Ivor Lewis Esophagogastrectomy post surgery complications

diana818 Member Posts: 11
Hi everyone. My father was diagnosed with T3 esophagus cancer in January of 2011. In the past months my father was going through chemotherapy and radiation. Recently on May 3rd my father had the Ivor Lewis Esophagogastrectomy. After the surgery he was doing pretty well besides a little breathing problem. About 10 days after the surgery my father was having a lot of difficult breathing with high heart rate which caused him to be put on a ventilator. In the beginning the doctors believed he had pneumonia because his lungs were inflamed. After a CT scan was done fluid was discovered by his spleen and the doctors diagnosed him with acute respiratory distress syndrome. They believed the fluid by his spleen is due to an infection causing more stress to the lungs. Fluid was drained and a new antibiotic was given. After the first day of draining, my father’s white blood cell dropped from 25 to 17. In the upcoming day my father’s white blood cell has risen back up to 21. His breathing has not improved and his heart rate is still high and he is still on the ventilator. He has now been in the hospital for 20 days. Has anyone ever gone through this? Any input or help will be greatly appreciated. Thank you for taking the time to read this!


  • BMGky
    BMGky Member Posts: 621
    Husband had Ivor Lewis
    My husband was in the hospital for 30 days. They couldn't get a good test, scan or whatever to determine if the incisions were holding and would not leak. Surgeon would not let him leave the hospital until he was satisfied everything had healed to the appropriate level. It was a long stay. He also experienced atrial fibrillation which he had never had before. Quite dramatic. They had to keep him on a heart monitor once they got it under control. They did have him up twice a day to walk with the physical therapist and where possible, had him sit up in a chair. However, with all the tubes, it was quite difficult for him to move anywhere. It really got difficult when they removed the catheter as he then had to get up for bodily functions. Quite a song and dance. It gets very discouraging. Does your father still have drainage tubes going into some collection devices that they measure, look at color and then drain. More fluid came out of my husband's tubes than you can imagine. As a matter of fact, those tubes were not removed until the surgeon was satisfied the --some technical term--was sealed. So, I'm not quite on target with your question but perhaps you can see something in my husband's experiences that may give you an idea or question to ask. The IL is so invasive. My husband's lungs were compromised for some time. The cardiologist explained that the surgery is so close to the heart, that the heart can get very upset. Further, the lungs are already damaged by the radiation. For a short period my husband was put on heart regulation meds and his heart was monitored throughout the entire stay. He always had oxygen until just before discharge. He was seen by his oncologist, his surgeon and his now cardiologist everyday as well as having PT walks twice daily. Hope this is of info. Good luck. Let us know how he is doing.