Yes. If food gets stuck, you need to relax, take a breath, and take sips of (non-iced) water or a warm beverage. You'll get some spasms, but they won't last long. I had this happen in the early weeks when I was out for dinner and without thinking ate a half cherry tomato. Of course it was impossible to chew to a liquid, so it got stuck. It was then that I realized I ought to order tea at every restaurant meal, just in case! It all was fine.
Some people try to gag up what was swallowed (like a cat gags up a hairball), but my surgeon said it's not necessary. Stay calm, sip water/tea, and it will go down. He did say only once a patient needed help with a piece of steak that got stuck...I'm assuming he removed it via endoscopy. This is rare, and will NEVER happen if you remember to chew your food carefully and stay away from steak and sandwiches/untoasted bread for about 8 weeks.
I started on regular food on Day 6, as my surgeon trusted my judgement (and I assume the judgement of all his patients). Some people's surgeons keep them on liquids for at least two weeks or so. Mine said to eat only things that could be chewed to a liquid and use my own judgement.
He did warn me that during the first two weeks of recovery my swallowing would get worse before it got better due to swelling. This was very true. In the beginning I stuck to soups a lot, but was so happy to be able to make my own food choices. I listened to my body, experimented, and only swallowed things that could be chewed completely to a liquid/creamy consistency. You'd be surprised at how many things that is. I enjoyed being my own blender, as I enjoy eating, and chewing is the best part!
Even now, as Les has said, I eat more slowly and chew more carefully. Do I forget sometimes? Of course! But it's no big deal at all.
Nissen Fundoplication 2/09
"Whatever you fight, you strengthen, and what you resist, persists.”
“Worry pretends to be necessary but serves no useful purpose”
“Accept - then act. Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it. Always work with it, not against it.”