Having problems after surgery for a hiatial hernia and nissen wrap

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barbaranne
New Member


Date Joined Feb 2011
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 2/6/2011 6:25 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi, my name is Barbara, and I had surgery for an  extremely large hiatial hernia on Dec. 22, 2010, along with the wrap.  So far, I am not happy at all with the surgery results.  I have acid reflux all the time, and never had it before, have diahrea all day long, and have the pain in the middle of my chest after I have eaten, and sometime while I am eating.  I was on a liquid diet for two weeks after the surgery, I do chew my food alot, and I have this rumbling noise in my stomach after I eat.  I also belch constantly, and it smells like rotten eggs, sure it is a sour stomach, along with the acid reflux.  The only reason that I had the surgery was because all of my stomach was up in my chest also, and the Dr. said that they could twist and strangle me, and he had one patient that gangreen had set up, and he died.    My surgeon has now put me on some powders that you mix once a day, and it is supposed to bulk up your stools and absorb the acid in my stomach.  If anyone has any suggestions for me to help me to get through this, I would greatly appreciate it.  I am a 57 year old female (will be March 10), and would love to hear from anyone out there that might could help me, cause so far, I am not happy with results of the surgery...thanks in advance, Barbaranne 

couchtater
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 12648
   Posted 2/7/2011 6:16 PM (GMT -7)   
So you're around week 7?
You're still in that first healing phase time. With the kind of surgery you had it's going to take longer to heal than others.
A fellow poster- alcie, had the same surgery. She's also around your age I believe?? Hopefully she will be here soon. She's more informed on this type of surgery.
Joy

stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 2/7/2011 6:36 PM (GMT -7)   
Welcome to HealingWell and I am glad you have joined us.  I am happy to see Joy respond to you.  I have not had the surgery but I am one really good cheer leader.
 
I know you will hear from other members.  Stick with us as we love new members.
 
Kindly,
Kitt
~~Kitt~~
Moderator: Anxiety/Panic, Osteoarthritis, GERD/Heartburn and Heart/Cardiovascular Disease.
www.healingwell.com

"If you can't change the world, change your world"

mam1298
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2010
Total Posts : 79
   Posted 2/8/2011 5:45 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Barbara,
I had the NF and Hiatal Surgery done almost one year ago. March 1st will be my anniversary and let me tell you it was a LONG road to recovery. I don't know if any of my posts are still available right after I had it done and then after but I was miserable.
I even got depressed and would cry thinking why did I have this done!!! I think it took 3 months before I started feeling different, no acid reflux, pain, etc.
The recovery seemed to come in waves of every 8-9 weeks for me. I would see a big change every 8-9 weeks. I was on a liquid diet for the first 14 days and then a soft food diet for 6-8 weeks after. I wondered if I was ever going to be able to eat normal again or eat out and it did happen around Oct. of last year.
I still have some issues, gas seems to be my friend and won't leave me but at least it's not all day and night anymore. If I drink some water, I can hear it sloshing around when I walk.
I would pamper and baby yourself as the recovery takes about a year. Someone told me that on this board and I took their advice and it made all the difference. I don't have to take GAS X any more but when my stomach would bloat and cause me pain, I would take those and then go lay down.
Look back and see if you can find my posts from early one, maybe reading mine will help you as there is a light at the end of tunnel.
I wish you well on your recovery.
Nissen Fundaplication 3/1/2010 (full wrap)
Hiatal Hernia 3/1/2010
Thyroid Removal 1990

Luvmiman
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2011
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 3/17/2011 3:14 PM (GMT -7)   
I had this surgery over 1 1/2 years ago along with the "wrap" they put in you to prevent this from happening again. The recovery was rough, but I got through that. I am 49 year old female. I am not over weight or anything, and eat right for the most part. Once I had the surgery the reflux, acid and everything just stopped completely. I thought I was in heaven. Before having the surgery it was so painful I would tie a belt or tie around my stomach because it relieved the pain, although that is the wrong thing to do I soon learned from my doctor. My problem is since the surgery and recovery. Now everything I eat goes right through me, some even undigested as well. It's almost immediate and is so bad I have completely stopped going anywhere out to eat. I have to make sure I don't eat before leaving the house to go shopping because inevitably I will have an "accident". I have constant bloating if I eat and stomach pain so severe sometimes I have to lay down and just wait it out. There is nothing over the counter that relieves this either. I am now "sensitive" to several foods including "wheat" breads and things of that nature. Never was before this. My upper stomach is somewhat painful, bloated and "hard" most of the time. The gas problem is also horrible, no matter what I eat. My bowel is extremely irritable after I eat and lasts for several hours of discomfort. I felt so relieved to have this done and now all this time goes by and I am worse off than before I feel. It's so bad I actually "fear" leaving my home most of the time. It's kept me from our church, especially if they have a dinner or something, I don't dare eat! Does anyone else have any of these issues? Has something gone wrong? Any advice would be helpful.

