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Posts: 22
Joined: Jun 2007

Hi All,

My sister had her esophagectomy a few weeks ago.  Her barium swallow looked good, but within 10 hours of being home, she wound up back in the hospital with a tear, more surgery adn all of that trouble.  She now has an infection called 'C-Diff' and I am wondering if anyone has been through this experience and if they have any thoughts about how long it will take until she can turn a corner.  She has the open wound in the neck with the drain from this second surgery and multiple tupbes draining what was leaking into her chest cavity.  

I know she is in good hands at the hospital.  I'm just looking to see if anyone has any thoughts.

paul61's picture
Posts: 1265
Joined: Apr 2010

When I was in the hospital after my esophageal cancer surgery (Ivor Lewis) I contracted a wound infection in both of my surgical incisions. Unfortunately hospitals are not as sterile as we would hope they are. C-Diff is a result of use of broad spectrum antibiotics and bacteria relatively common in hospitals. The good news, if there is any good news about having abdominal pain and diarrhea, is that there is a defined and normally effective treatment protocol for managing the infection.  

In terms of how long it will take to “turn the corner”; it will probably take some time. Her stamina and immune system have been negatively impacted by the stress to her body of multiple surgeries. It sounds like the hospital is the best place for her right now. I have heard of C-Diff lasting two to three weeks and I have heard of it clearing up once they stopped administering the broad spectrum antibiotic that killed the protective intestinal flora that made the patient vulnerable in the first place. Probiotics have also been shown to be helpful in dealing with C-Diff.


I hope sister will be feeling better soon. For now the best thing is time and isolation from all forms of bacteria.

Best Regards,

Paul Adams

McCormick, South Carolina
DX 10/2009 T2N1M0  Stage IIB - Ivor Lewis Surgery  12/3/2009 - Post Surgery Chemotherapy 2/2009 – 6/2009
Cisplatin, Epirubicin, 5 FU - Three Year Survivor


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