7 Weeks Post Laproscopic Nissen Fundoplication

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Forum Moderator

Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7188
   Posted 4/10/2009 4:06 PM (GMT -6)   
Just posting for all those people who are cruising the internet to learn more about the surgery as they try to make a decision:

As I've said in previous posts. If you have all the tests (I think manometry is especially important, because as you'll see in posts here and other places, swallowing problems can be a result of the surgery) and select a very experienced and competent surgeon (if you live in a reasonably large city with a good hospital system (my city is not that big--about 250,000--but has 4 hospitals, with a complex of 3 in close proximity, and a medical university) you won't have to go looking in a big medical center--you will do just fine.

It seems as if a tight wrap (especially if coupled with swallowing problems) is the biggest issue. Perhaps with people who have had severe GERD for a long time, and have suffered esophageal strictures in the past this is an issue as well--I'm not sure. That was not the case with me.

Anyway, as of about week 4, I've been able to eat virtually anything. (I do find I still have trouble with melted mozzarella. It's not the bread of the pizza, it's the cheese. If I eat a pasta dish (crepe manicotti/eggplant rolletts, with melted mozzarella, for example, I have to remove the melted cheese first. I am not great with pasta or noodles, either. Bread is fine, though. Everything needs to be chewed to liquid...don't get me wrong. You have to be aware of your healing and be a responsible eater!)

That said, I never in a million years, thought the recovery from this surgery would be this comfortable and easy. Honestly, the many gastritis/GERD bouts I've had were FAR worse to recover from than this surgery.

I visited my surgeon at week 5, and asked him several questions:

1. I asked him how much weight I could lift..he was a comedian...
"How much could you lift before surgery?" So I guess I'm okay to use my own judgment.

2. Any activity limitations?

3. Eating?
He said that I can eat anything that I chew thoroughly. Even steak, he said, can be chewed to a liquid. On the other hand, mashed potatoes can be swallowed in a big "bolus", and cause problems.

4. Alcohol?
No problem...

5. Why do I feel full so quickly after eating just a small amount?
He said it's because the swelling causes a stiffness, and that stiffness makes you feel more full than you actually are. The resident I spoke to after surgery, said you lose about 15-20% of your stomach capacity with the surgery. (Actually at week seven, I am able to eat more than even last week.)

6. I asked him about the effect of coughing on the hernia repair. (I have asthma. Although it has responded amazingly to the surgery, and is MUCH better than it was before the Nissen, I had a lung infection that hadn't resolved, then last week got the flu...To make it even more fun, the tree pollen is giving me fits.)
He said that "even water can erode stone". He said that there is a cumulative effect of coughing, straining, etc., that will eventually weaken the repair. These things are unavoidable.

7. What size bougie did he use? 56 French (He uses the bougie to ensure that wrap is not too tight.)

So...all in all, I would recommend this surgery. If you have a real problem, the tests indicate that you're a good candidate, and you can find an excellent surgeon, go for it. By the way...when I asked my surgeon how many procedures like this he has done, he estimated about 300. He did two on the day he did mine. I didn't know if 300 was enough, but apparently so, because his skill has resulted in an excellent outcome.

SO STOP READING THOSE HORRIBLE POSTS that blame every problem that occurs after the surgery on the Nissen. I know that a botched surgery can lead to great suffering. That's why you need to make sure you're in good hands.
You can do this!
It's worth it!

New Member

Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 4/14/2009 4:35 PM (GMT -6)   
Denise, I am 12 weeks post nissen and feel great. Quick question for you. Have you experienced a lot of gas?

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7188
   Posted 4/14/2009 7:11 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Rsapooh,
At times, I have experienced a lot of gas, but not consistently. Not nearly as much as I expected. (As I said, sometimes I'm really gassy and bloated, and need gas-x, and pass a lot of gas, but that's the exception, rather than the rule.)

I believe it's because I do burp at times. Small burps, but enough to release some potential bloating-type gas.

How is your eating? Do you still have to chew chew chew, and think about your eating to be able to safely swallow? Anything you're still having trouble with?

Is your stomach and wrap comfortable? Mine is doing a lot better. If I'd quit getting other things (like the flu and allergies) I could get really better.

I'd love to hear how things are going for you.
Take care,

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 73
   Posted 4/15/2009 3:40 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Dencha, I've not been round for a while, but I'm still thinking about you.

Glad your ok,

Your friend across the big pond,
Jules x


Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 32
   Posted 4/15/2009 8:23 PM (GMT -6)   
Sounds like you're doing great! So glad to hear. Thanks for posting the Q&A with your doctor, that's really helpful for those who are waiting for their follow up. Don't forget to write down your questions people and BRING THEM WITH YOU!
I'm now 5 weeks Post Nissen as of today and doing great. I can eat everything although if i just go right after something hearty (sandwhich, steak, thick drink, etc) then I get that stuck feeling and, well, as you know that's a pretty quick way to get you to stop and remind yourself that you're still healing and that you need to slow down.

