I am out of the hospital after having my 4th stent taken out and my 5th stent placed in my throat. The hospital stay was not planned on but I was not feeling that great after the procedure so I decided to play it safe and stay for pain management and observation. I think both my throat and I are getting a little tired of getting tugged on every 6 weeks. The last few days flew by, thanks to God, and morphine. I am on a vicodin regime for a couple days as my throat adjusts to it new plastic friend.
I Really Need a Permanent Solution
My GI doc is starting to think that pulling these things out and putting in a new one every 6 weeks for the next couple of years probably isn’t the best plan. The problem is that nobody knows a better plan at the moment. My GI doc is starting to talk about reaching out across the country to find a better and permanent solution. If anyone that they can refer me to I would appreciate it.
A Recap of My Diagnosis
I have a Benign Esophageal Stricture as a result of having an Ivor Lewis Esophagectomy. The surgery was in June 2010 in response to reoccurring esophageal cancer that showed up after chemo and radiation. The result of the surgery was that approximately 1/2 of my stomach and 1/2 of my esophagus where removed. According to the surgeon all of the known cancer was removed from my body and I have been cancer free as of the time that I am writing this.
Since the surgery I have had 4 dilations and have had 5 stents placed in my esophagus. I have only been without a stent since the surgery for about 10 weeks – 6 weeks right after the surgery and 4 weeks between the 3rd and 4th stent. The two times I have been without the stent the first time it completely closed off and the second time it was down to 5 millimeters. The stent that I currently have placed is 18mm and I am scheduled to have it replaced in another 6 weeks.
My throat does not like the stent as the last 2 times I had the stents removed the muscle started growing over the stent. This has caused it to be more difficult to remove and cause more damage to my throat each time. Due to the difficulty in removing the stent it is more painful each time and has increased my recovery time from the procedure.
The only real solution that has been discussed at this time has been another surgery. The issue with this is that surgery is what caused this in he first place. Also, I don’t really have that much esophagus and/or stomach to spare so it would be kind of a big deal like the first surgery was.
Is a pemenant stent possible? Can we have a minor surgery that only gets rid of the scare tissue? These and many more questions are the ones that I hope to answer in the near future.
Again, if you know anyone who has gone through something like this before or happens to be a kick-ass Cardiothoracic surgeon please shoot me their info.