Para esophageal/hiatal hernia surgery

New Topic Post Reply Printable Version
29 posts in this thread.
Viewing Page :
 1  2 
[ << Previous Thread | Next Thread >> ]

BCer
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2011
Total Posts : 46
   Posted 11/22/2011 5:55 PM (GMT -6)   
Not doing too well navigating these boards!!! Hope I learn quickly.

I have had a large hiatal hernia for years but was not too concerned because a doctor told me that "no one would touch it". I have been taking Nexium for at least five years. After a scope in April the doctor said he wanted to refer me to another surgeon who would look at my hernia and if I needed surgery, would be able to do it with a laparoscope.

I met the surgeon and after a barium swallow, he told me that virtually all of my stomach is up in my chest. He wants to go ahead with the surgery and I am comfortable with him doing it. I have Barett's esophagus which showed up on the scope in April. My family doctor said that this could become cancer so he wants me to go ahead with surgery.

Since finding out about the need for surgery, I have been reading a lot on these boards. I need so much information and I am still surprised that I am facing surgery! I think that I have been lucky not to have the chest pain or gas problems that so many here have had. At this point I am not even sure what questions to ask.

Sandy

imstarryeyed
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2011
Total Posts : 95
   Posted 11/25/2011 9:42 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi, Sandy! I also have a para esophageal hernia. I guess, by the size of it, I've had it for years although I feel no heartburn. I did find out my anemia, and maybe even asthma is a symptom of this type of giant hernia. My surgeon and primary care doctor strongly advised me to have the surgery as it can be life threatening to NOT have it.

Now that I've decided to go through the surgery and have it scheduled for December 13th, I am really hoping it solves some of my other problems. Of course, I'm a little nervous. My primary care physician told me it was a difficult surgery, a difficult recovery but would be well worth it in the end. I hope she is right.

Best of luck to you! Starry

BCer
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2011
Total Posts : 46
   Posted 11/25/2011 10:24 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Starry,

Your surgery is really coming up fast. It will be good to be done with it! I can't believe you had anemia and asthma - I have both and never thought that they might be connected to the hernia. I think we still have a lot to learn about what is happening to our bodies.

I have had the hernia for years but it seemed to just be something the doctors commented on without indicating any need for treatment. I think what pushed this for me is finding that I have Barrett's Esophagus and then they found out how large the hernia really is.

I hope you continue to post after your surgery as I want to know what the recovery is like. My surgeon said that I will be amazed at how good I feel after having the surgery. But, yes I am nervous too!

Wishing you the best of luck and happy thoughts!

Sandy

imstarryeyed
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2011
Total Posts : 95
   Posted 11/25/2011 11:27 PM (GMT -6)   
Sandy,
Do you know when your surgery will be? I will definitely keep you posted on my surgery. What part of the world are you in? I'm in Southern California.

I accidentally found out about the hernia years ago when it showed up in an x-ray. The doctor was shocked and said it was enormous. The surgeon I was referred to said he didn't repair hernias because they just come back. Now, several years later I am with a new medical group and the doctors feel quite differently. If I had known anemia and asthma were related to the hernia I would have pursued getting treatment long ago. I was in need of a transfusion when they discovered anemia. Still, the doctors didn't tell me the connection. I found that out by reading. It is frustrating not having more information. I guess the bottom line is you must always be your own advocate. Be proactive.

Thanks for the good wishes,
Starry

BCer
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2011
Total Posts : 46
   Posted 11/26/2011 8:43 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Starry,

My home is on Vancouver Island, B.C., Canada and right now we are in the middle of another storm moving in from the Pacific. We have had so much rain and heavy wind during the past week! We are flying to L.A. on December 16th to board a ship for a three week cruise. It seems a little scary to think about a cruise but my doctor as well as the surgeon don't seem concerned about my travel plans. "Why would you cancel?"

I wonder how many other conditions are related to the hernia. I spent a week in hospital (twice) with bleeding from diverticulitis and came close to needing a transfusion. Later I had asthma, still do of course,and I have blamed everything on the asthma. I had a nasty cough for over two years until the puffers proved to me that I needed them.

The anemia was severe and took months to get back to normal and I blamed that on diverticulitis! That was a very debilitating period!

Through all this, the doctors didn't seem concerned about the hernia. One cardiologist said it was too large to operate. It was only when I returned to the surgeon for another scope that he told me the diverticulitis had healed but the hernia was very large. He would not do hernia surgery because he wanted to refer me to another surgeon who could do it laparoscopicaly. A barium swallow showed that my entire stomach is in my chest. Strange that I can't feel that it is up there!

What information have your doctors given you about recovery? How long do you expect to stay in hospital and what kind of diet when you go home?

