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Esophageal Pain/Spasms?

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Started by Band_Groupie, Jun 30, 2010 12:14 PM
35 replies to this topic
35 replies to this topic

    Band_Groupie

    Touring With The Band

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Posted June 30, 2010 - 12:14 PM

#1
:confused:OK, I've read some other threads here about this, but not much in describing the pain/causes/Band relation, so I'm starting my own.

First, *A Note to Newbies is at the end...please read if you're perusing the 'complications forum'...I was a scared Newbie too and was here reading the Complications Forum.

OK, the short version; tell me what you know about esophageal spasms and does it have any correlation with the Band or Reflux?

The longer version is my story; 3 weeks ago a mild stuck episode (ribs at dinner) and a minor PB...the only thing memorable was that I had my first episode of acid reflux problem at night (which is a RED FLAG that you're too tight...coughing, spewing, acid bubbling into your esophagus or even nose...anything at night). I take daily Nexium and hadn't had a problem up until then. The reflux caused me to take some Tums that night and later I woke up with my esophagus full of acid and barely made it to the bathroom to do a major spew! Next day I had some soreness and it gradually got worse with food (lesson here, should have gone to liquids right away) until by the end of the day I was on liquids. I called the Doc's office the next morning (Monday) and after talking it through with the nurse, she told me to give it another day...I was fine.

Three weeks of no problems, no tightness and one morning after eating my usual oatmeal and it going through with no problems, 1/2 hour later I get a sudden tightness in my chest that quickly ramped up until it felt like a heart attack and went straight through to my back (if I didn't have a Band I would have called the squad). A friend had suggested 'esophageal spasms', so we Googled it...I was surprised it doesn't always come and go like you'd think the word spasm means...my pain was intense and constant (there was NO burning or reflux pain). It was eased some by pain relievers and I eventually took a narcotic to sleep that night (I did have one vomit from the pain making me nauseous, NOT because anything felt stuck). Again I called the Doc on Monday morning and they got me in on Tuesday...I had a 2cc unfill (I was expecting this as I'd gotten very tight after the vomit, which came after the pain) and then, because I asked for it, a UGI/barium x-ray. Even after the partial unfill the thin barium wasn't even going through my esophagus and the thicker barium finally got a very thin line through (she said my esophagus and stoma were swollen perhaps from the vomiting, but there were no spasms going on...I knew that as there was no pain by days later when I was having this done). This morning I could eat my oatmeal with just a tiny bit of soreness (barium barely getting through yesterday afternoon, and now oatmeal can?). Another lesson; I'm wondering if the second incident would have happened if they'd done an unfill after the first.

Got the phone call from my doc this morning NO slip!!! The pain before tightness this weekend is a mystery...and hopefully one that won't return! I'm now wondering if these were esophageal spasms and I had two people comment on my blog just yesterday that they have had them...I'm wondering if it's more common after Banding?

I've read that they can be very intense and people often think they're having a heart attack, they can last for days or a short time, and they're not sure what causes them, but some sites say reflux is a suspect.

It anyone knows anything or has had these, I'd appreciate any information!!!

================================
*A note to Newbies*
Do NOT let a possible complication or chest pains I had for a day or two make you afraid of getting a Band. We all just post the bad things here to find out more about them...trust me, I don't post a thread for every wonderful thing that's happened (that's why it 'just seems' there are lots of complications...yes, I was a Newbie getting scared too). These things are very rare...my Doc told me in all the years he's been doing these their practice has had one slip...one...that's why he wasn't worried, but he let me go for the x-ray because I asked and he knew I needed the peace of mind (there was NO slip). If they had told me to come in after my first problem I doubt I would have had the second one. Knowledge is power...that's why I share everything (see, you just learned 'night time reflux problems of any kind=get in for a small unfill NOW'). I was WAY more upset about a possible slip because of the possibility of LOSING my Band....I was way more upset about that then the mystery, or even the pain. I'd put up with some unexplained chest pain, an unfill and much more to finally be where I am today...I swear it's SO worth it!!! A day or two of mystery chest pain that did no long-term damage vs. the pain I was in because of the Obesity and getting worse all the time...not to mention a shorter life...it's a no brainer...

I LOVE MY BAND!!!:)


    mcmillanrose

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Posted July 9, 2010 - 10:26 AM

#2
Thank you for your blog. I woke up just this morning concerened because of unsual pain. I remember that yesrterday I had hiccups. I am sure this is why I am so uncomfortable this morning.


    Band_Groupie

    Touring With The Band

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Posted July 11, 2010 - 6:56 AM

#3
You're welcome...leaving you a V. message now....


