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Esophagus Stretching Question


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Hi...My Mom had hers stretched about 3 months after ending her radiation. It was still hurting her to swollow and eat or even drink. Then it got to a point that she was literally choking when she ate just about anything. So for a bit she would not eat if I was not there.

The onc referred us to a gastro doc and he performed the endoscopy which showed her burnt and fried esophogus. He wsa able to stretch it then. All in all with a colonoscopy included she was out about 30 -45 minutes. For a few days she had a clear liquid diet then gradually added more foods. within a couple weeks she was good as new.

The doctor did tell us to watch this very carefully as if the esophogus tightened back up, they would need to do it again. Apparently it is much easier to do before it gets to tight in there. So far so good and it was done in mid November. It was definatly worth it, and fairly painless for her.

Good luck and im sure someone else will be along soon and chip in.


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Oh I can so answer this!!!!!!!

I switched from percocet to 400mg motrin pills, don't know if you have seen those, they are as big as a jelly bean! I had never had problems with pills before, I could take a whole cup full together.

Well the damn motrin got stuck and we rushed to the ER, just as I got into a bed and started talking to the doctor about my history the pill finally slid down. This was after trying to vomit it up for 45 minutes.

I met my Gastro Doc that day, he suggested to the ER doc for me to come in for a follow up. Once I went to see him, everything was getting stuck, it was at least 2mths after chemo and 3+ months after radiation. My endoscopy showed two radiation ulcers and my most current one now shows hyatle hernia (sp?).

I have had my esophagus stretched twice and will continue until it works, maybe every 4-8weeks. I was initially streched to 45% then it closed up again and we did it again to 45%, I think it was on 01/06/05. Well it's closing up again....everything is getting stuck. I'm really kinda tired of it.

It's not that bad BUT you have to be put to sleep or into a twilight (twilight doesn't work on me so I go lower then most), your throat is tender, you have the anesthesia hangover and with me it doesn't seem to be working so I get to keep doing it, yeah!

The doctor said some people have to have it done every 6mths, I'm hoping I don't turn into them. He also said sometimes once is enough. I see my doc next week for follow up to tell him everything is getting stuck. Here we go again! Open up wide!

Post and let me know what's happening with your throat!

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Wow -- I didn't realize this was such a common problem! A few months after radiation, I was having HORRIBLE problems with swallowing still, particularly with vitamins. They would get stuck in my throat, somewhere in my chest. I could breathe fine, but it hurt like h*ll until it slid all the way down. But I couldn't speak when it happened and it hurt to take small sips of water to coax it down. I would panic, my heart would start racing and I would get dizzy until it slid down. Crazy.....

Anyway, my doctor mentioned having my throat stretched -- he said from the radiation damage, it had probably healed with a stricture (narrowing) and I would have to have it stretched. He advised me to wait a few months though, until it was completely healed because my esophogus had been so raw from treatment.

HOWEVER -- I opted to NOT have the procedure done because I just couldn't bring myself to have something else done to my body. (Just my personal feelings). In any event -- it really doesn't happen any more. Occasionally if I swallow vitamins too fast (one after the next), one will get mildly stuck, but nothing like it used to be. I guess it sort of opened back up on its' own.

In any event -- good luck with a remidy to your situation -- I can feel your pain!!!!! :roll:

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