Esophagectomy surgery

Posted by survivorsuz @survivorsuz, Jun 27, 2019

Has anyone experienced a minimally invasive surgery for esophageal cancer (squamous cell type)? Wanting to know what to expect please.

Hello @survivorsuz and welcome to Mayo Connect.

I can understand your concern about your upcoming surgery. Having minimally invasive surgery sounds like a good thing.

I did find some other Members on Connect who have had esophageal cancer. I'm not sure if it was the same type as yours, so their surgical experience might be different than yours. I will tag them and invite them to join this conversation and share with you, @puprluvr @karly @nowayback @trudivo @angelag. Also, here is a link to a conversation about esophageal cancer that might be helpful to you, https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/esophageal-cancer-2/?pg=1#comment-265047.

As you are comfortable sharing more: Do you know the stage of your cancer? What has your doctor told you about your upcoming surgery? Will this be an outpatient procedure? Is there a date for your upcoming surgery?

I look forward to hearing from you.

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@survivorsuz, I add my welcome. Please note that I moved your message to the Head & Neck Cancer group here: https://connect.mayoclinic.org/group/head-neck-cancer/ I did this to help you connect with others who have had esophageal cancer more easily. In addition to the discussion that @hopeful33250 suggested, I also want to point out this discussion:

– squamous cell in throat https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/squamous-cell-in-throat/

I, too, would like to hear more about your upcoming surgery and the questions the Teresa asks above.

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Hello survivor suz
I was diagnosed with EC(adenocarcinoma) in Dec. I had 5 rounds of weekly chemo and 25 rounds of daily chemo in 5 weeks. April 10th I had an esophagectomy, the minimally invasive Ivor Lewis @ Mayo in Rochester. I had a feeding tube inserted during surgery and started on the feeding regimen on day 7 in the hospital and continued for a little over a month @ home while I began eating clear liquids and moving up to solid food on week 3. The feeding tube kept me from losing more weight, basically kept me alive until I could get in more calories. I’m still struggling a bit getting in enough calories and learning what and how to eat, though I basically eat what I want except dairy seems to not agree with me anymore. I walk daily, started mowing my grass, attend yoga classes and have begun practice with my golf clubs. My only advice to you would be to choose a hospital that does many surgeries and deals with many patients diognosed with EC. Best wishes as you gather information that will help you make an informed decision.

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Hello All:

I just read an article from Mayo Clinic about a less invasive treatment for esophageal cancer and wanted to share it with you. I think you will find Mike's story very helpful as you consider your own treatment. Here is the link to the article,
https://sharing.mayoclinic.org/2019/07/08/second-opinion-leads-to-less-invasive-treatment-for-esophageal-cancer/?

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Hi @survivorsuz,

How are you doing; did you undergo surgery? I’d really like to hear from you.

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@puprluvr

Hello survivor suz
I was diagnosed with EC(adenocarcinoma) in Dec. I had 5 rounds of weekly chemo and 25 rounds of daily chemo in 5 weeks. April 10th I had an esophagectomy, the minimally invasive Ivor Lewis @ Mayo in Rochester. I had a feeding tube inserted during surgery and started on the feeding regimen on day 7 in the hospital and continued for a little over a month @ home while I began eating clear liquids and moving up to solid food on week 3. The feeding tube kept me from losing more weight, basically kept me alive until I could get in more calories. I’m still struggling a bit getting in enough calories and learning what and how to eat, though I basically eat what I want except dairy seems to not agree with me anymore. I walk daily, started mowing my grass, attend yoga classes and have begun practice with my golf clubs. My only advice to you would be to choose a hospital that does many surgeries and deals with many patients diognosed with EC. Best wishes as you gather information that will help you make an informed decision.

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Hi there, glad you're recovery is going well. I recently had my esophagectomy on Sept 9 and spent 10 crummy days in the hospital. I'm 59 and was diagnosed Stage 2. My doctor reported that the chemo and radiation I had prior to surgery reduced the tumor significantly and he thinks that all the cancer was removed. Thank God! However, he wasn't able to make the normal 2 incisions for the Ivor surgery and had to make another big one through my back. I'm currently taking Tramadol for the pain. How long does this last? I also suffer with ulcerative colitis an easily get constipated or indigestion. Any suggestions? I try to walk daily but am reluctant to start stretching since my right side is so sensitive to pain. I too want to start practicing with my golf clubs. Good luck to all and thanks for any advice.

