SHoulder pain after lap/nissen, STILL, help?

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isewunique
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 4/4/2008 12:52 PM (GMT -6)   
I am curious, It's been one week and one day since my lap/nissen with hiatal hernia. It's been a nightmare but that's another story. The pain in my left shoulder is KILLING me. Me and the doc. has assumed that the pain was still gas pain, but should have been long gone by now. I can't help but wonder what the heck this pain is from. I have NEVER EVER had a pain in my shoulder in my life, I can hardly lift my shoulder since surgery. My right side is perfect. It feels like a dager is being twisted when I cough or sneeze, but just sitting there, it a dull, nagging pain about a 2, when I cough, pain jumps up to an 8 for about 2 seconds.  ANy advice or comments are certainly welcomed and thank you.

HappilyWrapped
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 182
   Posted 4/4/2008 2:27 PM (GMT -6)   
I had the Nissen wrap in October 2007. My gas pain lasted at least a week, but wasn't excruciating like yours sounds. Another member, Porcelain Doll, described this exact same problem after the Nissen she had last October. I believe she mentioned it in all three sections entitled Post Lap Nissen and Hiatal Hernia surgery. I know that at some point she described what she found was causing the problem. I don't know if Porcelain Doll is still on this board to give you a quick answer - or maybe Tammy will remember that post and be able to point you to it.

As you are a week post op, reading those old posts would be informative for you. So if you have nothing better to do, sit back and enjoy a long, but interesting read.

Good luck.

Roseanne99
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 39
   Posted 4/4/2008 7:44 PM (GMT -6)   
I had the esophyx procedure done for GERD and had shoulder pain for 2 weeks post op.  My Dr. said that irritation of the diaphragm during surgery was the cause of shoulder pain. What I did, which helped me, was to lie on the floor on top of a tennis ball, making sure to put the tennis ball where my shoulder hurt.  I pressed gently on this area, thereby relieving the muscle tension caused by the pain.  I experienced dramatic relief. I didnt ask my Dr. for "permission" to do this.

porcelain doll
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 128
   Posted 4/5/2008 12:17 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello:  I had the lap Nissen on October of 07 and I did suffer from shoulder pain radiating down to my elbow to my wrist.  I can't tell you how excruciating it was.  It was on my left arm and that was the exact arm I had my iv placed and thought they had somehow damaged me during my surgery.  I waited for about 3 months, hoping the pain would subside but it didn't and got worse.  I finally went to an orthopedic doctor and he did a MRI and xrays and he said that what I had was a calcium deposit and called it tendonitis.  He said it wasn't related to my surgery and no they didn't damage me during the surgery.  He thought it was just a coincidence on when it happened.  He had me go to therapy but I only went once and couldn't do it because I could feel the tug/pull on my chest and didn't want to jeopardize my surgery.  I gave me two cortisone shots about two weeks apart and it did help but I still have the pain (not as bad) but I still feel it on occasion and hasn't gone away.  I don't know if this would be your case but it was extremely painful, as I couldn't even lift my arm and couldn't hook my bra.  I know many people complain about the gas they pump you up with to do the surgery but thank God, this wasn't a problem for me.  Good luck...Barbara...

porcelain doll
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 128
   Posted 4/5/2008 12:20 PM (GMT -6)   
Oooops, made a boo-boo, I didn't give myself the cortisone shots the orthopedic doctor did on my shoulder bone.  I should re-read my post before I sent it...Barbara....

isewunique
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 4/5/2008 6:36 PM (GMT -6)   
P.Doll, I've been looking for you, wasn't sure how to find you though as I am new here. THANK you for writing. ANother member mentioned that you had similiar problems as me.
O.K. my pain in in my left shoulder AND left neck. My IV was in my right arm. (good thinking though). Up to the second of surgery my shoulder never hurt in my life. Immediatly after surgery to current, it is really painful. I can't help but wonder if they did something to me at surgery. DId they cut a nerve or damage a nerve that is connect from the stomach to the neck ???? I just don't know. Today is day 9 post op. When I inhale, the pain kills me in my neck/shoulder, same as if I cough or sneeze. I am hoping I wake up one morning and this pain is gone. I am confident it is not related to the gas pumped in.
As for you, wow, that is a strange coinsidence. HOw are you doing over all with your surgery.??? I had a very enlarged hiatal hernia, did you too? DIdi they mention anything about Baretts Esophogus to you? Thanks for finding me and writing. It's very appreciated!, Karen