couchtater
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 12648
   Posted 3/17/2011 5:42 PM (GMT -7)   
Did they do a motility study on you before the surgery?
I suggest that you find a new doctor and tell them what's going on. This is not normal for the surgery.
Joy

Luvmiman
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2011
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 3/17/2011 6:15 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks Joy. Yes they did that test, with the tube down my nose and the swallowing deal. I had several tests done prior to the surgery. As a matter of fact the surgeon doesn't do the surgery unless all of those tests were done. I felt like it took forever to get through all that. Like I said, I've been told by others, not my doctor that the acid my stomach produces before still produces the same as it did before only now it goes to my bowel, and it's in excess so that might be why I am having such bowels issues now. And believe me the details are horrible. But just like tonight, I made supper and only had a few tastes of the food and bingo, there goes my stomach pain again and bloating. I only had salad for a lunch earlier today. My bowel movements are like explosions and sometimes pure yellow liquid. At times I don't even know it's going to happen. It's really affected me as a person and my marriage too. I am searching for answers because as of now my insurance is gone due to my husband's lay off way back. So I am up a creek I think. I am really hoping there is something I can do naturally or maybe someone else had this happen and found out what the cause was. It could be gluten sensitivity? I just don't know....I think it's strange this happened only after having this surgery. But it's been a life changer for me like I can't believe. I work from home, thankfully, but at this point, if I had to return to working outside my home, there would be no way it could happen. The pain gets so bad sometimes it really scares me. But thank you so much for answering, if you think of anything, I am certainly open to any ideas.

couchtater
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 12648
   Posted 3/17/2011 6:20 PM (GMT -7)   
Yellow means something with the gall bladder, I think.
I'm not sure. What a delima!
Joy

Alcie
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 3676
   Posted 3/17/2011 6:47 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Barbara -

I had the same surgery, a really long one too, about 4 1/2 or 5 hours. They had to pull my stomach down out of my chest after an accident. The type of hernia we had is life-threatening. Like it or not, we HAD to have the surgery.

What fiber supplement are you taking? If it's Benefiber, it a soluble fiber, and that's what's causing at least part of the gas and bloating. Intestinal bacteria love soluble fiber. They can't eat INsoluble fiber though. For fiber, try Citrucel, maybe the caplets with no sugar, because bacteria love sugar too. Avoid the psyllium husk fiber too. It causes a lot of gas. Docusate sodium stool softener works well.

Bacteria also like the sugars and sugar alchols we can't digest in the "sugar-free" sweeteners - dextrose, maltose, maltitol sorbital, etc. Ditch the bread too. Cut the carbs! Gut bacteria love those too. That leaves us with meat, salad, rice, which although a carb doesn't cause gas, and that's about it.

Ask for the introperative report. You have a right to your records. Read and find out if they brought down the esophagus so it was far enough into the abdomen.

Have you had a barium swallow? Even if you had one, you might need another to see if the wrap is below the diaphragm. You're having some of the symptoms I have had after I had a vomiting episode that caused my stomach to reherniate and the wrap to partly rip loose. My study showed part of my stomach is above the diaphragm. I have pretty bad chest pain after I eat even a little. I was told to call and get another barium when the symptoms get bad enough that I want to consider a re-do.
Alcie
 
 

Luvmiman
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2011
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 3/18/2011 7:12 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks Joy, but my gallbladder was removed long before I had the hernia surgery. That was removed because it no longer functioned at all, not even a slight percentage, was enlarged and infected. So it's not my gallbladder. I was just reading Alcie's response and that hit home. I too had a flu like problem prior to these problems starting and felt a "tearing" in my abdomen, upper area, with severe pain. When I think back on this, it makes sense because I seriously feel as if my hernia has come back. I have similar "stabbing" pain in this area when ever I eat anything, even the smallest amounts of food. Because as we all know you can't eat large amounts of food anyway after dealing with this. I have cut out breads just recently and nothing fried or greasy. I am a big time cook and love to do that so much, but here recently I have gotten so depressed over the "episodes" I've had, I am afraid to eat. I think I am going to contact my surgeons office and see if I can't get an appointment, even without insurance. I have to do something about this. Thanks for all the help.

