Digestive Disorders / Gastroenterology Expert Forum
Blockage of the Esophagus
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Blockage of the Esophagus

48 year old male,  Complete Blockage of the Esophagus due to radition side affect from cancer, ESOPHAGEAL DILATATION failed,  An attempt was made using endoscopes from both ends to try to poke a hole through the blockage, it failed, The blockage is about 3cc big,  The only other alternative I have been given is removal of the Esophagus, I was told the best I could hope for was to be able to drink a little,  I have declined this at the moment and I am looking for any other alternitives, Currently I am using a feeding tube and in good health, 18 months since the end of my cancer treatment.    Any other ideas, Thanks Scott
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If dilation fails, there are a couple of other options.

The first would be the injection of steroids, which may reduce future strictures following dilation.  Studies have shown that injection of steroids can reduce scar formation.

The second would be placing a temporary stent.  Safety data is in the early stages.  The theory is that the placement of the stent allows for remodelling of the scar tissue.  

These options can be discussed with your gastroenterologist.

Followup with your personal physician is essential.

This answer is not intended as and does not substitute for medical advice - the information presented is for patient education only. Please see your personal physician for further evaluation of your individual case.

Kevin, M.D.
http://www.straightfromthedoc.com
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An esophagectomy should be last on your list, as it really is major surgery.  I suggest you consider the options that the Dr suggested first.  However, if it comes to an esophagectomy, there can be a good quality of life after that procedure.  I had an esophageal cancer-related transhiatal espophagectomy in August, 2001, and was back to work in six weeks.  I have had some onging problems with aspiration from time to time, but all-in-all, my quality of life is pretty good. One word of advice:  If you end up having the esophagectomy, make sure you pick a very experienced surgeon at a major medical center. Their experience reduces your risk considerably, and also helps ensure a better outcome.

I hope you find a solution.  My thoughts are with you.

Best regards,
Chicken Soup
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