Katie Piper health: The star’s ’emergency procedure’ after being rushed to A&E – symptoms

February 26, 2022 by No Comments

At the end of last year, Piper took to Instagram to announce that she had to have emergency surgery on her oesophagus. After the horrific attack on the now 38-year-old, Piper was put into an induced coma for 12 days. Using skin grafts and a plastic face mask, which she wore for 23 hours a day, the entire surface of the model’s face was reconstructed. After more than 400 surgeries Piper has had her face and vision restored, but after a recent incident where the star choked on a piece of food, the star required yet further surgery.

In a social media post to her one million followers, Piper explained why she was rushed to A&E.

She wrote: “SO, last night I choked on some food which led to spasms in my oesophagus, which meant it closed up, meaning I couldn’t swallow even my own saliva and ended up in A&E for an emergency procedure on my oesophagus (not the way to start a week).

“I’ve got a long history of treatment with my oesophagus, I’ve got three strictures of tight scar tissue from what happened previously and this is something I’ve been aware of but hasn’t happened in years.

“But, out of surgery and it went very well and I just ate ice cream which felt heavenly!”

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Immediately the star’s comments were filled with concerned members of the public, who showed support for Piper’s hospital experience.

The star went on to thank the “incredible” NHS doctors and nurses before sharing another video from her hospital bed.

In the video Piper added: “It feels so good to be able to drink liquids, oh my god. The NHS are just amazing – amazing nurses and doctors, everybody.”

The Cleveland Clinic explains that an oesophageal stricture is an abnormal tightening of the area that can limit or block food and liquid that is travelling from the throat to the stomach.


A stricture narrows the oesophagus, making it more difficult for food to travel down the tube. In severe cases, even drinking liquid can be difficult.

In Piper’s case, scar tissue makes up these strictures, which can cause the following symptoms:

  • Regurgitation of food
  • Weight loss
  • Chest discomfort/pain
  • Difficulty swallowing (dysphagia).

In order to cope with strictures, individuals may have to chew their food for longer, find that they need to wash food down with water or liquids or even take smaller bites of food to help it pass through the oesophagus.

Strictures in this area can either be simple or complex. The former are smaller, and leave a wider opening in the oesophagus. They are usually straight and symmetrical with smooth surfaces and margins.

The latter are longer and leave a narrower opening. Completely opposite to simple strictures, they are not straight or symmetrical and have uneven surfaces and margins.

Although different in Piper’s case, one of the main causes of oesophageal strictures is Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), more commonly known as acid reflux.

This is a burning feeling in the chest caused by stomach acid travelling up towards the throat. The main symptoms of acid reflux include the following:

  • Heartburn – a burning sensation in the middle of your chest
  • An unpleasant sour taste in your mouth, caused by stomach acid.

In some cases, individuals may also have a cough, a hoarse voice, recurring hiccups, bad breath and bloating or feeling sick. Symptoms will probably be worse after eating, when lying down and when bending over.

Although multiple people experience heartburn from time to time, there is no obvious reason as to why. Sometimes the condition can be made worse by certain foods or drinks, or by lifestyle choices such as:

  • Smoking
  • Being overweight
  • Pregnancy.

Some medications such as anti-inflammatory painkillers, being stressed or anxious and other medical conditions can also trigger the irritating condition.

The NHS recommends certain dos and don’ts when it comes to easing heartburn and acid reflux yourself. The dos include eating smaller portions, raising one end of your bed 10 to 20cm by putting something under your mattress to raise your chest and head above your waist, losing weight and finding ways to relax.

The don’ts include not eating within three to four hours before bed, avoiding clothes that are tight around the waist, not smoking, not drinking too much alcohol and avoiding trigger foods.

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