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throat stretching

J_w_R_69's picture
Posts: 3
Joined: Jun 2010

Hi everyone Im Jerry In Looking for some help I had Stage III Base of the Tongue Cancer and underwent Chemo in May of 2009. Then chemo Radiation in Sept. I had peg installed last 2 weeks of radiation Nov lost 70 lbs. But thank god all cancer gone I had to wait until April this year to get my teeth (I had to get them removed for Radiation)I can't swallow nothing but liquid rest get stuck in m throat all food taste different plus no saliva since Sept. I seen some people talking about throat stretching has anyone done this and how is it done

Hondo's picture
Posts: 6643
Joined: Apr 2009

First Welcome here to CSN, I did not have the stretching but last time I seen my ENT he suggest I do it to help with swallowing. There are a few others here who have done it and I will let them explain what it is, so good luck and please continue to post and let us know how you are doing.

Take care

Ed_PortOrange's picture
Posts: 110
Joined: Jun 2010

I understand there are 2 methods to stretch or reduce a stricture (scarring) caused by radiation. One is a balloon method such as they use in angioplasty. They second by using a set of tools that they push through the stricture and slowing enlarge 1 milimeter at a time. A normal esphagus is approx. 20mm in diameter. I'm told that based on the amount of scarring it may take several attempts to open it enough to swallow real food.

I had a swallow test done 2 weeks ago and I'm scheduled for dilation.

Hope this helps.

J_w_R_69's picture
Posts: 3
Joined: Jun 2010

I called my swallow therapist today and she set up a barium swallow test for Monday and I get to see her later that day

Posts: 15
Joined: Jun 2009

HI! So glad your cancer is gone! My husband had stage IV base of tongue cancer with spread to lymph nodes. received chemo and radiation. Had all kinds of trouble with swallowing. Went to Mayo clinc and had his troat stretched(dialated). Had 3 stretches in one week-Mon, Wed, and Fri. This made a huge difference. He got the stretches done about 6-7 months after he finished his radiation treatments. Said he needed time to heal up a bit beofre they would let him have the procedure. Make sure your doctor has had LOTS of experience doing this procedure. While it is not normally dangerous, if it is not done carefully by a skilled doctor, you can have some serious problems. My husband will need to have his throat strechted less frequently as time goes on. he had it done this January and then again in April. Dr's told him he will not need it done as frequently as time goes on.

Let me know how things go! I will be praying for you.


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