Gastrectomy 3 weeks post discharge

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New Member

Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 1/5/2009 3:34 PM (GMT -6)   
Haven't been on in a while due to my surgery, but thought I'd give an update.
Previous Hx: Subtotal Gastrectomy & Duodenectomy; Subtotal Gastrectomy & Vagotomy; Lap Nissen; EGD w/Dilitation (too many to count); EMS; Bravo Ph; Barrett's Esophagus
Have been having more and more r'eflux issues with no relief from any PPI.  Was taking Prevacid and Protonix twice a day and Nexium once a day.  Something had to give to keep my Barrett's from getting worse.  After several opinions we decided to try another gastrectomy.  Reasoning was to remove more of the stomach to reduce the number of Parietal cells.
Surgery itself went better than the surgeon expected (not as much scar tissue).  Post-Op things didn't go as well.  Aside from tremendous pain (adequately relieved by meds) that was expected, I had severe third spacing problems, potassium levels dropped very low, Hemoglobin was in the 6-7 range, BP was hovering at 70/45.  Had to have transfusion to get hemoglobin up.  One of the units infiltrated and swelled my forearm to 3 times it's normal size.  Eventually the surgeon got all labs back to normal.  Had a 7 day hospital stay.
Weeks 1 & 2 post discharge had very little abdominal pain.  Only when I eat. (more on that later) My arm however hurt very much from the blood infiltration.  Had to have ultrasound on my arm to make sure no clots.  Turns out just superficial phlebitis.  Should be no long term issues just accute pain for a few weeks (and a black & blue arm).
Week 3 I am beginning to have some abdominal discomfort but the arm pain is mostly gone.  My surgeon tells me parts of my abdomen are just now waking fully from the anesthesia and pain meds.  He must be right because parts of the skin within an inch or two of my incision that have been "asleep" with no feeling are waking as well.
I can only eat very small amounts of food (and it no longer has to be blended!).  I did not have a total gastrectomy.  I have a stomach about the size of a plum.  Eventually it will stretch some.  I do not have the sensation of being full or being hungry.  Because I do not have that feeling sometimes I eat too much.  The eating too much is causing stomach pain.  I have lost 20 lbs I couldn't afford to lose and they tell me I may lose more.  I am supposed to get in 2000-2500 calories a day but eating such small amounts it is very very difficult.  Beverages of any sort not at room temperature cause spasms that are very uncomfortable. 
I have tried to go back to work because sitting at home is very boring.  Have any of you watched day time TV.... yuck!  Good thing I like to read.  Anyway I have no energy after getting to work so that's out until I can get some calories in.
So far I take two Flinstones chewable vitamins per day and that is it for any type of meds.  Have had NO reflux or regurg.  Once everything has time to heal I get scoped again just to check the Barrett's.  Bottom line is everything looks like it is working as expected and once I am healed if it remains like this the surgery was worth it for me.

Regular Member

Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 358
   Posted 1/5/2009 7:27 PM (GMT -6)   
Congrats !!
Glad that things are going well for you !
I have Barretts as well.
I don't worry about it too much though...what can you do ??!!!
Happy New year to you !!
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