Chest pain after Nissen Fundoplication?

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AngelPn4
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Date Joined Jan 2017
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 1/16/2017 12:25 AM (GMT -6)   
I had my surgery 4 weeks ago tomorrow and am still having significant chest pain. I was having aspiration into my lungs prior to surgery causing chest pain, but was well treated with an inhaler.

I am now wondering if this is a side effect from surgery or potentially my lung issues healing.

I am having no swallowing or bloating issues. How long does it take before you feel better?

Alcie
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Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 4897
   Posted 1/16/2017 7:07 AM (GMT -6)   
Welcome to the forum, Angel.

4 weeks is just the beginning, so don't panic. Have you been back to your surgeon for a checkup yet? Did you have a hernia closed along with the Nissen?

You just had a major operation right up under your diaphragm and heart. It's not at all unexpected to have a lot of chest pain, especially if they had to sew up the diaphragm.

You are lucky not to have swallowing or bloating issues now. That could happen yet, because you aren't past the swelling stage. It takes a long time for everything to heal. Months. My operation was especially big because of a large hernia, so I had pain for nearly a year.

Do call your doctor with any concerns. We're not doctors, just patients. Best wishes.

AngelPn4
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Date Joined Jan 2017
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 1/24/2017 8:56 PM (GMT -6)   
Thank you for your response. I have been seeing my surgeon every 2 weeks. He is thinking the chest pain may be related to the stitching of the diaphragm. He is getting a little concerned and stated that we may do a barium swallow, but right now wants to wait a little while longer.

I have am still mostly on a soft diet, but also able to eat noodles and rice, and canned fruit. No breads or meats. I have lost 20 lbs in 5 weeks. I don't have problems swallowing most of the time, but occasionally even liquids will come back up. I don't really have an appetite, so not eating other things has not bothered me to much.

Any advice on what if anything can help the chest pain besides time?

corrod2
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Date Joined Mar 2016
Total Posts : 14
   Posted 1/25/2017 9:52 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi I am 6 months post operation and am back on most foods but am having problems with chest pain also which I have just started to get in the last 3 weeks. I think it is reflux related pain. I am back to my food restriction diet again. I had silent reflux and cough and lung infections before so the symptoms are not as bad as pre operation but hoping this is just a hiccough. Has anyone else had this problem with reflux related pain? I don't have an endoscope for another couple of months as I have not had my follow up endoscope yet.

aero1
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2015
Total Posts : 175
   Posted 1/25/2017 12:52 PM (GMT -6)   
yes, in my case, the chest pains, started intermittently. about 3-6 months out, and got pretty severe. sometimes, with numbness down my left arm, mimicking a heart attack. before my stomach decided to move north, i was an athlete, and always monitored, and took great care of my heart. so doctor ran me thru cardiac tests, still chest pain, went back for ct scan all was good. so post surgical changes was the decision. well it got bad, so they sent me to a gastro, who ordered a barium swallow. and low and behold, i am now the proud owner of, esophageal spasms. interestingly enough, i could see it happen in real time, during the test. so as it was explained to me, i have a short circuit, that cant be fixed. and will cause, chest pain that can feels like a heart attack, complete with pressure and all the trimmings. i take medication now that makes it tolerable. was scoped as well. so hello new normal. good luck.

Craine
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2015
Total Posts : 29
   Posted 1/25/2017 5:38 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello all, been a while since I've posted, I am 1 year 3 months post surgery and I did not have chest pain but shoulder pain. Everyone including the surgeon performed many tests to see what was causing the pain. It only occurred after eating, either too much, too fast or the wrong thing. But the variables were vast, so it came down to trial and error. I am happy to say I no longer get the pain. It's over!!!! One thing that worked to help alieve the pain was to lie down, fully outstretched until the pain subsided. Note sometimes this took hours.

I realize I will never be the same, but that's good, because I don't suffer from heartburn every day (I now only have to take a stomach pill once every 2 weeks), I don't have reflux, I don't aspirate into my lungs, and it has been a great weight loss program. In total since surgery I've lost between 30 and 35 lbs.

You'll be fine.. I've had 7 surgeries in my life including a full hysterectomy and this definitely is a long recovery. But each month wil be so much better than the last, and you too will have your own success story!

