CSN Login
Members Online: 10

You are here

Diet after Esophagectomy

Posts: 13
Joined: Oct 2010

I am 8 weeks post-op since my esophagectomy and am running out of ideas for small meals. I am still J-Tube feeding 750 calories a day and attempting to make up the difference with normal food. I do feel a little queezy for a couple of hours after eating. I also lightly reflux in my sleep some evenings.

I want to get rid of the J-Tube soon as I am going on vacation in December. I would appreciate any and all dietary suggestions.



sandy1943's picture
Posts: 883
Joined: Jun 2010

Welcome ,You have come to the right place to get the answers to most any question. At eight weeks I was eating the same foods I had always eaten, just smaller amounts . Sherri has a lot of knowledge on diet, that I'm sure she will be sharing with you.
After my surgery, I felt very uncomfortable after eating, even though I ate small meals.
Now after two years ,I still have to be careful. If I over eat, I experience pain for about fifteen minutes. It's better to eat small amounts more often.

Do you sleep elevated? I have a seven inch wedge pillow and a regular pillow that I sleep on. I also take medication to keep down reflux. It is important to control reflux as much as possible and I have found out this works for me.
Let us know more about your diagnosis, treatment and surgery.
I was diagnosed in Nov.2007 with stage 3 EC. I had pre-op chemo and surgery in may 2008. I have tested disease free since then. All on this site are different, but we are all survivors.
My prayers are with you, Sandra

Anonymous user (not verified)

This comment has been removed by the Moderator

paul61's picture
Posts: 1265
Joined: Apr 2010


I take Prilosec (Omeprazole) for acid reflux. I find it works best if I take it just before I go to bed. But in addition, I have found that eating a medium sized apple cut into small pieces about two hours before I go to bed is very helpful in controlling reflux.

I find that, because I have to be careful not to drink too much liquid with meals, eating fruits that have some water content is good for my diet and also provides some additional hydration. I try to eat three servings of fruit each day. On a typical day I have a banana and a peach or berries for an afternoon snack and the apple in the evening.

Fresh berries (blackberries, raspberries, or blueberries) and frozen vanilla yogurt make a nice refreshing snack as well, and are an excellent source of antioxidants.

I also had some queasy feelings after eating when I was still using my j-tube. It seemed to improve when I stopped using the j-tube. I am not sure if it had something to do with the j-tube or if it was just timing. I stopped using my j-tube about two months after surgery.

A typical menu for a day for me would include:

Breakfast...............1 egg scrambled and an English muffin with peanut butter
1 hour after breakfast..8 oz glass of V8 juice
Mid Morning snack.......3 slices of cheese with six saltine crackers
Lunch...................½ Sandwich with multigrain bread (ham and cheese) with chips
1 hour after lunch......8 oz glass of Gatorade
Afternoon snack.........1 banana and 1 peach or berries and yogurt
Dinner..................small hamburger patty, mashed potatoes, gravy, cottage cheese
PM Snack................1 apple peeled and cut into small pieces
1 hour before bedtime...6 ounces or vanilla yogurt

You will note that the portion sizes are small. I find if I eat small amounts frequently I have fewer issues with nausea and abdominal discomfort.

I also found that as I started to feel better and started to leave the house on longer trips I had to find a way to give my body calories on a regular basis. I always keep a supply of packaged crackers with peanut butter and granola bars in the glove compartment of the car so I can snack when I am away from home. If we are going on a drive for some distance I take a small cooler in the car with fruit and V8 Juice and Gatorade and yogurt.

I also needed to define a method to measure my portion sizes when I had meals to insure I did not eat too much and make myself uncomfortable. I found that a portion size about the size of the palm of my hand was the right size for me. So, for example, if I had a meal that consisted of a meat, vegetable, and a roll; if each item was about the size of the palm of my hand that was all I could eat without making myself uncomfortable.

I hope some of these suggestions are helpful. Of course time will improve things.

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

Posts: 13
Joined: Oct 2010

Thank you for your responses. I believe you have set me on the correct road.
I do sleep at about a 40 degree incline. I will make sure I do not eat within 3 hours of bedtime.

I would like to have the J-tube removed soon but with upcoming chemo I will probably be happy I have it for additional nutrition.

info on me:

65 YO
DX 5/25/10, T1 Baretts tumor
6/7-7/23/10 under went chemo, 2 rounds with Docetaxel, 5FU, Carboplatin
8/10/2010 Ivor Lewis esophagectomy procedure - dischaged 8/17/2010

I begin chemo again tomorrow 8/11/2010
I was found to be free of all cancer and will undergo 2 to 3 rounds of chemo as
a preventative measure.

Thanks again for your responses.


Anonymous user (not verified)

This comment has been removed by the Moderator

Subscribe to Comments for "Diet after Esophagectomy"