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RE: Acid Reflux after Esophagectomy

by Mike2595 - December 06 at 8:38 PM

The thing is you need to differentiate between acid reflex [food] and bile reflex. Acid reflex isn't too bad but bile reflex is horrible.

RE: Acid Reflux after Esophagectomy

by Mike2595 - November 16 at 10:39 PM

Yup! I am 11 years post esophagectomy. Have had bile reflux off and on since. I used to think that it was best to sleep with an empty stomach but I now believe that I am better with a full stomach. My reflux is not food but it is bile, foul tasting, burning thick yellow bile. I think the bile comes up easier when it doesn't need to get past food in the stomach. I am eating dinner later and always eat an apple just before bed. It has been working for me.

RE: Acid Reflux after Esophagectomy

by Mike2595 - September 20 at 3:12 PM

The reflux you are geting is not from food. It is bile. Thick yellow bile. It burns way worse than food reflux. Google "stomach bile" to see what it is.

Apples do work to settle and sooth the stomach. They also are a big help for "dumping syndrom".

I am now 78 years old. I had my esophagectomy 11 years ago. DeVinci methode. Some complications post surgery, [infection at feeding tube site] 22 days in hospital, 9 surgeries. Went home with a wound vac for 2 large open surgeries. Been pretty good since with gradual improving appetite to where I now eat normal, no restrictions. I do eat an apple before bed, no need to peel it. I just knew this, craving apples. I sleep on an adjustable bed.with the head way up. If I sleep on either side I get BILE reflex. This is very different than acid, or food reflex. It tastes horrible and burns awfully. I have seen my surgeon for this and he says there is nothing you can do about it. I take 1 omaprozole in the morning and 1 ranitidine at night. I will be on this the rest of my life. The bile sometimes comes up at anytime, even when I am awake and walking. Mostly though I get it around 6AM when I am waking up. It is really bad when I aspirate it in my sleep.

I do not believe that it has anything to do with what I ate. I still have dumping syndrome occasionally, where I get confused, very shaky, and hot and sweaty. You can look up "dumping syndrome" on Mayo's web site or just Google it. It is common with major stomach surgery. 

At this time I am having a mostly normal retired life with enjoying family and travel. There is hope for us.

Hi Everybody, I had my esophagectomy 10 years ago when I was 67 years old. If you do the math that makes me 78 now. I didn't know this site existed until recently. If I did I think it would have helped me greatly so I am contributing my experience to maybe help somebody out there.

I didn't actually have cancer but I had Barrett's with high grade displasia. The next progression would have been cancer. Fortunately I have a wonderful doctor that sent me for an endoscope when I told her that I had frequent heartburn. The endo found Barrett's in an early stage. From then on I had an endoscope every year until the Barrett's changed to displasia. Then I had the scopes every 6 months until the high grade displasia showed up. At that point the doctors advised me to have it removed. So, on Sept 10, 2007 I had the surgery. Biopsy showed no cancer. My recovery was complicated with a very serious infection that nearly killed me. The infection started at my feeding tube so the tube was removed and I was fed by IV solution. There were further complications that resulted in 9 surgeries and 22 days in the University of Minnesota hospital. Some of it in ICU and very sick.

Upon release from the hospital I was so weak that I was barely able to walk and had the OK to eat whatever I wanted but I had no appetite. I would force myself to eat one poached egg or 1/2 of a canned peach. Gradually my ability to eat returned to the point that I now eat normal large meals. I do have some minor dificulty digesting. The food just doesn't move through my system very well. Through all this my wife has been an angel. Constantly hovering over me and providing every possible thing could want or need.

We did buy an adjustible Temperpedic split king size bed which is wonderful. I need to sleep propped up because of bile reflex. I get the bitter, burning bile up it the throat quite frequently. Sometimes it comes up when I am sleeping and I aspirate some of it. That will cause me to cough and vomit for 2 hours. The stuff burns terrible! This is not food that comes up, it is bile,totally different from food vomit.

Other than the bile and needing to stay verticle my life is fairly normal. I bring a bed wedge when I travel. The airlines check it as medical equipment at no charge. I never recovered all my strength and I am short of breath with exertion. I have no stamina.I cook and eat normal food and lots of it. My weight is stable at 200# at 6   feet tall.

I do get occasional "dumping syndrom". With me it is 2-3 hours after eating. It presents with confusion to the point that I don't know where I am and profuse sweating. I sometimes remove my shirt soaked with sweat. It passes quickly in a few minutes. I have found that I crave apples when the dumping comes on and they seem to help me. I eat an apple every night before bed and they seem to help with the bile reflux.

If I can help any of you with your recovery please feel free to ask. This was a very long term and difficult recovery. I'll never be the same but at least I am still alive and hope to enjoy a normal life span.

Good Luck to You All, Al

 

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