Ask me anything, I'll try and help
Partial fundoplication 180 / hernia repair / laproscopic procedure / ON Canada - October 1, 2015

aero1
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2015
Total Posts : 175
   Posted 1/26/2017 6:21 AM (GMT -6)   
Craine, raises some good points. everyone's new normal, and after effects, will be different based on the severity, of the operation. i am about 3 months ahead, of the last poster. my stomach. forced me into this operation, by looking for more real estate. gerd for me was, never an issue. so as, craine said, i as well will never be the same, but you do your best, and try to move on.

AngelPn4
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2017
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 1/26/2017 8:24 AM (GMT -6)   
I did not have typical GERD symptoms. I was having chest pain that eventually was controlled by an inhaler as I was having non acid aspiration into my lungs. What does the "new normal" look like? Pain? Dietary restrictions? It is helpful to know that this is a long recovery as it helps to be patient.

Kristin
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2016
Total Posts : 24
   Posted 1/27/2017 7:37 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Angel,

I did not have typical GERD symptoms, but chest tightness/asthma like symptoms. To confuse things, I have had asthma all of my life but was very well controlled on a daily inhaler for many years. My issues would start again when I would try to go off the PPI.

I wanted a permanent fix, so I had all of the testings done for a fundoplication. They found high acid and also believed I was aspirating acid into my lungs silently, as I would never wake up, cough, wheeze, choke, etc.

I had a toupet fundoplication due to motility issues and gastric empty issues March 2016. After the swelling went down a month after I started having my chest tightness/pain again. I had an EGD which was good and another Bravo probe, this time acid was under control.

My surgeon thought they were esophageal spasms. We tried several medications and one called Baclofen worked perfectly. I was symptom free for 4 months until this December when out of the blue my chest tightness/pain came back. I am now back on a PPI, along with the Baclofen, Qvar, and now Spiriva. I am so upset at the continued symptoms. On top of this, due to the fundoplication I cannot burp, get full very fast, and cannot gain weight.

I have read from her Dencha/Denise who was the past moderator, who also had similar asthma/lung issues before her fundoplication. She said a PPI is still needed per her doctors due to tiny amounts of acid that can sneak through and irritate the lungs. While I am upset I'm a back on a PPI at this point I will just be happy to have an answer. My PCP said the Bravo probe is a small snapshot in time, that it necessarily does not reflect what happens everyday or over a long term period. Also, I had a partial wrap, which may account for less control?

I'm sorry I do not have answers for you, but you are not alone. I would be going back to your surgeon to make sure the wrap is okay, and if is maybe work with your PCP and gastro doctor. This is where I am now. I have also been working with a pulmonologist again and bein sent back to the cardiologist, although heart was cleared two years ago and believe this will happen again, as this does not feel heart related.

Best wishes, keep us posted.

Kristin

Linda Sue
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2014
Total Posts : 458
   Posted 1/27/2017 11:54 AM (GMT -6)   
Aero1,
Did you get a firm diagnosis? It sounds like what I was diagnosed with AFTER Laprascopic Nissen Fundoplication surgery in June, 2015. I had unrelenting chest pain that grew steadily worse over months after surgery. The condition is called 'Jackhammer Esophagus'.

It takes a well informed gastroenterologist to diagnose it and involves those nasty upper GI tests. I am now free of acid reflux but take a calcium channel blocker for chest pain, an anti-depressant, and always, at 6:30am, one 10mg Percoset. Yes, I also have a 'new normal', but it sure beats where I was for YEARS before the surgery. I now enjoy a much better quality of life and have challenges that I manage to control with careful eating.

Wish you all well!

aero1
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2015
Total Posts : 175
   Posted 1/27/2017 1:20 PM (GMT -6)   
Linda Sue. short answer yes. this is how it played out. had the operation, 17 months ago. re flux was never an issue for me, 1/3 of my stomach went north and stayed there. some damage was done. stomach stopped a lung from expanding, and pushed in the heart chamber. due the severity of chest pain and pressure. extensive cardio testing was, done to rule out heart issues, ( i was extremely athletic before the operation] so the decision, based on the severity of the operation, was post surgical changes. chest pains got worse, so my doctor got me into see a gastro. he ordered another barium swallow, and low and behold, in real time the barium, would start and stop, on the way down. so the doctor, preforming the test explained to me what was going on. esophageal spasms]out of nowhere his nurse asked me if i had chest pain, i said yes, sometimes really bad, feels like a heart attack. and was told, yes that is a major symptom. was scoped and everything else was normal. so like you, i take an anti-depressant, imipramine which helps the spasms, and klonopin, as needed. this has been, a very difficult journey, the new normal sucks. i just do the best i can.