Let's keep in touch. I am so glad that you found my post and wrote. Since I don't expect to have my surgery until late February or March, I will want to follow your progress!

Wishing you best of luck!
Sandy

Alcie
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 3416
   Posted 11/26/2011 9:40 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Sandy and Starry. Welcome to the forum.

I had a giant paraesophageal hiatal hernia (GPEH) due to a car accident. My seatbelt pushed my stomach up into my chest where it got stuck. That was a couple of years ago, so I've been through what you can expect to get. It's not fun, but it's lifesaving surgery, critical to get done ASAP.

I posted tons on the forum as I jumped through the hoops, went through the surgery, recovered. I'm a senior, so it you are younger you will do better. Don't get too hysterical when you read my posts. But it's a lot longer surgery (mine was 4 1/2 hours) because of having to take down the stomach so much, and it's right next to the heart, separated only by a thin membrane.

My surgery was done in a large university setting, and I would not go to anything less. It doesn't matter if the surgeon has done lots of trgular ops, just if he's done a bunch of GPEH surgeries and has a good team. I had a Toupet procedure because I have a very weak swallow due to having polio as a kid. You might be able to tolerate a regular Nissen, but make sure not to skip the testing!

To read the info already posted, please put various keywords in the search box at the top of the page. paraesophageal hernia, GPEH, stomach in chest ... You can also look up just my posts by clicking on my name, then go to the older posts for the stories. I've posted links to some informative websites too.

Best wishes.
Alcie
 
 

BCer
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2011
Total Posts : 46
   Posted 11/26/2011 9:50 AM (GMT -6)   
Good Morning Alcie,

Again, thanks for the information. I am going to post on your name now to be able to look at your previous posts.

Sandy

BCer
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2011
Total Posts : 46
   Posted 11/26/2011 10:00 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Alcie,

Me again! When I clicked on your name, only the last ten posts came up. How do I view the older posts?

BCer
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2011
Total Posts : 46
   Posted 11/26/2011 10:02 AM (GMT -6)   
Okay, I figured it out! wink

leniijane
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2010
Total Posts : 42
   Posted 11/26/2011 10:23 AM (GMT -6)   
I too, had my whole stomach in my chest. Had some symtoms while eating more than a small amount at a time. No heartburn, just pain and pressure. I had the surgery and also a wrap last year...it only lasted a couple of months. Then alot of different symtoms. I wasn't told how long to eat very carefully, and vomited, which I think messed it up.

Finally had it redone two weeks ago. I pray it lasts this time. The surgery itself is not bad at all, altho the second one was harder on me(I am 72). Both Drs. said they had a hard time with it. I felt good this last year, but was constantly belching up food that never made it to the stomach!!! Had a huge hiatal opening.

I was very weak and tired the first week, and food has gotten stuck two times. I now know that it is swollen inside for a long time.I wasn't told what to expect with the first one, but this time, I made it a point to know about recovery, as that is the worst part of it all.

I got heartburn after the first surgery failed and had to take Prilosec. Now, I haven't had to so far...

good luck to you...

BCer
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2011
Total Posts : 46
   Posted 11/26/2011 11:16 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Lenniejane,

These boards are wonderful! It is so nice to be able to "talk" with others who have had the same kind of concerns that I have!

I have spent all morning on these boards and have already learned a few things...I have had post nasal drip which others have thought is also a symptom of hiatal hernia and yet no mention! Do we all need to go to medical school to get information? My doctor keeps telling me to stay away from that d...internet!

The most symptoms that I have had occurred when eating Chinese food. It was sooo good and maybe I was just eating too fast.

Upsetting that your wrap lasted such a short time! I hope that this one will be permanent

When I had anemia and complained to the doctor about being tired he told me to exercise. Only when I told him that I tried to take the dog for a walk but only made it past three houses before having to give up and turn back. Coming up the stairs I am constantly out of breath! So many of these things may very well be related to the hernia. (?)

I had no idea of what to expect in recovery until reading these boards and now have started keeping notes in a small notebook and will ask the doctors.

Thank you much for responding to my posts.

Best wishes.
Sandy

imstarryeyed
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2011
Total Posts : 95
   Posted 11/26/2011 11:42 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi, All!

Sometimes I think the doctors we speak to don't know of all the complications and symptoms of this kind of hernia. I read that about 40% of people with para esophageal hernias have anemia. Also read that many breathing problems cleared up that were not previously attributed to the hernia.