Still down about 10 pounds so that's good, been keeping a pretty good diet and walking a lot so hopefully i'll be able to get into more rigorous excercise (i'm able to now but just havent yet). I want to lose another 10 lbs and be down to about 180 (i'm 5'11" and was at 200lbs before surgery)
Feeling good, no heartburn or reflux to speak of. I do still have some bloating and burping and pass gas often but nothing as to what it was pre-surgery. I can handle a bit of gas!
Stopped Nexium completely (was on 40MG/day pre-surgery)
That's about it. I'm even eating spicy foods, breads, steaks, whatever!
Hang in there folks, the reflux/heartburn problems I had before surgery were far worse than the recovery from this surgery. I'd do it again in a heartbeat.
As Denise said many times, DO YOUR RESEARCH, find a good doc and get the necessary tests done and make an educated decision about whether or not this surgery is necessary for YOU! Don't just say "I have heartburn, let's do it!".
Last thing, I had a medium sized Hiatal Hernia as well as a small diverticulum that they found while they were in there. My surgeon had done 125-150 Nissen surgeries and has been a well renowned surgeon for 20+ years. Gain the confidence in your surgeon and get comfortable with them. Ask questions, know the ins and outs...
ok, good luck and hang in there!

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7188
   Posted 4/16/2009 8:08 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Phorts,
You disappeared for a while there. Hope you were enjoying yourself. No doubt you were eating lots of yummy things! I've been able to eat sandwiches without the bread feeling like glue on my wrap, for a couple weeks now. The only thing I still have trouble with is melted mozzarella, and al dente pasta. Everything else is fair game!

Thanks for continuing to share your experiences!

I'm sure it will help a lot of people who are looking for answers.
Happy Eating!

I will write you an email very soon! Thanks for your! I've had the flu, so have been under the weather.
Hope all is well!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 553
   Posted 4/16/2009 8:46 PM (GMT -6)   
Im so glad to hear happiness from this surgery.Al negative comments around the net has had me disenchanted with this operation. I really dont have an option and as the day gets closer may 7th i am slowly encouraging myself that i am makin the rite decision. I cannot sleep. I have nite time gerd actually 24 hour gerd however , very prevalent in the nite. My surgeon has been around and has done over 100 fundo's I;m just afraid of the unknown. The fact that I cannot do a manometry test makes me worry. I cannot tolerate the tube in my nose. I tried and almost had a seizure and since my seizures have subsided for 12 years I certainly didnt want to have one . I am just scared of not being able to get the manometry and then later find out i needed it. The surgeon says look, yo cannot get 2, I have never had anyone sue me, go check county records, lets just get this done for your quality of life .So im tryna encourage myself by reading all the positive things on here however like Denise says the negativity is really mind altering.lol

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7188
   Posted 4/17/2009 11:15 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Bea,
Quit reading that stuff! I know what you mean. It kept me from having the surgery for years. I'm glad I did, though. I had to give it a try, as my asthma was uncontrollable, and my doctors were pushing me. They needed me to get rid of the GERD, so they could get my lungs healthy. They were insistent that it was my problem. I'm still having some lung issues, but they are unrelated. I had that lung infection, then last week I got the flu, which affects asthmatics much worse and takes longer to recover full lung function. Now if my tree pollen and grass allergies don't throw my lungs into a tizzy, maybe I'll get feeling better.

It's just that the GERD on top of all those other things put my lungs over the top. Even with those problems, my lungs are still better than pre-Nissen.

You are worrying way too much. Talk to your surgeon about your concerns. Don't look at those crazy web postings. Yes, if you have an incompetent surgeon, he can really screw you up. That's the exception rather than the rule.

You'll do fine. Just relax. Read my earlier posts describing my pleasant surprises!

If you've been told you need the surgery, you need to relax and surrender to the process. The less anxious you are, and the less you fight it, the easier your recovery will be. It is as it is. You can do this!
Take care and stop worrying!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 553
   Posted 4/17/2009 9:27 PM (GMT -6)   
I know Denise, I know I am jst a stubborn Irish woman who has never surrendered.lol I do have bad asthma .Asthma related gerd so they tell me. I've been hospitalized every year for pneumonia now for 15years. I have the nebulizer etc etc.I have too many bouts of sinusitis to even count. So hopefully this will end. It's the bitter taste that really takes over me.
Last nite, I had a terrible night .I barely slept .Today while driving ,upstate to Albany, I was so uncomfortable.My husband & I stopped for pepcid at a rest stop but I seriosly thought I wold be stopping at a local hospital. My surgeon says I probably have a hiatial hernia and I think Im starting to believe him. Every time my hubby steps on the breaks i feel like something is coming up. Like a simulating roller coaster. The pain I have is new by a week, So it is probbaly the hernia. All nite it was murder, then to drive and feel the weirdest pains in my sternum ribcage. I said to my hubby, I dont know now, If I want May 7th to come now quicker or if I want to suffer some more.
Either or, I hope I make it to May 7th. The only reason why we are waiting is becuz I begged the doctor. I am having a sweet 16 for my daughter in the hall, I will do all the cooking etc and I certainly wold not want to be out of commission. So on may 2nd I WILL BE GREEDY and eat everything like its my last meal. hopefully.LOL

Elite Member

Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 4/18/2009 7:09 PM (GMT -6)   

Dear Denise,

Hello my dear friend, and whoooooooo hoooooooo and yippee.  Look at how well you have done.  What a great job you are doing in explaining your step by step recovery plan plus the pitfalls that have come up for you and for others that have had the surgery.

Keep up your posting, you have your own column now and soon we could get you space in the New York Times. :-)

I am so proud of you.

Gentle Hugs



Kitt, Co-Moderator:
Co-Moderator Depression

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Not a mental health professional of any kind
Peace does not dwell in outward things, but within the soul
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Forum Moderator

Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7188
   Posted 4/18/2009 8:43 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks, Kitt.
You're funny! I'm trying to help people the way all of you helped me. I'm trying to pay it forward! As I've said before, this forum was the first supportive and positive site I had found in my search for information about the surgery.
You, Kitt, made me feel so welcome! You gave me the courage to become an active posting member of this forum.
Thanks for that!
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