My father has had Barrett's Oesophagus for many years and has regular endoscopic examinations. Recently during an examination the doctor discovered small polyps which they have now confirmed to be malignant and he has been referred to a surgeon to discuss the removal of the oesophagus. We understand this to be quite a traumatic operation to go through and my father (he's 71) is concerned about how hard it will be to get through the recovery period after the surgery. I should explain that his sister also had cancer of the oesophagus but she had not had Barrett's oesophagus and so her condition was only discovered when she had difficulty swallowing and the cancer was more advanced than my father's appears to be. She had unsuccessful surgery and unfortunately she died from the disease.
Does anyone have any experience of this operation and if so could they please give me advice on how to help my father get through it as comfortably as possible?
Also it seems to me that this type of problem may be hereditary as my grandfather also had gullet problems and both my brother and myself are prone to acid reflux. Does anyone know if there is any evidence that this can be the case?
Acid reflux over time can lead to Barret's disease due to repeated damage to the lining of esophagus. It happens in about 10 percent of people with acid reflux. And esophageal cancer can occur in about less then 10 percent of people with Barrets over years. There are two different surgical treatments: Esophagectomy, which removes the cancerous part of the esophagus and nearby lymph nodes. This procedure is performed only on patients with very early cancer that has not spread to the stomach. Esophagogastrectomy, which removes the cancerous part of the esophagus, nearby lymph nodes, and the upper part of the stomach. It is a difficult operation for any age. They basically take out part of your esophagus and bring your stomach up into your chest and tie it off. I believe one of our board members Lia813 has had this operation. Check out the "Just wanted to Introduce Myself" thread, she usually resides there. You may want to be periodically scoped with endoscopies if you are prone to acid reflux and a history of the esophageal cancer. Couldn't hurt right? I suffer from acid reflux and plan to get regularly scoped. Good luck.
Thanks for the reply. My father is to meet with his surgeon tomorrow to discuss which of the 2 operations he is to have and we have written down loads of questions to ensure we all understand what is involved and any risks.
Indeed I have had the surgery . I did not have Barretts and no reflux disease and no heart burn , ever. I had very painful swallowing and had many tests and took many drugs that did not help. Finally they discovered my esophagus to be filled with tumors. I had 6 weeks of chemo and rads before surgery as it was in operable without it. Then the surgery which I came thru beautifully . They removed my esophagus and pulled my stomach up and made a new esophagus out of part of it. I did have a horrid 2 week hospital stay but that was due to a lung infection I developed which is not the norm. I can swallow fine now and could eat anything . Unfortunately I think the chemo has killed my taste buds so nothing tastes right. But truly I had very little discomfort from the surgery and they had warned me that it was a bad surgery and a bad cancer. I just went into it knowing and saying that I did not intend to die from it. And here I am 5 mos. later. I also had my sigmoid colon removed earlier , in Nov. as I have a primary cancer there too ! Lia
to lia 13 could i please talk to you about your illness i have posted on the site and no one has answered if you dont want to talk about it i understand but i am desperate for some information on it as my sister has it
Sharon.........My husband was diagnosed with esophageal cancer in Nov. 2004. His was too advanced for surgery, it had metasticized to the liver. He was given chemo and radiation. The cancer is his esophagus was gone but they were never able to get rid of all the tumors on his liver. He received RFA( radio frequency ablation) to his liver twice. The first ablation shrunk most of the tumors, but they came back. The second ablation, several months later, was too much for his liver and it shut down. He passed away Nov. 2006. I will pray for you and your family. It's an ugly disease.
so sorry about your husband i know how much that must have hurt you thank you for your reply my sister has to go in tomorrow to get her throat stretched i dont know if this makes any diferance but my sister cant eat and she is always hungry the food just wont go down she seems very well apart from the weight loss i will let everyone know how thing go