I totally understand your concerns about the surgery. Are you going to be having the Nissen done?
I'm one of those Nissen lap failure stories and I'm going in tomorrow am for my redo surgery.
My 1st lasted only about 3-4 months. As for my experience I would say a combination of a lack of experience in Nissen surgery's on my doctor's end and while in the hospital a lack of proper after surgery care would have aided in my failure.
The doctor I have for my 2nd has done numerous nissen laps and repairs. She feels the first doctor overlooked things and basically did a botched surgery with out blantenly saying those words.
I have Barrett's, my LES is destroyed, off the charts reflex, and a medium - large paraesophageal hernia with a now failed nissen.
For those few months my lap was intact I was having no gerd issues and it was so wonderful to be able to eat things and not suffer and be able to sleep a good nights sleep. That's part of the reason I do not hesitate to have this surgery done again.
As with any surgery there are risks and the Nissen is included. But when your at the point that you have suffered so much you just want the pain to end and that surgery can give you that. I think there are far more success stories then failures.
Before the surgery I wasn't having luck with the PPI's and I did have relief after the surgery so at least for my case that's not true.
While yes it is a surgery and not to be taken lightly it isn't as bad as you would think. The site of the incisions wasn't all that painful to me, the healing went rather smoothly and quickly and in the end it was totally worth it.
I hope this answers some of your questions and puts your mind at ease.