Hello all. I am a 23 year old male and six days post-op of the Nissen Fundoplication.
I am a Music Education and Performance major, majoring in Voice and Piano. Though I have suffered from severe GERD for MANY years, it wasn't until a little over a year ago that I really became concerned with the damage it was causing. I was studying with my voice professor and I was having trouble with my vocal range...it seemed to have gotten smaller. Over our next few sessions, we both noticed that my voice was becoming "breathy" and "raspy" both when talking and singing. This continued for a few months until I could barely sing and was experiencing pain. Luckily here in Cincinnati we have the Professional Voice Center where a large majority of singers and other vocalists go when there is a problem. I made an appt. and on my first visit, the doctor performed a stroboscope and saw that I had severe burns on and around my vocal folds due to the back-splash of stomach acid which had also caused a tissue to begin to form between the folds, not allowing them to come together properly. After six months of vocal therapy there was no improvement and a second stroboscope showed that my condition worsened, and I had developed ulcers on my vocal folds.
From the very discovery of the damage my primary doctor and I had been treating the GERD with various medications that seemed to have a very minimal, if any affect. So about a month ago he referred me to the GastroInterologist. This doctor is amazing and excellent at what he does; he ordered a esophageal pH monitoring (a wireless system called Bravo). When the results came in, we discovered that the my acid levels were severe. He and I discussed my options of the Lap-Nissen or being on numerous daily medications for the rest of my life and I obviously opted for the surgery in an attempt to save my voice. So within a few days I had the Esophageal Manometry (the measure of the esophageal sphincters) and scheduled the surgery.
When I was awakened after surgery, I was horrified to find that I could not feel or move my hands! (Remember, I'm a vocalist and a pianist.) Turns out that due to the way the op team positioned me, I sustained nerve damage! This lasted for two days, then I slowly began getting the feeling and movement back. Today (the 6th day post-op) everything finished coming back and I have full feeling and use of my hands again...WHEW!
So anyway, it seems that the surgery went well other than the hand problem. I, too, am experiencing the severe left shoulder pain, but it seems to be slightly getting lighter. The only other major issue I am having is since yesterday, I have been experiencing severe nausea and fatigue. Today I feel like I've been hit by a steam roller. I plan on calling my doctor to see if he can give me something to control it. Though my diet isn't much at the moment, I haven't experienced any symptoms of reflux or heartburn. But again, is only been six days. My outlook is that if I have at least ten years of success, eliminated/extremely reduced symptoms and my voice heals, the the benefits by far outweigh anything else. To be able to sing opera (well anything) again will make me the happiest person alive. My incisions seem to be healing nicely, and I hope to return to work and school within the next week. My surgeon (different from my Gastro) is a very talented man and I commend him. I blame the nursing staff for the nerve damage, but all is well that ends well.