My surgeon has given me NO information about pre or post op. His nurse told me to not take aspirin the week before surgery, nothing after midnight and show up at 5 am. I'm a bit concerned because I will be recovering alone in my 2 story house. I would like to have as many things (liquids, meds) ready as possible. I've read a lot online about what to expect after and have found the instructions most helpful to me from UCLA. They seem to be very explicit and conservative, which I think is a good thing. I am going to err on the side of being too careful so I, hopefully, won't have any complications. The link for UCLA instructions, a pdf file, is esophagealcenter.ucla.edu/workfiles/surgery/nissen_gerd.pdf

I will definitely keep posting to let you know how it goes. I am continuing to read and learn. I want to be as educated and prepared as possible.Knowledge is power, right? Ther is also a support group on facebook I have joined that has a lot of info and stories. If you are on facebook search for nissen fundoplication. It is a closed group but you can request to join.

It's good to hear from people going through similar things. Thanks so much!

Starry

BCer
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2011
Total Posts : 46
   Posted 11/26/2011 1:18 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Starry,

Thanks for the UCLA site. It has really complete information.

BCer
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2011
Total Posts : 46
   Posted 11/26/2011 11:10 PM (GMT -6)   
The UCLA link has information about post surgery diet. It looks like the first couple of weeks on liquid only, the next couple of weeks on thick liquids, the next two weeks on soft food and not back to a normal diiet until about the two month mark!

I hope to meet the dietician or nutritionist at the hospital before being discharged. Also tells not to lift anything more than 2 lbs and no bending or twisting of upper body. There is such a lot of good information on this site.

imstarryeyed
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2011
Total Posts : 95
   Posted 11/26/2011 11:29 PM (GMT -6)   
I think the UCLA diet is the most conservative I've seen but I want to play it safe. It seems most people get into trouble when they eat the wrong thing or too much of it. Or lift too soon.

Your doctor may have you eating solids much sooner. I guess you need to listen to your body.

BCer
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2011
Total Posts : 46
   Posted 12/9/2011 2:18 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Starry,

I have been thinking of you as I know your surgery is coming up very soon. How are you feeling? We are leaving on holiday the day after your surgery but I will try to check the board in case you feel like posting. You may need a few days before you actually feel like writing!

Best wishes that all goes very well and that your recovery is quick!

Sandy

imstarryeyed
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2011
Total Posts : 95
   Posted 12/9/2011 3:04 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Sandy,

I am getting a little nervous but I'm prepared for everything. There was a glitch when my EKG came back irregular. I had to do an echocardio stress test but, thankfully, everything is okay. Surgery on. I don't know for sure how long I'll be in the hospital but there is no cell service there so I won't post till I'm home.

My daughter surprised me and is flying in from Hawaii so I'll have someone at home to help me. I am so grateful. I will let you know how it goes. I hope your holiday is wonderful!

Starry

BCer
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2011
Total Posts : 46
   Posted 12/9/2011 7:23 PM (GMT -6)   
Strange that your daughter is coming from Hawaii as we are going there! How nice that she will be there to look after you!

My surgeon told me that "you will be amazed at how much better you will feel after surgery". I hope it works that way for you.

Talk to you later.

Sandy

BCer
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2011
Total Posts : 46
   Posted 12/13/2011 7:52 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Starry,

Good luck tomorrow and get a good night's sleep tonight!

Talk to you later.

Sandy

imstarryeyed
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2011
Total Posts : 95
   Posted 12/16/2011 1:11 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Sandy!

I hope you are enjoying your cruise. Despite my nervousness, everything went great! My surgeon said it couldn't have gone smoother.

I woke up in recovery feeling quite nauseous and told everyone around me I was going to throw up and they put meds in my IV right away. Then I felt pain (felt like I'd been run over) and they took care of that. I learned, in my hospital, they don't give pain meds unless you ask for them. I slept much better and could maneuver more easily with the meds. I had pain under my clavicle from the gas they put into you during surgery. I asked my daughter to massage that area and it helped tremendously. Coughing from chest congestion (asthma) was much easier if I walked around and coughed standing. It took the pressure off the incisions by standing. I took my inhaler to the hospital (as instructed) and used it.

I could have no liquids after surgery and had bad cotton mouth. Ask for sponge pops which were like liquid gold. Day 2 I was allowed clear liquids and day 3 I had full liquids. No problems at all. I'm not really hungry yet so I've forced myself to try a little of everything but warm liquids are definitely more satisfying (warm tea and broth). I was 2 nights in the hospital and ready to come home. Sleeping in bed didn't work (too painful- pulled incisions) so I slept comfortably in an extra wide overstuffed chair with lots of pillows and an ottoman. I sleep in a gown but wear yoga pants during the day. The soft, wide band gives gentle support to the incisions. I can't wear a bra because 3 of the incisions are right under my breast.

Overall, I'm just so happy to have this behind me and to know it's getting better everyday. Hopefully, the info has been helpful to you. I know everyone's surgery and recovery is different but it helped me tremendously to know what MIGHT happen and help.