porcelain doll
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 128
   Posted 4/5/2008 11:32 PM (GMT -6)   
Karen:  I was just like you, no pain at all before the surgery.  Then after the surgery I noticed lots of pain and it was all on my left side.  I really thought that perhaps they had damaged me.  I waited out the pain but it never got better.  I never had any neck pain at all nor did I have pain if I sneezed, coughed like you mention.  I just had this dull excruciating pain that wouldn't go away (and I can't say enough how excruciating it truly was) as I couldn't hardly even raise my left arm.  Is there any way you could get it checked out?  Since you are 9 days post op, you should have a follow up visit with your surgeon.  The orthopedic doctor said it was a coincidence which I think is weird so close to my surgery.  The cortisone shots did help but I still am not 100% better, maybe 60% because it still hurts sometime but not like it used to and I can lift my arm now.  One thing I almost forgot to mention that I had lots of brain fog after my surgery and it lasted quite a long time.  Have you experienced any brainfog?  You did mention that you had a hard time, a nightmare....let us know and perhaps we can compare notes but we have to remember that everyone is different and heals differently.  I am sure you have read the previous posts and I did compare lots of notes with HappilyWrapped, as we are only 1 week apart on our surgeries.  It really helped me alot since we are very similar in ages.  I do remember at 9 days post op I was very weak from lack of nourishment.   
 
The road to recovery from this surgery can be very bumpy and it isn't easy.  Unfortunately, it takes time and one needs to be patient which isn't easy.  I did have a hiatal hernia repair as mine was about the size of a quarter.  Luckily, I didn't have the Barrett's esophagus you mentioned.  I am getting better but like I always say it has been very slow for me.  I will be totally honest and if you have read my earlier posts I always mention that it has been hard for me to get better because I have a 14 year old daughter who is rude, disrespectful, and to put it bluntly quite obnoxious.  I love her dearly but she is difficult to deal with as I am trying to heal from my surgery ordeal.  For example, today I was just fine and my chest pain was to a bare minimum then I was hit by a tornado (my daughter).  She was upset because she wasn't able to go to a carnival with her little friends because she was being punished for smart mouthing me and using foul language on me.  I did stick to my guns and didn't let her go and she hammered me relentlessly but I didn't cave it and she did not go.  But it sure did cost me.  Having to deal with her shenanigans gave me so much chest pain, I felt as if I had taken 10 steps back.  Her father took over and relieved the situation but she is at an age when they are very selfish.  She even gets mad when I get the chest pain and says "you should be better by now" or "it's taking too long to get better."  The episode happened about 3 hours ago and I am barely starting to feel better.  In other words, if you have lots of stress in your life getting over this surgery can be rough.  I just hope that when I go back to my teaching job in August, I will be able to handle those teenagers.  I don't mean to air out my dirty laundry but the point I am trying to make is that it is hard to recover when one has so much stress.  I truly think that all of this stress has slowed my recovery.  Let me know if I can answer any of your questions.  Barbara...

isewunique
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 4/8/2008 7:48 PM (GMT -6)   
o.k. this is wierd. TodaY is 12 days post op and my shoulder pain is almost gone. Pain level about a 1.5. Go figure. What the pain was, I have no idea. I'm certain it had nothing to do with the gas pumped in. Anyway, for those of you who experience this, I'd advise not to worry until after your 2 week post op. I can assure you if the pain was still a 5 or 6 at this point, I would be getting some some kind of help. Thanks to all who commented. I appreciated it!

porcelain doll
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 128
   Posted 4/13/2008 12:15 AM (GMT -6)   
Karen:  I am so glad to hear you are getting some relief with your shoulder pain.  Since you don't think it was the gas they pumped, it may have just be a coincidence.  Let us know how you are doing...Good luck...Barbara...

schells5
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 7/31/2008 4:20 PM (GMT -6)   
I am glad for all the info. I now know the pain is from the surgery. The nerves close to the diapham trigger the brain that there is pain and the brain thinks it is the shoulder. Thus being referred pain. The doctor told me today that it can take up to 6 weeks for the pain to deminish but there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

Good Days
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 146
   Posted 10/16/2008 1:25 PM (GMT -6)   
I am 1 week post op. My problem was a cough. The surgery went well, no pain. I have found that if I eat more than 1 cup at a time I feel bloated and my back aches. The ache is not bad, but if I only eat 1 cup every 2 - 3 hours I have no problem. I had my surgery on a Thursday and was back at work on Tuesday. I could have been on Monday but didn't want to push it. My Dr. told me to start on soft foods the day after surgery. I have found that oatmeal fills me up best, I just make sure it is not real thick. My Dr. also told me I could drive starting Monday. So far so good. Just be patient and eat small amounts.

