Bad BAD Dry Cough after esophagectomy

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Bad BAD Dry Cough after esophagectomy

by Sandman705 on Tue Feb 21, 2012 10:11 PM

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Hi everyone, I'm new here, go easy on me please LOL.

In September I was diagnosed with Stage 2 E.C. it was caught on a fluke, which I'm very grateful for. I have never smoked or drank, I'm only 29 years old, so imagine the shock I got when the doctor told me...yeah, not fun.

ANYWAYS, I had an esophagectomy on January 18 of this year after some chemo and radiation. The tumor had shrunk, so my doctor did a minimally invasive surgery. I was only in the hospital for 8 days post surgery and everything was going great.

A few days after I got home I developed a NASTY dry cough. Sometimes it's so bad I can't even talk. I've tried everything. DM Cough Syrup, Cough Drops, Gaviscon, my doctor increased my Losec to twice a day because she figured it was a reflux cough. This is weeks later and I am still coughing. It's starting to affect me mentally and no one seems to have any ideas.

I really need some help here, this cough is driving me off the deep end!!!

Be well everyone!

RE: Bad BAD Dry Cough after esophagectomy

by Aoife on Tue Feb 21, 2012 10:21 PM

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I had that cough for months after the surgery.  All that I can say is that it gets easier with time but that is not much help for now.

I was only 32 when I was diagnosed and have married and have a son and a daughter since.  It is over 5 years since my surgery at this stage.

Best wishes,

Aoife

RE: Bad BAD Dry Cough after esophagectomy

by hstanisci on Wed Feb 22, 2012 02:58 AM

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Thank God u  were diagnosed early.I only wish my fiancee had a dry cough...he is gone.I will never advise treatment by the US to anybody...we were led astray and i feel i led him wrong bc of taking him to Cancer Treatment Center...good luck to you..again be thankful for every day!!

RE: Bad BAD Dry Cough after esophagectomy

by EricG on Wed Feb 22, 2012 06:50 AM

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Even if you take reflux meds, it may still be reflux. That is what happened to me. People who have this surgery often need to sleep on a relatively steep incline to prevent reflux. I was also dx'ed at a relatively young age, stage 4. It is quite a shock.

RE: Bad BAD Dry Cough after esophagectomy

by mccoy70 on Thu Feb 23, 2012 02:44 PM

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Hello Sandman,

Welcome to the site.  I think you will find good folks and good advice here.  I know I do.

I had my surgery in July 2010 and had the same kind of cough.  My doctor thought it was either reflux or sinus drainage.  For some reason everytime I eat my nose runs.  Anyway, I take one Zantax 150 in the morning and one at night, don't eat late and keep my head elevated at night.  The cough did go away, but returns from time to time when I am stressed which I think is acid reflux.  The other thing I have been doing (I read it on this site) is eat a peeled apple everynight about an hour before I go to bed.  This seemed to help.

Keep up the good attitude and keep us informed.

RE: Bad BAD Dry Cough after esophagectomy

by Carolj03 on Fri Feb 24, 2012 08:36 PM

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Hi Sandman,

I had my esophagectomy 2 1/2 years ago and I developed a cough.  Not happy about this...I seem to do most of my coughing while eating and shortly after eating.  Doctors told me it was reflux...I take protonix twice a day and carafate and sleep elevated...still I have the cough...I even had my surgeon go back down my esophagus and take a look to see if he could find a reason for the cough...no luck..I wish I had an answer for you and I wish I had an answer for me...

If you ever have your cough go away, please let me know..

All the best,

Carol

RE: Bad BAD Dry Cough after esophagectomy

by crayfish on Fri Feb 24, 2012 09:15 PM

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Mikeboy had a bit of a cough but mostly dealt with hiccups. Besides reflux, you can't help but wonder what is happening with the diaphragm and all after surgery.

OK - but here's why I'm writing. Sorry - I can't help it. My sister had a terrible dry cough for months and months. They couldn't figuure it out and we went through the stress of a CT. Thank you, Lord - no cancer. In fact, it showed nothing. The fourth doctor she went to pinpointed it to a side effect of her blood pressure medicine. Medicine changed - cough going away finally.

It seems like there was a med of Mike's that might cause cough. Maybe take a minute and read the side effects of any of your meds.  

Hope there's an answer - how aggravating.

crayfish

RE: Bad BAD Dry Cough after esophagectomy

by doingfine on Fri Feb 24, 2012 09:57 PM

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The coughing will go away quite a lot.  When I had the worst of the coughing after surgery, I used lemon drops...but get the gummy life savers or gummy tart candy.  I learned that when I had a hard candy or cough drop in my mouth and got a bout of coughing I was more likely to suck the candy down my windpipe.  With the gummy kind, you can kind of suck and chew the gummy thing and get some relief.  You may also notice a lot of mucous coming up.  This is part of the healing.  Thankfully most of the real nasty side effects do pass.  Hang in there, it will get better.

RE: Bad BAD Dry Cough after esophagectomy

by doingfine on Fri Feb 24, 2012 10:00 PM

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Oh, and YES do not ever sleep lying flat after EC surgery.  Reflux is really bad if you are not elevated. Keep the head of your mattress/bed elevated real well.  I slept in recliner 2 years, then we purchased a good high wedge for the bed and then we got twin adjustable beds.  You are young so it may be worth it to you. 

RE: Bad BAD Dry Cough after esophagectomy

by Sandman705 on Wed Feb 29, 2012 03:35 PM

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Hey hey everyone! Sorry been CRAZY busy the last few days but I have an update!

-Halls are the only type of cough candy, lozenge, whatever that controls my cough, nothing else comes close

-The bigger update is that I have been switched from Losec 20mg twice per day to Nexium 40mg twice per day. Ever since that happened, the cough has gone down a lot! I still cough, but not like I used to.

Thank you for all the responses...it's nice to hear other stories from other people that had the same type of problem. =)

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