    -sarah-

    Newbie

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Posted July 14, 2010 - 7:19 PM

#4
Wow, this is exactly what I am going through right now too (not exactly the same background story of course, but the weird esophageal pain/spasms)... I'm also interested if anyone here can shed some light on this...


    cat lady

    Guru in Training

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Posted July 24, 2010 - 8:31 AM

#5
Hi BG: Have followed your blog for a while. Sorry you had that bad episode recently. I am still not banded but have a temp date of 8/19. I am scared and hate to hear stories like yours. Did you ever experience anything like this before in the past year. You did so great with your weight loss....I hope this issue is resolved by now. When did you have your last fill before this spasm incident? Do you think is happened because you were too tight? I would have thought I was having a heart attack for sure. What made you think it was the band and not your heart. These are the things I'm concerned about. As an older person (62) I hope I can lead a somewhat "normal" lifestyle after the band. I see that you do...and this gave me confidence. I remember you saying that you eat out alot and eat most everything in smaller portions. That is what I am hoping for. I don/t need to be skinny.....just healthy. Sorry for rambling on but my head is going a mile a minute.....and the nerves are kicking in. Pls let me know how you are feeling after that incident and if it is completely resolved. I hope so....you look teriffic! ! !:)


    Band_Groupie

    Touring With The Band

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Posted July 24, 2010 - 5:36 PM

#6
Hi there! I've had no problems up to then since my last fill in early Sept. '09 and the problem was immediately resolved with the unfill. I had information from a Dr. friend who had the Band that had gone through these spasms (she's a nuclear medicine Doc for cardiology and even she thought she might be having a heart problem)...so that's why I knew what it was (plus I've had two normal heart stress tests and a routine heart MRI for pre-op that were all normal).

I'm back to the Doc for a small fill (hopefully) on Tuesday, but I don't want to get to the point where I'm having reflux again. I think this is a big indicator of being too tight. I'll keep you posted on the blog.

I know this all sounds very scary right before banding, but trust me when I say that I'd do it all again 100x over to get rid of the weight. My 'complications' have luckily been very minor and not all that problematic for me. Part of this was my stupidity in that I should have gone in for the unfill after the first incident...'ANY REFLUX PROBLEMS AT NIGHT MEAN AN UNFILL', just remember that and you'll do fine. -BG


    debby7154

    Newbie

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Posted August 8, 2010 - 5:20 PM

#7
Hi I am a staff nurse and was banded in Brussels 23 Oct 2009. I have only had minimal weight loss and my band has mls in situ. In the last month, (my last fill was 2 months ago) I have been experiencing what I believe to be oesophagael spasms. On my first mouthful of food it seems to be stuck I have severe central chest pain which radiates into my jaw producing excess salivia. If I try to drink not even fluid passes through. It lasts for approx 5 -10 minutes. It does worry me as it is symptomatic to cardiac pain (an MI) however I am a bit more assured since it is ony associated with eating. I have emailed my surgeon today and will await his response but I am considering having cardiac tests to rule that out.


    raeraesd80

    Newbie

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Posted August 11, 2010 - 8:34 PM

#8
I got banded in Dec....I had issued in April....I was in ER twice and the ER knows NOTHING about BAND!!! I couln't keep food down and had WORST heartburn ever and stabbing pains on left middle side towards back. ER thought was a kideny stone. The pain was a spasam and felt like labor pains that would be a constant 4 grade pain and then shoot up to 10's AWFUL!!! Turns out was esophogitis from years of acid reflux was my diagnosis....which ultimately caused an ulcer in esophogus. The band probably weakened my esophogus more that I wasn't the best candidate is what I was told....so I am on prilosec non stop and can't eact anything spicy or mild even. I got better....but now August Ive started having issues again....time go back


    Band_Groupie

    Touring With The Band

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Posted August 12, 2010 - 8:41 AM

#9
So sorry to hear about both of your problems. Always a good idea to rule out cardiac issues. I did not get a new fill yet and have still had no more spasms after the partial unfill. Keep me posted and I hope you get relief soon.


    Hamilt10

    Newbie

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Posted August 12, 2010 - 8:32 PM

#10
Today is my 3rd week post surgery and I spoke to my doc today about what I believe are esophageal spasms I have been having periodically for the last week (since last doc visit). When they started, I thought it was trapped gas/air trying to come up. The pain starts very low and slowly rises to a crescendo that feels like there is a big rock stuck in my esophagus over my chest. Then the pain subsides. There is no pattern to the spasms. I now have a dull ached in my chest from the continued spasms and did not sleep well last night. Today I was prescribed Donatal and we are setting up an appointment for an upper GI. I had a small hiatal hernia repaired with the banding. No reflux or heartburn problems previously and honestly I have been doing great otherwise and thrilled with the band. Now I'm a little scared something might be wrong. Hope to get the xray soon. I will post the results.


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