HELP, Acid-Bile Reflux after Total Gastrectomy

Mateo1990 Member Posts: 2 Member
edited April 4 in Stomach Cancer #1

Dear all,

My fiance had a total gastrectomy, almost 3 years ago. She was diagnosed with sotmach cancer at the age of 25. One thing that continues to be an issue is the esophagus irritation (Esophagitis). We have consulted several doctors. Some say to focus on food and life style, others indicate that is is a mechanical problem (eophagus and small intestine connection point) and that some people just have more trouble addopting after surgery.

If anyone had similar experience, or knows anyone with simillar problem please share it if You can. We are looking for some advice, from someon who knows what she is confonted with.

Thank You everyone.


  • Craig48
    Craig48 Member Posts: 14 Member

    Hi Mateo,

    I had a total gastrectomy for stomach cancer (12/19) and went through the same issues. I am now aware of these points.

    1. My Docs had me get another upper GI to see if the Roux-en-Y reconnection procedure which does have its own issues and cautions. I lost a lot of weight and looked like a 70 year old concentration camp survivor. Went from 220 at diagnosis (6'1 male) to 132 at my extreme low. Now 154 pounds.
    2. I was trying to eat too much. I did better when I ate small meals or snacks five times a day.
    3. I at too late in the evening.
    4. The weight loss may have caused some gall stone and bile duct stone issue that went away with time. Put dried cherries in her tea.
    5. I had to give up coffee, both caffeinated and decaf. I have found an Air roasted coffee that I now use in moderation.
    6. Don't eat late in the evening.
    7. Plain old Tums help me on a bad night.
    8. Fruit and dried fruit in the morning to keep me from jamming up with constipation occasionally.

    Some of this is still on-going with me but if it is only once a week I figure I am okay based on the bullet I dodged.

    Prayers, Best Regards and I am happy to comment at any time,


  • Mateo1990
    Mateo1990 Member Posts: 2 Member

    Hi Craig,

    Thank You verry much for Your answer. If You could maybe explain what You mean by

    "My Docs had me get another upper GI to see if the Roux-en-Y reconnection procedure which does have its own issues and cautions."

    Did You had another operation following up Your total gastrectomy?

    Also, did You noticed any change, regarding esophagus inflamation, after some time You changed Your diet-life style. We are trying to figgure out if some medications are a good option. Did You or do You use some of the standard medications that help You.

    Also did You noticed that avoding fatty foods helped You. We are trying to reduce the inflamation of the esophagus step by step.

    Thank You verry much.

  • Craig48
    Craig48 Member Posts: 14 Member

    Ask your surgeon to explain what the reconnection method was after the removal of the stomach. Mine was a "Roux-en-Y reconnection" which has certain characteristics and issues both good and bad that can be monitored post surgery.

    When I had digestive issues an upper GI was run with a camera to check for any inflammation or problems at that tie -in. The placement of the reconnection in relation to bile ducts is one issue for bile reflux coming back on you after eating. Also, a Roux-en-Y reconnection can have the patient with some iron deficiency issues.

    I vary my diet quite a bit. Breakfast alternates as follows:

    Egg omelet with cheese and vegetables. Oatmeal with cut up prunes and dried pineapple with applesauce. Bacon and eggs. Cream of Wheat with raisins. Fried bacon and egg sandwich on toast.

    We have spent a lifetime with an expandable stomach. Now we must teach ourselves to stop immediately when the slightest feeling of fullness occurs -- that bite and not a bit more. Five minutes later we can try one more bite if we were hardly started with our meal but always error on the side of finished. Drink fluids apart from and after the meal. Additionally, walk around a bit after eating, avoid sitting or lying down.

    Certain mild foods were difficult at first as they tended to "pack" into a wad. Chicken, breads, dried baked potato and the like as mild as they are were problems at first. After a year or so I handled them better.

    I eat sandwiches now for lunch but in the initial year or two that was difficult. Progresso soup was my safe fall back in those cases. Modest sized pasta meals was a good fall back. Alfredo with shrimp and artichoke bottoms. Garlic and sausage fettuccini with tomato bits.

    Dinners are varied now but grilled salmon is easy and always works but I do get bored with it. I was an army mess sergeant as a kid so I do a lot of my own cooking.

    Vigorous activity seems to help comfort and digestion.

    I take a Bariatric vitamin and a mineral supplement, both recommended by my MD Anderson surgeons dietician post surgery. You have to get your B-12 really up there and be above 400 on any blood test. I don't take anything else except tums or bicarbonate of soda if the bile reflux is out of bounds.