Enjoy Hawaii!

Starry

imstarryeyed
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2011
Total Posts : 95
   Posted 12/16/2011 1:37 PM (GMT -6)   
One more thing that has helped me- I bought a rechargeable hot water bottle from Amazon. It heats in 15 minutes and stays warm for several hours. It's perfect for soothing pains. It has helped me get to sleep while using it as a pillow and has relieved the lumbar area from spending so much time in bed the first couple of days.

BCer
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2011
Total Posts : 46
   Posted 1/7/2012 10:35 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Starry,

We got home today and I read your posts. So happy that everything went so well and that you are feeling good!

Thanks for letting me know about the rechargeable hot pad/pillow. I use Magic bags but they only keep me happy for 10 minutes or so.

My surgeon told me that I need to take my Bipap machine to the hospital and I am wondering how I will use it with tubes in my mouth or nose? Did you have tubes overnight?

On Monday I will need to call his office to let them know that I am back in town. Still don't know when the surgery will be but at least I got to go on my cruise - and it was wonderful! We are tired from travelling so now I will be happy to stay home, diet (!!!), and then face surgery.

Sandy

opnwhl4
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 4814
   Posted 1/7/2012 11:14 PM (GMT -6)   
Sandy-

actually some hospitals are using bipap for patients after surgery now. Mostly in ICU, but sometimes in their regular rooms too. When I had my esophagus repair done they used it on me in ICU and one of my roommates later in my recovery there used in at the regular room too.

there are some quirks to getting a decent seal, but the mask they used there was a full face and worked pretty well. Depending on what mask you have they may use one the hospital has to make it work.

Take care,
Bill
opnwhl4
Moderator: GERD/Heartburn
Nissen 6/06 and 5/09
#3 on 8/24/11

imstarryeyed
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2011
Total Posts : 95
   Posted 1/8/2012 1:44 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi, Sandy! Welcome back! It sounds like your cruise was wonderful!

I am over 3 weeks post op and still doing well. I feel like I could eat almost anything, and my surgeon said to go for it, but my primary care doctor said absolutely not so I'm still eating "bland and mushy" which is fine. I had lasagna on Christmas Eve with no problem. Luckily, I've had no swallowing difficulty and nothing's felt stuck. I still have a lot of pain in my middle but I don't need meds for it. Bending is impossible and I can only sleep on my back.

I didn't have any tubes except for oxygen while in the hospital. I had a catheter the first 24 hours and an IV, of course. Also a blood pressure cuff and pressurized boots. I'm still using my inhaler so I don't know if the surgery has helped my asthma. It's probably too soon to tell.

Something else you might want to think about getting, if you don't have one, is a tank top bra, or at least a sports bra. It drove me crazy until I found an old stretched out bra I could wear when I left the house the first few days. You may not feel the need to go out but I was Christmas shopping less than a week after surgery. I took a lot of breaks and was fine. It helped me to get out and not feel like an invalid.

Keep posting about your experience and when your surgery will be. Best of luck!
Starry

BCer
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2011
Total Posts : 46
   Posted 1/8/2012 2:53 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Bill and Starry,

I have a full face mask for my BiPap machine but still had leaks until recently trying RemZzzs. They have helped so much! www.RemZzzs.com or 1-877-473-6999.

Re: clothing for after surgery, I will be happy with sweat pants and tees with a sweatshirt or vest over the top. I hate bras!!!

It will be very hard to avoid bending and lifting. That means that I won't get to spend much time with my two year old grand daughter. She loves to climb up to sit on my lap and those little knees and elbows would hurt!

Sandy
New Topic Post Reply Printable Version
29 posts in this thread.
Viewing Page :
 1  2 
Forum Information
Currently it is Monday, September 01, 2014 8:53 PM (GMT -6)
There are a total of 2,206,753 posts in 245,637 threads.
View Active Threads


Who's Online
This forum has 155466 registered members. Please welcome our newest member, Kery64.
454 Guest(s), 23 Registered Member(s) are currently online.  Details
schimbare, upjo, FW, vot_4pedro, msmonte72, rey, themiz, AML94, NiceCupOfTea, rb001, Contentprof, sybrekel, Gunner34, cairn1, Dr-A, FLBeachgal, Thoreau, churey360, evenkeel, Abilene, UCwhat?, myman, bearflag


Follow HealingWell.com on Facebook  Follow HealingWell.com on Twitter  Follow HealingWell.com on Pinterest  Follow HealingWell.com on YouTube
Advertisement
Advertisement

©1996-2014 HealingWell.com LLC  All rights reserved.

Advertise | Privacy Policy & Disclaimer