surfergirl's Thread..........

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Elite Member

Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 7/12/2009 9:21 AM (GMT -6)   
Posted 7/8/09 @ 12:11 AM by surfergirl
Hi, I am suppose to have laparoscopic surgery for my paraesphogal hiatal hernia. Problem is my insurance is up at the end of this month so I am trying to rush and get this procedure done this month, even though I am scared to have it done. If I wait my personel insurance deductable will probably be high, and I hope its not going to count as a pre-existing condition.
 I also  am planning a trip to Hawaii on sept.2 -9 and I want to be healed enough to be able to eat and enjoy myself. We always have cocktails while out there also.
Can you guys give me advise as to if you think I should wait til after my holiday and pay more, or should I do it on the 20th and be done with it. I am tired of the bloated feeling all the time, and almost always have acid reflux. I take my meds but sometimes still have breakthrough heartburn.
I have heard that after the surgery you have problems swallowing, and I am worried about that. And the not being able to burp sounds like it is worse than it  is for me now.
So what do you think, wait and go to hawaii on sept. 2, then have the surgery later. I was told that the hernia is small to moderate in size.  I don't want to be searching for  soft food in hawai and not be able to enjoy myself.
And the plane ride is 8 hrs. will that affect my recovery.
Basically I will have about 1 month and 1 week to recover before leaving.
Help I need advise.
Thanks, confused Surfergirl

Elite Member

Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 7/12/2009 9:23 AM (GMT -6)   
Posted today by dencha @ 8:56 AM
Hi Surfergirl,
I hope this response isn't too late...I just noticed your post. A month out is a bit early, as you'll still have to be careful what you eat. Your surgeon would be a better person to answer your question. I would think that you would be fine, as long as things go well for you. You'll still have to eat small bites and chew carefully, but I could have gone on a trip after four weeks. I doubt the plane trip would be a problem.

The only issue would be that you'd be far away from your surgeon if you should experience an unforseen problem. I really wish I could give you an unequivocal answer, but everyone is unique.

Hopefully others will give you some information. If it's too late, and you've already made a decision, be sure to tell us how you're doing!
Take care,

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7188
   Posted 7/12/2009 10:03 AM (GMT -6)   
Also...I was told I couldn't burp after surgery, and I can burp. I can't burp at will, but my stomach burps itself when necessary. I wouldn't recommend drinking carbonated drinks right away, but you may find that it works out just fine. Really, in most cases, the surgical recovery from the Nissen is just fine. If your surgeon is anything like mine, you'll be able to eat anything you like that can be chewed thoroughly into a liquid. That gives you a lot of leeway.

Just one caution: Be sure that you have an extremely skilled surgeon who has lots of successes doing the Nissen. There are surgeons who are generally skilled, but this procedure is very specific, and your surgeon should have lots (at least 100+/mine had 300+) of lap nissen fundoplications under his/her belt. A skilled surgeon is the number one determiner of how your recovery will be.

Good luck, Surfergirl!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 4961
   Posted 7/12/2009 2:47 PM (GMT -6)   
Surfergirl -
As denise said, you should really ask the surgeon. If your surgeon has had a lot of successful surgeries you shouldn't have to many issues with gas and bloating. I had a horrible time the first go round, but this time I have been able to burp at will since the 4 week mark I could pretty much burp as needed since day one this time. The same goes for the swallowing issues. It really seems to be connected to the experience of the surgeon as to whether you will have a hard time swallowing for an extended period. Granted it will take some time before everything is back to normal, but if you take your time and go slow you should be able to eat just about anything you want.

Take care,

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 7/12/2009 10:21 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi, surfergirl,
I'm new to this part of the forum, as I was only recently diagnosed with Barrett's esophagus. So I can't speak to the surgery and medical issues like others can. However, I just lost my insurance June 30 (COBRA ran out) so I do understand that dilemma.

Do you know if you're eligible for a "conversion" policy from your insurance company? If so, and you elect it within 90 days (and you'll have to pay the premium for those 90 days so your coverage isn't interrupted) then I don't believe they can exclude pre-existing conditons. However, if you go beyond the 90 days, unless you'll eligible for Medicaid in your state, you may have a pre-existing condition exclusion. You definitely don't want to risk that. I know I've got all this insurance information stacked on my kitchen table and am trying to figure it out. Here in PA. we have a low cost option but there's a 1-2 year waiting list; you can private pay for it, but it costs about $350 a month to do that, and there's no Rx coverage. Start to find out what's available to you in your state, or if you're eligible for Medicaid. If you were disabled, you could get Medicare, but there's a 2 year wait from the date your disabiity is determined to have started before you can get Medicare, and it takes months or longer to get that approved.

This is all crazy, isn't it? I know we can't get political on the forum, but not having an affordable heath care option creates, at least for me, a lot more anxiety, which sure doesn't help our conditions! I also checked and any of the conversion policies I could afford would start at $1200 deductible and go up from there.

So before you put it off I would make sure you're going to be able to afford a policy that gives you continious coverage, because I'm sure the surgery would be way more expensive than any policy.

Good luck!


Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 553
   Posted 7/15/2009 8:58 AM (GMT -6)   
I agree with everyone on here
good luck
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