reflux surgery

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jasonv11
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2010
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 5/1/2010 4:42 PM (GMT -6)   

I have had 2 GI doctors tell me that I was not a good candidate for reflux surgery. I have all kinds of doctors tell me all kinds of stuff, and I no longer believe anything that comes out of a doctors mouth. ( sorry its true, they are worse than used car salesman) What I would like to know is has anyone ever been told by a GI doctor that you were not a good candidate for surgery and then talked to a surgeon and got the surgery anyway?

Thanks


dencha
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7181
   Posted 5/1/2010 9:43 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Jason,
I suffered from asthma that was made much worse from reflux. I was even hospitalized at one time due to the reflux-induced asthma. My first GI doc didn't think surgery was the answer, and actually was no help at all.

I went to another GI doc (urged by my family doc and my allergy/asthma doc) and had the PH monitor test. It came back very low (4) and my GI doc told me that the reflux was not causing my asthma. At the same time, my other two docs (who were struggling to control my asthma without success) were sure that the GERD was creating my lung problems.

I continued to get worse until I was at the point where neither doctor could do anything for me. Even steroids didn't help. My family doc finally made me an appointment with a surgeon he respected, and bypassed the GI doc all together. The surgeon ordered a barium swallow and did an endoscopy. Taking the lead from my doctor, and the fact that I did have a hiatal hernia, and a weak LES, he told me I was a good candidate for the surgery.

I didn't feel comfortable with doing it without getting another opinion, so I went back to the GI doc, who looked at the results of the tests the surgeon did, and added another PH monitor. This time, the number was higher--14--higher, but still a pretty average level...not as high as most patients who opt for surgery.

Still, with the persistence of my doctors, the tests, etc., the GI doc finally (after 3 years) decided that it was possible the surgery might help. Even then, he told me I could control it with meds or surgery. Seriously? I'd been taking maximum meds for four years to no avail. Anyway, he told me I could go see a surgeon that he recommended highly.

I'd had it. I made the appointment, and decided to go forward with the surgery. Even the surgeon was concerned about the low level PH number, but said that he would defer to the other doctor's opinions.

So, long story short, yes...I was told I was not a good candidate for the surgery and I ended up having it anyway. It was a long road, but in the end it paid off. I'm having a few problems at the moment, but my lungs are doing great. They're finally pretty healthy after years of severe problems.

What are the reasons your docs are giving you for not wanting to recommend the surgery? How bad are your symptoms?
Hope you find an answer soon!
Denise

jasonv11
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2010
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 5/2/2010 8:02 AM (GMT -6)   

Hi Denise

Thanks for your reply. The doctor told me I do have acid reflux but thinks I have other problems too. I got a Dx of gerd and dyspepsia. I know dyspepsia means they don't know what is causing my problems. I have upright reflux and I am in some kind of pain all most all day long.

I have been seeing doctors for 2 1/2 years. I have problems taking PPIs and zantac don’t help at all.

I went to Mayo Clinic last year, they put me on zantac and amitriptyline, that combo did not help . I got one full page of medication I have tried. antidepressants ,PPIs, antibiotics, h2 blockers, baclofen.

also tried acupuncture. If a normal healthy person would have taken all the medication I have taken in the last 2 1/2 years they would be sick too. thanks for taking the time to read this, and thanks for your story.

 

Jason


dencha
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7181
   Posted 5/2/2010 9:09 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Jason,
It's really hard when you have a problem and you don't fit the mold. I'm sure your docs are worried that surgery won't help your problem, and could create additional problems.

I'm happy I had the surgery and am very satisfied with the results, but since December I've had some sour taste (doc says bile) and am taking a lower dose of PPI's because there must be some reflux. I don't fit the mold, because I've got symptoms of a too tight wrap (I retained barium in my esophagus during the barium swallow test) and too loose (air refluxed into the esophagus and sent it flowing up and down the esophagus--my GI doc said he'd never gotten a report like that...figures). My doc doesn't want to do anything either. As long as my lungs maintain their health, he wants to leave well enough alone. He doesn't want to start messing around and make things worse. I'm taking Carafate suspension four times a day to protect my esophagus from the refluxing bile. I've had better and worse times with it, and am in a very stressful situation at the moment. My doc and I are hoping that when things settle down in my life things may improve.

Your problem is probably going to take a long time to resolve, but try to be patient. If you try to rush and force the issue, you might find yourself in worse shape. Have you tried a variety of PPI's? All of them bother you?

I got reflux even after PPI's, so I get your frustration.
Best wishes, and don't give up. It will get better. You will find an answer.
Denise

Alcie
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 5013
   Posted 5/2/2010 2:59 PM (GMT -6)   
Jason -
Keep trying.  Jump through the hoops as long as it takes.  It sounds to me like you need something and acupuncture is useless.  carafate only helps a few people.  Take the ppi twice a day or whatever it takes.  Maybe one of the newer 24-hour products will help a little.  Surgery is a last resort, is not fun and leaves side effects. 
 
I had to jump through hoops for 4 1/2 months even with a traumatic paraesophageal hernia - life threatening if it would roll and strangulate.  I had a completely open LES and a weak swallow from polio, and they still made me do test after test after test.
 
I did figure out that my particular actual reflux (nothing to do with the acid production) was caused by food intolerances.  I kept a food log, eliminated the trigger foods, and was able to control the refluxing.  Despite this I still needed surgery, and would rather have been able to avoid it.
Alcie
 
 


couchtater
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 14475
   Posted 5/2/2010 7:24 PM (GMT -6)   
Jason,
my G.I. said he didn't think that the surgery would help me any. I went to another G.I. he checked me out and said that it would help. I decided to go along with him and had a 270° wrap. My symptoms are all gone.

Always ask for a second opinion. It's your life and you are in misery.

Joy

jasonv11
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2010
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 5/3/2010 6:32 AM (GMT -6)   
Thanks to everyone who has replyed. There are no easy answers. This pain everyday has to stop.
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