Kristin
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2016
Total Posts : 24
   Posted 1/27/2017 5:30 PM (GMT -6)   
Aero and Linda Sue, does your chest pain only come during or after eating/drinking? This is what confuses me, as my chest pain/spasms can last all day or on/off throughout the day. If I recline or lay down my chest issues totally go away. To me this does not sound like esophageal spasm, but that is what my surgeon says. As of now I'm on Baclofen (tried a calcium channel blocker and nitrate for a few days only but had to stop due to side effects). The Baclofen worked for 4 months but out of the blue a month ago my chest issues came back. The Baclofen helps but not completely anymore. I'm starting to work with my surgeon again and have an appt with a new GI doctor next month. I'm very frustrated and feel I had the fundoplication for nothing. Thanks for your help.

aero1
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2015
Total Posts : 175
   Posted 1/27/2017 6:53 PM (GMT -6)   
Kristin, mine come and go, in no particular pattern, and can be severe at times. triggers appear to be cold liquids. some days, its mild and others, a lot of ibuprofen, among other drugs. lying down very much helps. i know its not my heart, i take comfort in that. i just deal with it now, which is the hardest part, as i was an athlete, before all this drama. those days are gone, hence the new normal. sucks, just do the best i can.

Linda Sue
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2014
Total Posts : 458
   Posted 1/28/2017 9:40 AM (GMT -6)   
Kristin,
My chest pain was always very severe; life was miserable. The calcium channel blocker I take is 90mg Diltiazem 4x daily. Without it, the chest pain is unbearable. I also need a 10mg Percoset in the early morning, just before I take my first dose of Diltiazem. It's quite a balancing act but my quality of life is SO MUCH BETTER. I also take Lexapro, an antidepressant and that also helps me keep a positive, balanced state of mind.

I've resigned myself to the fact that I will probably always need medication. This condition is rare and frequently misdiagnosed. Look up 'Jackhammer Esophagus' on the internet for a better understanding of what it is.

Don't give up; a good gastroenterologist will work diligently to get you relief. There is NO other treatment for this condition, as I am told.

Best to you all.

Kristin
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2016
Total Posts : 24
   Posted 1/28/2017 12:35 PM (GMT -6)   
Thank you Aero and Linda, you have given me hope with this chest pain. I saw a cardiologist Friday. I already had a negative ECG, Echo, and stress test 2 years ago when this started. This same Cardiogist now wants me to have a CT coronary, stating if this is negative I can rule out he heart. I've had so many tests involving radiation due to the fundoplication and pulmonary trying to get to the bottom of this, that I hate to continue to radiate myself. I just don't understand why I have chest pain up and around but the minute I lay down it goes away, almost instantly. I hope the new GI doctor I see next month will get the the bottoms of this, figuring the heart is okay which I believe I think is, as I'm youngish and fit. Thank you again very much!

Linda Sue
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2014
Total Posts : 458
   Posted 1/29/2017 2:35 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Kristin,
I also had almost every cardiac test done several years ago to rule out any heart issues. Thankfully, all tests were normal.

My chest pain became much worse after my surgery; not sure why, but the condition was there for years but just not as severe. I no longer need PPI's as I no longer suffer from acid reflux. My chest pain gets more severe after eating and is not improved by lying down - it gets worse.

I hope you get to the bottom of this terrible problem. Believe me, I know exactly how you feel!

Let us know how things go. All of us care.

