wanted to make sure that this type of pain is one type of side effects from this surgery. Now, based on your prompt response I feel more relaxed. Initially Dr. had suggested light excercise to her but at this point this suggestion is really not practical because of pain.     

  • Too late
    Too late Member Posts: 1
    edited July 2018 #9
    Options
    sandy1943 said:

    Hi, I also had pain in my
    Hi, I also had pain in my back. When I ate at the table I would start hurting between my shoulder blades. I couldn't just sit there. When I did anything physical, I would have to stop and rest, because of the pain. I agree with Paul, this does get better over time.

    Glad your moms surgery went well. I also was stage 111. My surgery was in May 2008, and My scans are still clear.

    Sandra

    Extreme pain in back

    Hi, I am in Australia and new here. My husband had been going to his doctor complaining about his reflux was really playing up he doubled his meds. He continually went back with all the warning signs extreme tiredness to the point he could hardly do anything,he had extreme pain radiating from under his ribs into his back he even thought he could have broken ribs the pain was that bad. He starting feeling that he was sometimes chocking on his food but not all the time. Still Dr did no testing. After several months Dr started to tell my husband it was all in his head he even stated to me to put him in a mental hospital. He then started to not feel hungry at all, then the weight loss it was dropping of him 2 stones in 10 days Dr ordered blood tests when he went back to get results he had lost over another 1 1/2 stones to which Dr told him it was about time he started to eat and stop starving himself which he replied I can't eat that's the problem. Dr then ordered to have camera down said if not arranged by 2 weeks to call the hospital didn't put him hospital,that was a Thursday he collapsed on Sunday he couldn't swollow and was having trouble breathing when the ambulance arrived and told him he needed to go to the hospital he told them that it was a waste of time going as it was all in his head, the Dr had him convinced he was just mental. As soon as he arrived at the hospital they did X-rays then cat scan immediately within an hour they called a specialist in he was told he had cancer and even without a biopsy he could tell it was cancer. He was told 2 weeks later on my brothers birthday that it was inoperable. He had a feeding tube put in he had lost over half his weight. The pain he endured no man should have to bare and no loved one should have to witness. He had only 5 days of radiation because he was so weak he was able to swollow again so we had hope it was working, he couldn't have chemo. Then he came home after 9 weeks in hospital he past away in his sleep that night 7 weeks to the day of being told it was inoperable, he was 57. He had retired 10 days before he was rushed to hospital and was looking forward to ticking off some of his bucket list. We are in shock and heartbroken as he was a wonderful husband of 34 years and the most amazing father to our son. It's only been 2 weeks since we lost him but it seems like it is an eternity we have to somehow pickup the pieces and live a life without him. IF only his Dr showed him some compassion and listened his mistakes has robbed me of my sole mate my everything. Everyone pay attention to your body and don't be treated like my husband was everyone deserves a chance at life and treatment my husband was robbed of both. Doctors start listening to your patients as the impact of showing complacency destroys not only your patients life it leaves families lives torn in two.