William was 57 years old and was overweight. Every night on the news he would hear the same message. Get on a diet and your life would be much better. But he was hungry—so much that he wondered if there was some type of block he could put on food commercials. No help!…..when he ate he often felt like the food got stuck on the way down to his stomach.
William was no stranger to stomach doctors. His esophagus had been stretched over 11 times over the years and he could always eat better after the stretching. The tube that was used to do the stretching was an old device that the doctor told him had been used for over half a century. He was tired of having so many procedures and was a little worried about the risk of being put to sleep as his girth and size increased slowly but surely over the years.
He was eating at a steak restaurant and the food got stuck. His heart pounded and he got up quickly from the table
Doctors had found that the application of Mitomycin C, a chemotherapy agent for cancer, could be applied to the narrow area and it might stay open much longer after he was stretched. So he went to the gastroenterologist and had the procedure done. So far he can swallow great but he still is getting bigger. He wondered if God had designed things this way to make him lose weight. He was stretched the last time and now it has been over a year with no problems.
Mitomycin C is an agent that was designed for cancer. Surprisingly, it is being used for other reasons with much more success. One of them is that it prevents scars from forming anywhere in the body. This can be both good and bad. Children sometimes have narrowing of the rectum that requires stretching to keep the anus open. It is very uncomfortable and embarrassing. Mito C has been used with great success with these children as well.
William did wonder about the long term effects of the chemotherapy but was so happy to avoid the repeated procedures that he thought that it would be worth it.
- Narrowing of the esophagus can be treated by stretching the esophagus with rubber tubes.
- Multiple procedures often have to be done to keep the esophagus open.
- New methods to keep the narrowing’s from reoccurring are being looked at including chemotherapy creams such as Mitomycin C.