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Surgery done 2/14/13 esophagus closed at connectin need to have dilation

Firefighter Jon's picture
Firefighter Jon
Posts: 10
Joined: Jan 2013

Hi Everyone,

Jon had surgery 2/14/13 Transhiata Esophagectomy in ICU 2 days,several drains,j-tube,NG through nose. Started tube feeding second day in ICU severe diarrrhea changed formula 4 times finally under control.  At the J-tube site there was a infection the antibiotic they gave did not work. On discharge day they removed the j-tube. He was in the hospital total 11days is now doing OK.

We went back to the surgeon 3 days after discharge.  Had hydration and found out the scar tissue at the connection has grown and Jon is having trouble getting food down. We have to go Friday 2/8/13 for a diation Hope it works.

I can't begin to say how many times I went shopping for stuff that would go down plus dyhydration.But Popsicles did the trick for now. This is truly a big Job but we will get through this as we did with Chemo/Radiation.


Please I need some input for dilation. He lost 15 lbs in 2 weeks. Will he get more food down? The Dr. said yes but he has not been through this as everyone here has.

I try to get him to eat or drink every 2 hrs even if it is just 1 teaspoon of something. Mashed potatoes,squash,mushy stuff. Well I have to sigh off 2 hours time to eat something

Love Hugs and Prayers

Bev and Firefighter Jon

sandy1943's picture
Posts: 883
Joined: Jun 2010

Bev, Yes the dialation should help. My doctor could never dialate as much as I needed because of irritation. I have had several over five years. The last one was a year and a half ago. It also was not 100% but it is better than ever before. So far I have learned to manage it. I take smaller bites, and chew, chew, chew and remember to pay attention to what I'm doing and not get sidetracked. My food does occationally get hung up, but will go on down after a while. If it gets worst again, I wouldn't hesitate to have another dialation. My gastrologists has told me to just call the office and they will set it up.

Praying for complete success on Firday,


jim2011's picture
Posts: 116
Joined: Sep 2011


I had 4 dilations and have not had one for more than a year now. They do help a lot and immediately. Meals will always be smaller so I only eat the best of everything and happy to be alive to do that. My weight went from 230 down to 165 and now seems to be stable at 190. I wish you guys the best!!


Firefighter Jon's picture
Firefighter Jon
Posts: 10
Joined: Jan 2013

Thanks for the info. I don't know how many Jon will need but at this point one at a time. Morning seems to be the hardest time. Maybe everything is trying to get used to the new stuff.  Beside swallow issue shortness of breath when he stands from a sitting position. It passes after a few minunites after he stands. Hope this is all normal. But again one day at a time.

Love and Prayers


South Side Steve's picture
South Side Steve
Posts: 28
Joined: Nov 2011

Hi Bev and Jon, 

I was lucky that I never had any swallowing issues following my surgery, but I definitely had shortness of breath. Any physical activity at all had me winded. I remember the first time my wife took me outside for a “long” walk. I had grand envisions of limiting myself to just once around the block. I got two houses away and had to turn around. I felt like I had just run a marathon. Like everyone said, it got better with time and exercise.

In anticipation of a long recovery period in front of the TV, we went couch shopping before my surgery. A friend of ours works at a furniture store and after we explained the surgery, she suggested a couch with power recliners. You recline the back and raise the foot rest at the touch of a button – no pulling a handle or pushing the foot rest back down required. Plus, you can stop the recliner in any position up to 160 degrees. That was a life-saver and I slept in it for the first month after surgery. For newbies preparing for surgery, I would strongly recommend checking out a power recliner or couch. 

Good luck on Jon’s recovery and just keep remembering there are better days ahead. 



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