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@mitchm2009

Hi there, glad you're recovery is going well. I recently had my esophagectomy on Sept 9 and spent 10 crummy days in the hospital. I'm 59 and was diagnosed Stage 2. My doctor reported that the chemo and radiation I had prior to surgery reduced the tumor significantly and he thinks that all the cancer was removed. Thank God! However, he wasn't able to make the normal 2 incisions for the Ivor surgery and had to make another big one through my back. I'm currently taking Tramadol for the pain. How long does this last? I also suffer with ulcerative colitis an easily get constipated or indigestion. Any suggestions? I try to walk daily but am reluctant to start stretching since my right side is so sensitive to pain. I too want to start practicing with my golf clubs. Good luck to all and thanks for any advice.

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Hi @mitchm2009 After going through such an extensive surgery, it must have been good news to hear that the chemo and radiation reduced the tumor significantly to make it easier to remove it with clear margins. Does this mean you don’t have to have chemo or radiation after surgery?

How has your recovery from surgery progressed? Are you swinging those golf clubs again?

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So I have been advised that I need an esophagectomy. Extremely nervous about the risks that are involved, especially the mortality risk. Problem is I can keep going on this way, I am at the hospital every 2 weeks because I have thrown up blood for hours and need to be hydrated and given enough gravol to stop the throwing up. Then I go home and continue to throw up for a few days, until it gets bad again and I am back at the hospital. So surgery is inevitable, but I am extremely nervous. Any pointers folks??

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@nellieziraldo

So I have been advised that I need an esophagectomy. Extremely nervous about the risks that are involved, especially the mortality risk. Problem is I can keep going on this way, I am at the hospital every 2 weeks because I have thrown up blood for hours and need to be hydrated and given enough gravol to stop the throwing up. Then I go home and continue to throw up for a few days, until it gets bad again and I am back at the hospital. So surgery is inevitable, but I am extremely nervous. Any pointers folks??

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Where are you being treated? Have you had chemo and/or radiation? What stage are u? Where will you have the surgery? From all of the information I've been given and have read, the best chance of survival and hopefully a cure, is the 3 tier chemo/radiation and surgery.

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@nellieziraldo

So I have been advised that I need an esophagectomy. Extremely nervous about the risks that are involved, especially the mortality risk. Problem is I can keep going on this way, I am at the hospital every 2 weeks because I have thrown up blood for hours and need to be hydrated and given enough gravol to stop the throwing up. Then I go home and continue to throw up for a few days, until it gets bad again and I am back at the hospital. So surgery is inevitable, but I am extremely nervous. Any pointers folks??

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I too was extremely nervous about the esophagectomy that was suggested for me last year after I completed radiation and chemo. After two different surgery consults I decided I wanted the less invasive procedure that was offered by the Mayo Clinic in Rochester. Dr. Blackmon & staff were wonderful and I had the surgery July 5, 2019. Yes, it is a major surgery but go with a positive attitude and follow their directives and you'll have plenty of fun years ahead. It's only been 7 months post surgery and I eat 'normal' foods in smaller portions but eating is enjoyable again. I even have shoveled snow this winter and lifted lots of heavy boxes when we moved to a new house last month.
As far as your vomiting, have you asked your doctor for a mild sedative to help you through this? you need to keep your weight and strength up prior to surgery.
If at all possible for you, I highly recommend Dr. Blackmon as she's the best at explaining what is going on, great success in no leaks at the surgical connection and I have no noticeable scar on my throat.

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@kanaazpereira

Hi @survivorsuz,

How are you doing; did you undergo surgery? I’d really like to hear from you.

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Sorry for the delayed response but I'm doing EXTREMELY well thank you!! I believe you asked the stage & type: stage III of squamous cell carcinoma. There was some compromise in how the surgery could be performed because of scar tissue I have after an upper left lobectomy from a different type of cancer.
It's been 7 months post surgery and I can't believe how good I feel. Eating most 'normal' foods (except spicy and raw veggies), and have energy & strength back. I even shoveled the snow 3 times this winter and lifted a lot of boxes during a move to a new house last month.
Never would have thought I'd be doing so well from how difficult the first month was. But so blessed to be healthy now.
Thanks for asking.

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