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after effects of esophageal surgery

anderson5's picture
Posts: 13
Joined: Mar 2012

I was just wondering if anyone could please share their post op recovery stories, my dad has just got home from having surgery on his esophagus, he spent a month in hospital and is wanting to know some information on how people recovered after the operation, would love for anyone to share their stories, thanks

Luvs24's picture
Posts: 78
Joined: Oct 2011

6 months ago today, my 64 year old dad (65 now) had the Ivor Lewis surgery by robotics. it was an 8 1/2 hours surgery but it took him a long time 3 hours to start breathing on his own. Very scary. He had "chemo brain" for a couple of weeks after he came home, but there was a moment when it cleared and he was back!

Try to get him to walk, as much as he may not want to you may have to push him. The best thing we did was document everything he ate and even small things of how he felt, temperature, etc. It helps as the days seem to run into each other.

I assume since you are on here that you are the caregiver? Its best to ask specific questions (so I have learned) to see if there are similar experiences and go from there. Everyone is so different and the doctors aren't always great with how things progress after the surgery.

Best of luck in the new journey, may God bless,
daughter of Roy
dx 6-2011
Ivor Lewis 10/07/11

anderson5's picture
Posts: 13
Joined: Mar 2012

Thank you so much beth for your info, I am not dad's carer, mum is caring for him but as you said the doctors dont tend to say a lot about recovery except that it's all part of the process, Dad is pushing himself to walk a little further every day and it seems that this is an important part of recovery. I am still learning how to use this web site and will put more info on dad once i know how to, i dont think we have robotic surgery here in australia, your info is much appreciated.

captdave's picture
Posts: 168
Joined: Feb 2012

HI! everyone has a different story of recovery. some recover very quickly and others not so quickly. My recovery was atypical. I was cleared and back to work full time in exactly 2 months after surgery. Everyone has some of the same recovery issues but the degree of the issues is different. As was suggested ask specific questions to get the best feedback. Walking is great and really important to recovery. So try to get him moving and walking as much as you can. Best of luck with his recovery and if you have specific questions just ask everyone here is willing to help you out and share what they've experienced and whats worked for them or not.


anderson5's picture
Posts: 13
Joined: Mar 2012

Thank you Dave, it's such a relief to have this web site and speak to people that have been there and experienced what my dad is experiencing.

South GA Mom
Posts: 2
Joined: Apr 2012

After our 24 year old son was diagnosed with Stage 4A Gastroesophageal Junction Adenocarcinoma on Nov 13, 2009, we found TOXIC levels of ARSENIC, MANGANESE & IRON in our drinking water. We also had nitrates. Later we tested for and found LEAD. When we tested the state's way using tap water, our results were negligible for Arsenic. Later we heard that an Extension Agent had tested a couple's water heater water, when their tap was negligible and found ARSENIC on all 3 levels of their home & in the sediment of the filter at their well tank. The couple had very high levels of ARSENIC in their blood. Here is one of the NIH websites that says that ARSENIC and ARSENIC TRIOXIDE cause Cancer of the Digestive Tract. ARSENIC TRIOXIDE is also in the meat of animals, fish & shellfish who have consumed ARSENIC. Test your water heater water for W-1, W-3, ARSENIC, LEAD, NITRATES, BARIUM, CADMIUM & CHROMIUM. Eat at least 9 servings of veggies & fruits a day, preferably Organic. Avoid as much MILK FAT and ANIMAL FAT as you can, as the hormones, pesticides & organochlorides are stored in their fat. MAY GOD BLESS YOU AND ALL THAT YOU LOVE. The website... http://ntp.niehs.nih.gov/ntp/roc/twelfth/profiles/Arsenic.pdf My son's website: www.caringbridge.org/visit/benmcmahan

JReed's picture
Posts: 463
Joined: Nov 2011

Welcome to the family! It sounds like your dad had a rough time in the hospital, but I'm glad he's home - recovery will be much better for him - he can be in his own bed, chair and home.

My husband has been home 1 week since his surgery - he was in the hospital for 1 week - and the surgery just drains them. It will get easier. Hopefully he has a wedge type pillow for his bed which will make sleeping much better. Of course he can stack up pillows but the wedge seems to be favored by most survivors. It will be very, very important to stay hydrated - if he has a feeding tube placed, you can ask your nurse or doctor how much water you can push through that if he starts loosing weight quickly at home the first few days. Greek yogurt is good, so are scrambled eggs, sugar is quite likely to cause dumping syndrome - gatorade is a good drink, you can also make up carnation instant breakfast drinks and keep them in the refrigerator so he can sip on them throughout the day.

Walking is so important and if he has a spirometer - be sure to remind him to use it often to get those lungs stronger.

We are so glad you found us - you will find this site to be the most useful site you will ever find - if you have time you may want to read as many past posts as possible - you never know what may apply to your dad in the future.

Sending you huge hugs from Michigan, USA and a very Blessed Easter to you and your family,

anderson5's picture
Posts: 13
Joined: Mar 2012

Thank you sooo much Judy, Do you mind me asking what stage cancer your husband had? How is he mending? Dad was in hospital for a month, every day i speak to him he sounds a little better, he said he can feel himself improving though still has pain, it's been 2 months since his op and every day he is walking a little further. I thought i had posted on here a month ago but obviously it didnt work and when i tried again last night it did and i hadnt changed what i had written in the original post. All the best for your husband's recovery, life certainly has been a whirlwind since dad told us of his EC in September 2011.

mardigras's picture
Posts: 210
Joined: Sep 2011

Congratulations on your Dad having been a candidate for surgery.
I wish him a speedy and good recovery.
My husband had his esophagus removed and part of his stomach on
29th February. His post op experience has not been too bad except
for the week directly following his surgery.
He does not have a feeding tube and manages to eat really small
meals. Meat and fish seems to give him a problem and he has had
quite a bit of dumping.
He keeps a food diary and notes the effects of his meals. Its
all a learning curve really. He finds that he can eat mashed
potato and veggies, so I make a creamy sauce for him to get in
a few more calories and help him to swallow it. If you use lots
of veggies and steam them and then add a spoonful of mashed
potato with sauce it's nutricious and easy to eat.
I also give him yakult or any probiotic yogurt first thing in
the morning and porridge. He has lost some weight, but it hasn't
been too drastic. If you need help on anything specific, I may be
able to answer it and I log in as often as I can so do ask.
Lots of people here have a wealth of information, so don't ever
feel isolated.
Love and hugs
Marci xx

anderson5's picture
Posts: 13
Joined: Mar 2012

Thanks Marci, much appreciated

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