My name is Ben and I found this forum and would like some opinions.
about 3 months ago I experienced a sharp pain in my chest after eating, it even caused cold sweats and everything. It subsided after a few minutes and I thought nothing else about it. A month or so went by of minor pains about three times a week in the same area. about 2 months ago I had another severe pain and made an appointment with my GP. She said it could be GERD and prescribed 1 protonix/day. I had never experienced this pain until now so I was thinking cardio issues. She sent me to a cardiologist just to make sure. Between that visit and the cardiologist I continued to have pains although they seemed less frequent. He also believed it was GERD, prescribed an addition protonix/day putting me to two a day and thought I needed an edoscipy to watch for Barrets, a disease he said he had as well. With two a day the pain is even less severe and frequent. I went to get the endoscopy and they found a hiatel hernia, a gaping EGJ, and Barrets. Needless to say I was bummed. Biopsy came back negative for cancer which was good, and no dysplasia which is even better, but Barrets is still bad news and I certainly don’t want it getting worse.
My next stop was a consult with a surgeon. He told me he recommended the Nissen procedure. Sounded fine until I got on the internet! Honestly until I found this site I was scared to death. Still am actually. I have a great life, very little pain, a wonderful family, and a great career. The side effects from Nissen could turn me into a person who has trouble breathing, swallowing, can belch or vomit, has IBS, and God knows what else. The idea of living with all of that for the rest of my life brings me to tears.
The doc thinks I should go through with it and from what I read, small, non dysplasia Barrets after surgery has been seen to not get any worse in many cases, and even improve in some. I’m just not sure what to do. I would do anything to keep myself healthy to be around as long as possible for my Son and Wife and Esophageal cancer can be a death sentence if my Barrets gets to that point.
I just don’t know what to do. Apparently I have an esophageal sphincter that wont close and this is the only thing I can do to have the best chance at fixing that. It just makes me angry that I don’t have any of the painful symptoms everyone else has, so there is nothing that is going to make me feel better from getting this surgery, only things that could potentially make my standard of living go way down. Anyway, I guess I just wanted to begin to tell my story a bit to some people who understand. Thanks for any thoughts or comments you might have.
Post Edited (BMcD) : 8/14/2009 1:28:34 PM (GMT-6)