ebplace
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 10/16/2008 6:10 PM (GMT -6)   

Hi - pleased to hear that the shoulder pain is subsiding for most of you. The intense sharp pain in the left shoulder is caused by the damage to the phrenic nerve that can sometimes (certainly not always) happen during nissan fundoplication surgery. The nerve run downs the neck to the diaphragm, but also branches out to the left shoulder - so the feeling of pain is mistakingly referred out there when the diaphragm stretches (like coughing, sneezing, sighing).

My last surgery was years and years ago and I will still occasionally have a bad few hours with this if I damage it. Things I find help are: avoid really large meals, avoid sitting with knees drawn up or crossed legged for long periods of time. If sitting for long periods (i.e. at desk at work or on a long haul plane journey) take regular little walks - this helps things settle back into the adbomen rather than push up into the diaphragm. Sit with a straight back and don't hunch over. Also avoid heavy lifting or pulling with the left arm only  - use two arms whenever you can.

When does pain does get bad, I find the best thing is just to lie flat for a while and it will subside.


chalwe
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2009
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 8/29/2009 5:09 AM (GMT -6)   

I started you a thread of your own.  Look for the topic

Sharp shoulder pain by New Member chalwe 

Thanks

Kitt

Post Edited By Moderator (stkitt) : 8/29/2009 8:16:23 AM (GMT-6)


Kent2008
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 10/24/2009 1:31 PM (GMT -6)   
I started you a thread of your own named

"I had a second lap Nissen surgery by Kent 10/24/2009"
 
This way you will have the chance to meet all the members and tap into great advice.
 
Welcome to HealingWell !
 
Kitt

Post Edited By Moderator (stkitt) : 10/24/2009 2:00:57 PM (GMT-6)


Kent2008
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 10/25/2009 6:31 PM (GMT -6)   
I have had some left shoulder pain, some neck pain and some in the central chest area. They told me I could have scar tissue .
But I had a repeat lap nissen because the first one slipped. Any comments?

Librarybunny
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2013
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 8/11/2013 2:36 PM (GMT -6)   
I am 6 days out from hiatal hernia surgery and am having excruciating pain in my left shoulder. I also am having trouble eating as food feels like it gets stuck about halfway down. Is this normal? My stomach is still very bloated and I am having back pain. I do mot see my dr for 3 more days and and am concerned about still being on pain med every 4 hrs.

dencha
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 6954
   Posted 8/11/2013 4:49 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Librarybunny,
Welcome to the Healing Well yeah yeah yeah Wrapped Club! yeah yeah yeah I know how bad the shoulder pain can be.  The night nurse at the hospital clued me in on the importance of walking post op, and I soon found that the more I walked, the less my shoulder hurt, and visa versa. Give walking a try.  The more you can walk, the better (within reason, of course).
 
The shoulder pain is from a combination of residual gas (they pump you full of air so they can see what they're doing in there during surgery) and irritation to the diaphragm.  Give the walking a try.  If you're like most people, it'll help.  That pain fades over time, but really, it can nag you for quite a while at a much lower pain level.  Walk, walk, walk...you'll be glad you did.
 
Swallowing is dicey for quite a while, and at 6 days out, you're at the worst part of the healing process.  My surgeon warned me that during the first two weeks my wrap would become increasingly swollen, and my swallowing would get worse before it got better.  Peak swelling hits anywhere from 2 to 3 weeks, then gradually recedes and things begin to improve.
 
If you're having trouble, try backing off on your eating...either go back to liquids, or be absolutely sure you're chew, chew, chewing your food until it's a complete liquid/creamy consistency. 
 
Here's a link to my early recovery journal.  It might give you some information that is helpful:
 
I suggest you start a new thread on the main page.  Introduce yourself, and you can even copy and paste your post below.  People will be able to find your questions more easily.  Be sure to write a topic title...maybe Post Nissen Questions would be a good one.  Whatever you'd like to call it.  Here's the link to the main page: GERD - Heartburn
 
Hang in there!  It gets better...
Happy healing!
Denise
GERD/Heartburn Moderator
Nissen Fundoplication 2/09
Allergy/Asthma

"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.”
Eckhart Tolle
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