(SUNSHINE)
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2015
Total Posts : 98
   Posted 3/4/2017 7:14 PM (GMT -6)   
Linda sue

Sorry to hear your having problems, ask your gi doctor for hycosium 3.75 this I found thru my new internal medicine doctor. It help so much for spasm in throat, chest pain and yes my bowel pain. Just be careful it will slow the bowels down but boy what a game changer. I send get well wishes and speedy recovery. Love (SUNSHINE)

Linda Sue
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2014
Total Posts : 458
   Posted 3/6/2017 1:42 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Sunshine,
I've been wondering how you're doing; sounds like you're doing good. I am too, just need a lot of meds and I don't want to make any changes as what I take does a great job and I DO have my life back, but thanks for your concern and suggestion. I will ask my gastro doctor about it when I see her again in the future.

Best wishes!
Linda Sue

J24O
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2017
Total Posts : 14
   Posted 5/13/2017 2:19 AM (GMT -6)   
I'm on week 9 and I read on a forum on here. That's still reasonably early in the recover stage. I been doing great but noticed specs of blood in my Saliva. I think thats happened twice in 9 weeks. I wasn't sure if this is normal due to the amount of trauma from the surgery and I do get slight ache at the top of my stomach which lasts secons but other than i have been doing great. I hope everyone else who has undergone this procedure is feeling better and healthier because of it. Good luck to everyone. 😊

AngelPn4
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2017
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 5/28/2017 9:12 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks to all who have responded. It is reassuring that I am not alone, but can get frustrating. My Nissen was about 5 1/2 months ago. I started having new symptoms about 2 months ago, very significant abdominal pain, especially pain with movement. After many tests, and trials on different medications - it was decided to have laparoscopic surgery this past Tuesday, as the though was that I was having significant pain from adhesions. I am recovering well and there were quite a few adhesions. The pain before this surgery seemed to be worse than the soreness from after surgery. So - I have so many things to be thankful for. I can now feel the chest pain at my sternum again. I started not to notice that pain so much as the other pain was worse. This may be my new normal. I will focus on the positive, but hope in time that I will be pain free.

Robdini33
New Member


Date Joined May 2017
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 5/29/2017 9:18 AM (GMT -6)   
Hello all, I am new to the forum as well. I am scheduled to have the surgery on June 14. I, too, have been experiencing severe chest pain (like a heart attack) for several years now. This pain radiates up my throat as well and is excruciating pain. I do have all of the other symptoms as well..severe reflux, chronic cough, heartburn, nausea, feels like a lump in my throat, etc. I am very nervous about the procedure! I have researched and researched this surgery and have seen lots of posts on this forum. I am just hoping and praying it helps me!

J24O
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2017
Total Posts : 14
   Posted 5/31/2017 4:59 PM (GMT -6)   
I everyone, hope people can help me out. I'm on week 10 of my recovery. I'm doing great so far, eating well once again and back to exercise full-time but I have noticed throughout the 10 weeks, I sometimes get like an ache at the top of my stomach, the centre of my diaphragm and i was curious if this is normal? would be so grateful to an admin or someone else if they could help me please.smile

celerity-dad
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2017
Total Posts : 91
   Posted 6/1/2017 10:45 AM (GMT -6)   
J24O,

I'm 14 weeks past surgery and sometimes I'm sore at the same spot you mention. I don't know why but it goes away and hasn't lasted longer than a few hours.

-Mark

Alcie
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 4897
   Posted 6/1/2017 5:25 PM (GMT -6)   
J240 and other newbies. (Anyone under a year is a newbie.) Not serious, just having some fun. I'm 8 years out. It takes a long time for all the things that were done to stop hurting. Some little aches will be there even after a year.

If you think some pain or reaction is serious, of course call your surgeon! But it's been my experience that it takes a surprisingly long time to start feeling no pains ever. I wrote and wrote to the group and am so grateful for all the support. You may come across some of my old worries, and lots of the other old patients' if you put some keywords in the search box at the top of the page. I suggest reading the threads at the top of the forum too!

Best wishes, and congratulations to those who've already had the surgery.

J24O
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2017
Total Posts : 14
   Posted 6/30/2017 1:32 AM (GMT -6)   
Hello Alcie

thank you for your reply. It means alot. Something else, I wanted to ask you because you've gone through the first year of symptoms and recovery. Recently i have been getting slight breathlessness, not alot of just a little. I was wondering if this was normal. If it's not one thing it's something else. smile thank you.
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