Discussions By Condition: Gastrointestinal conditions

Choking

Posted In: Gastrointestinal conditions 1 Replies
  • Posted By: Anonymous
  • August 13, 2006
  • 03:04 AM

My father is 78 years old, basically very healthy. A few months ago he began having some problems "choking" while eating. Sometimes he chokes even if he is drinking. 3 weeks ago he had a cat scan ran. It showed negative. He was able to watch the scan, and the flow of the liquid going through the esophagus into the stomach. He was given a clean bill of health and sent home. He continued to have the choking pain, and his primary doctor set him up to have the esophagus dilated anyway. As the surgeon began the procedure, he could not get his tube to go through the esophagus. He told him there was a mass, and he had to have another cat scan. This was done yesterday, we are now awaiting for Monday to arrive to get the results. My father is able to eat a complete meal if he doesn't choke. What my question is, if he has a blockage, that a small tube couldn't pass through, how in the world can his foods pass through? He is not sick, no pain, just the choking feeling at times. The surgeon stated that the first cat scan didn't show enough of the esophagus, this is why they were doing the second one. But, if my dad was able to see the liquid going from the esophagus into the stomach, I would think they had scanned the right areas. Many years ago, he had lung surgery, removing most of one of his lungs. Where the doctors pryed his ribs apart, has become a hard knot. I am wondering if it is possible as the surgeon was going through the esophagus, and when he felt a mass that he just couldn't push his tube through, if he could have been actually hitting that hard bone in the middle of the ribs? We do not know which cat scan to believe. What is your opinion?

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  • It sounds like he had a "Barium Swallow" test if he was able to watch. I had this done as well. It is not a "cat scan" but done under a fluroscope with is like a simple x-ray machine that shoots an ungoing picture, the same thing is used for heart catherization surgery and others so the doctor can watch what is going on inside an take pictures. I'm surprised the Doctor which I assume was a Gastroenterologist didn't just use his endoscope to take pictures and a biopsy of the mass when he was in there unless it wasn't actually in the esophagus for him to reach. Normally with lung surgery they go in the side of the chest so there shouldn't have been any bone to hit from the esophagus which is in the middle of the chest well behind the sternum and airway. I'm guessing the endoscope is larger in diameter than the food that is able to pass but the mass is not so large as to prevent liquid or food from passing on through is why he had this problem. My mother had lung cancer with an upper lobe removed with a scar on the side, 5 years later she had a reoccurence on the other lung and then had problems with swallowing as it moved to her esophagus. I hope this is not the case for your father. I'm sure you are both very concerned because of his history. If the mass wasn't in the esophagus it sounds like it is in his mediastinum which would require a different type of biopsy. Best wishes, I will pray for your father that it is not as bad as they make it sound.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • August 13, 2006
    • 03:24 AM
    • 0
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