louise C
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2011
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 4/20/2011 3:52 PM (GMT -7)   
hi my name is louise and I am 38 and had surgery 4 years ago for hiatus hernia. I had most of stomach except for the lower sphincter in my chest cavity and what was supposed to be a short surgery and 2 days stay in hospital ended up being 5hrs and I was kept in hospital for another month.
I was told at the time that it would take up to 6 months for my stomach to get back to normal function but myself like barbara and others here I am still suffering every day from severe wind which smells like eggs its embarrasing as other people around comment as to where the smell is coming from makes me so ashamed. I often have to have days off work as I may have something as little as a few mouthfuls of food and I feel so rough and in pain I just want to lay down and curl up. It makes me feel really nauseous which doesnt pass until I have diarrhoea which comes so quickly it makes me sweat and feel like im going pass out.
I have since been to see my doctor but they just don't do anything or they have no idea what to do they just say its irritable bowel syndrome. I always feel dehydrated as I cant seen to drink large amounts of fluid before starting to feel poorly and if i have sugar I feel woosy.
If anyone can help me with any life changes i can do to help this I would be grateful or let me know how to get my doctors to actually take me seriously when I try to say thats its not normal to live life like this I would be eternally thankful.

Post Edited (louise C) : 4/20/2011 4:25:32 PM (GMT-6)


dencha
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 6971
   Posted 4/20/2011 6:34 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Louise,
Welcome to Healing Well! Glad you've joined us. I have a suggestion to make...start a new topic on the main page. Click on the link below, and it will take you to the main page. Go to the top of the page and click the "Post New Topic" button. Then copy and paste your story in that new topic. It will make it easier for others to discover and learn about your problems and answer your questions.
www.healingwell.com/community/default.aspx?f=45

I'm so sorry to hear you've had so many problems since your surgery. Wow! Your pre-surgery stomach issue was very dangerous. I can see why it was a difficult surgery.

Honestly, it's not uncommon to have some changes caused by the surgery that persist after recovery, but something as extreme as you are describing is uncommon.

Gas is caused by the fact that the wrap is tight enough not to allow burping. Therefore, the gas has to escape through the "back door" creating those embarrassing odors (and noises!)

You might look at your diet. The less gas-producing things you eat, the less you will have. Have you tried taking BEANO when you eat things that are more likely to produce gas? Have you looked into food intolerance? Sometimes people who have food intolerance have more gas and discomfort.
Here is a link with some helpful dietary information regarding problems with gas:
www.drugs.com/cg/how-to-avoid-and-decrease-problems-with-gas.html

The diarrhea coming quickly and causing symptoms like the ones you describe sounds suspiciously like dumping syndrome. While the information refers to gastric bypass surgery, this can occur after Nissen surgery as well. For many it subsides after the healing is complete, and for others it is rare, but does occur occasionally. You sound as if it is a more chronic condition. Here is a link with information. You can click on the topics at the left to explore the information provided:
www.mayoclinic.com/health/dumping-syndrome/DS00715

Also, here is a URL containing information regarding dietary changes that can help:
www.upmc.com/HealthAtoZ/patienteducation/Documents/DumpingSynDiet.pdf

If you continue to suffer like this, I suggest you get a second opinion from another GI doctor or surgeon. If you live near a large center (Cleveland Clinic, Mayo Clinics, Johns Hopkins, etc) you might consider going there for a second opinion. They often have more experience dealing with problem cases.

I wish you the best of luck, and hope you find an answer very soon.
Take care,
Denise

Post Edited (dencha) : 4/20/2011 6:39:43 PM (GMT-6)


Cindy123
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2011
Total Posts : 173
   Posted 5/11/2011 10:57 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi, I have had the nissen wrap 14 weeks ago and sometimes I can burp and sometimes I can't. My biggest problem is that if I don't eat within three hours or so, the gas builds up at my chest, does anyone else have this problem and will it likely to go. Does it seem as though the wrap is too tight. I am afraid to have the surgeon do an endoscopy simply because I want my stomach to heal. I just want to kow if anyone else is experiencing this problem. Would love to hear from you. I have read that the healing takes almost a year. I am about to go on vacation but I am worried about the gas. I wish I never did the surgery. I had "silent reflux"...never felt the symptoms of GERD however I was afraid of cancer so I opted for the surgery. Any help would be appreiated.

Alcie
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 3676
   Posted 5/11/2011 12:25 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Cindy -
Welcome to the group. You might want to start your own thread to see if you get more responses.

I wouldn't be asking for endoscopy either, but a barium swallow is not invasive and will show if the wrap is intact, where it is, if there is any reflux. I would also not ask for a dilation at ths stage either!!! It's only too tight if you can't swallow past it.

Gas is normal after this surgery. You have to learn to not eat "gassy foods" (google term for explanation and lists), what will help stop gas, not drink sodas, not drink through a straw - all the usual stuff. You can read a lot of older posts if you put some terms in the search box at the top of the page.

