I’ve had several hits on my blog over the last few days from people searching for information about partial gastrectomies and esophagus stretching…..so I thought that I would share an update.
My partial gastrectomy in early October removed a third of my stomach and my vagus nerve, which ran through my tumor, was cut. Two and a half months later, my stomach capacity is virtually the same, a cup of food at each meal. I eat several small meals each day and I avoid sugar and other simple carbs in order to prevent dumping syndrome. Overfilling my stomach can also cause nausea, dizziness, and accelerated heart rate….and the need to lie down for an hour or two.
When my tumor and part of my stomach were removed, my esophagus was then reattached (stapled) to my remaining stomach. This area has been swollen, causing food to get stuck as it tries to enter my stomach and forcing me to cough it back up.
Last month, I had my esophagus stretched, allowing food to pass more easily into my stomach. It worked….but apparently my gastroenterologist knew that the effect would be temporary because he called to schedule a repeat of the procedure in January. Over the last couple of weeks, the swallowing problems have returned, although not as bad as they were before the first procedure. The procedure itself is not difficult. I’m admitted to the hospital, prep includes Versed (so I remember nothing!!!) and three hours later, I’m going home.
I’m able to eat 1400 calories/day and I’ve maintained my weight for the last 6 weeks. I work out three days/week and I’m seeing excellent improvement both in my strength and my endurance….while carefully trying not to burn too many calories.