Gas Pain and Burping with swallowing

Hello, my husband recently underwent an esophagectomy for stage 1 cancer. He is is about 2 weeks post-op and is experiencing severe gas pain after swallowing any liquids or trying to eat food. He is usually able to clear it with belching. We are just wondering if this is normal or should we be concerned? We were extremely lucky in that he never experienced any of these symptoms before being diagnosed. Are there any ways of minimizing this pain and does it improve over time?


  • paul61
    paul61 Member Posts: 1,388 Member
    edited February 2020 #2
    This is relatively common

    This is fairy common for those of us who have had an esophagectomy. Since we have to work harder to swallow we tend to swallow a lot of air when eating so there is some discomfort from time to time. If it is extremely you might consider discussing it with your surgeon but unfortunately some discomfort after eating is common. I find if I sit down for about 20 minutes after eating and rest it does help. Of course OTC items like Gas X that contain simethicone are helpful as well.




  • midlandgigi
    midlandgigi Member Posts: 16
    Gas Pain

    Some of the casuses of gas and pain are (1) eating too fast (2) eating big bites rather than small ones  (3) swallowing before food is completely chewed  (4) eating certain foods that don't digest easily.   Here are some of the foods I avoid: salad greens, corn, popcorn, acid foods such as tomatoes, beans, flax seed, chia seeds, carbonated sodas, caffeine (5) eating too much at one time. My surgeon told me to take a short walk after eating or to at least stand up for a while.  You no longer have an esophagus that moves food down - gravity now moves your food into tjhe stomach.  


  • midlandgigi
    midlandgigi Member Posts: 16
    Gas Pain P.S.

    Re-reading your post, I realized your husband is only 2 weeks from surgery.   Most patients have a feeding tube after surgery, usually for a few weeks. I had mine 7 weeks.  This gives needed nutrition while allowing healing from the surgery.  The first  weeks I only had small amounts of soft foods and gradually worked up to eating small amounts at a time.  Even now, I only eat one salad plate of food at a meal.  Using a salad plate reminds me not to overeat and suffer!  You can eat more often to get the nutrition needed.