A lot of the gas after 2-3 hours is already in the large intestine, although it feels like it's in the stomach, because it's right up under the stomach. I know if I eat ice cream I start passing it in 2 hours - amazing it can get there that fast.

Your wrap is right at the tip of your breastbone, so you can tell the difference. My wrap has reherniated, stomach has migrated partly up into my chest again, so I feel pain right after eating everything, even drinking a cup of coffee.

Some people heal in 3 months, but if your op included hernia repair (mine did) it can easily take a year.
Alcie
 
 

Cindy123
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2011
Total Posts : 173
   Posted 5/11/2011 12:37 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Alice, I had a barium swallow and everything looks normal. The surgeon said that I have no acid reflux and the wrap is in tact. My gas starts right at the area where the wrap is. My endoscopy and possible dilation is scheduled for September 22 of this year. I told the surgeon that I wanted to wait. I had no idea this surgery was going to be this difficult or I would not have done it. Interestingly enough, if I eat as soon as I start to feel the gas, I burp most of the gas right after I have eaten but again it comes back after 3 hours or so and by the way, during the three hours that I haven't eaten anything, sometimes I can't burp but want to, and I think that's the gas that sits right where the wrap is. Tell me that all this is going go and I am going to have a normal life again!!!! I am so frustrated and I think I am getting depressed.

When did you have your surgery????? How long did it take you feel normal again. Are you likley to do the surgery again? Did the burping come back to normal. Please let me know.

Cindy

couchtater
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 12648
   Posted 5/11/2011 2:20 PM (GMT -7)   
You may have to adjust and eat every three hours something small.
Joy

Cindy123
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2011
Total Posts : 173
   Posted 5/12/2011 3:03 PM (GMT -7)   
thanks Joy but it seems as though I have to eat something heavy to bring the burp. I am so frustrated but I have to give it the year. How long did it take you to recover?

couchtater
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 12648
   Posted 5/12/2011 3:57 PM (GMT -7)   
Five months.
Joy

Cindy123
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2011
Total Posts : 173
   Posted 5/13/2011 1:43 PM (GMT -7)   
Alice, I really feel for you. Are you thinking of re-doing the surgery???? The thought of this recovery taking a year is unbearable, I am only 14 weeks into it. Everyone on this forum is so kind to each other. Thanks for getting back to me.

I still feel a tightness where the wrap is and I think that's the reason I am having such a hard time burping at times. If I eat anything small, I cannot burp, it's almost as if the stomach has to be filled. I can only take it one day at a time.

Thanks Alica. Anymore info would be very helpful.

Cindy123
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2011
Total Posts : 173
   Posted 6/3/2011 10:36 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi it's Cindy:

Can someone please tell me that the rumblings in the stomach goes??? I can't take it anymore. Every three hours or so the rumbling would start....is it gas or it that the vegus nerve is still irritated. Anyone experiencing this problem? Please let me know.

couchtater
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 12648
   Posted 6/3/2011 2:41 PM (GMT -7)   
It will go away. It's probably just grumbling from the surgery.
Joy

Alcie
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 3676
   Posted 6/3/2011 3:30 PM (GMT -7)   
Cindy -
It's probably just gas. It may go away by itself, or you may get used to it, but there are some things you can do to help.

Cut out "gassy foods." Google lists. Reintroduce them slowly, one by one to see which ones you tolerate. White rice is pretty non-gassy.

Gas and bloating are often caused by maldigestion, although celiac, appendicitis and gallbladder can cause it.
Adding probiotics and/or yogurt can help. If it's bad enough a doc can prescribe Rifoximin to curb bacterial overgrowth.

Check what your doc gave you. Was it soluble fiber? Soluble fiber often causes gas. You can't digest it, but your gut bacteria can! Miralax has no fiber. Citrucel (methylcellulose) is the only fiber the gut bacteria don't digest, but try the tablets instead of the powder. The powder is full of sugar!

Sugars and complex carbohydrates are often problems, and there are many types. All the sugar substitutes have dextrose, a sugar you can't digest but your bacteria can, causing more gas. So cut down on bread, sugars and sweeteners.
Alcie
 
 

Tadas
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2013
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 3/10/2013 12:27 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Barbaranne how are you,I would like to know how you feel,because I have same symptoms like you,after surgery.

stucowley
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2013
Total Posts : 44
   Posted 3/10/2013 5:08 AM (GMT -7)   
after reading this im questioning weather to have the procedure done.

Andy1986
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2012
Total Posts : 431
   Posted 3/10/2013 6:11 AM (GMT -7)   
Reading threads like this scares me a lot about surgery. Id love to hear back from some people on what happened
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