Anyone have nissen for asthma???

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mrv
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2010
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 6/25/2010 9:44 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi, I am 37 and scheduled to have nissen surgery in a couple of weeks.  I have been diagnosed with "asthma" for the last 17 years, and have been on every asthma medication known to man.  For the last 2 years I have not been able to get my asthma undercontrol.  I have not slept through the night in over 2 years, and feel like I am starting to lose it.  I work full time, and have 3 kids, and I am exhausted.  Before this, I was in fantastic shape and worked out regularly.  Now, I have such shortness of breath and am so tired, I can't work out very hard.  I walk and swim when I can, but it is not enough.  I started seeing a new allergist/Ent about a year ago.  He is very old, but has a great reputation, and was the only doctor I have been to that would think outside of the box.  I had a barrium swallow, which didn't show anything last year.  After we seemed to exhaust all other possibilities, he still felt my symptoms could be caused from my stomach.  We recently had a bravo test and endoscopy.  The GI doc that performed these tests clearly didn't believe me and treated me like I was crazy, and had anxiety or panic. My husband had to tell him that my symptoms are real.  The test revealed that I have a wide open GE junction, and there was a strong correlation between when i had reflux and wheezing/coughing/shortness of breath. When I was lying down it was really bad, which is why the vast majority of my symptoms are at night.  Naturally every time I am in the doctors office I am breathing great!  I have been on prevacid forever, and recently switched to dexalant and zantac 300mg.  These have done nothing for my symptoms.
I have just seen a surgeon, and am going to proceed with the surgery.  He told me the success rate for curing reflux is well over 90%, but he thought for my symptoms, which are atypical, about 50%.  I am going to go through with it because I have exhausted all other possibilities.  Right now, the only thing that gives me relief is 40mg of prednisone, but as you know, that has nasty side effects. 
Has anyone had nissen surgery done for this reason, and what was the result?  I would love to hear any feedback.
 
 
Thanks,
Michele

opnwhl4
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 4961
   Posted 6/25/2010 10:05 PM (GMT -6)   
Michele-
Welcome to Healing Well! We have a few members who had the surgery because of asthma problem. I am sure they will be along shortly and discus this with you. I myself had my first Nissen in June of '06 and had a redo in May '09 because my was done wrong. I am good to go now. Again welcome and please share all you like and don't be afraid to ask questions. We love 'em!

Take care,
Bill
opnwhl4
Moderator: GERD/Heartburn
Nissen 6/06 and 5/09


couchtater
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 14475
   Posted 6/26/2010 10:16 AM (GMT -6)   
I had the partial wrap done for my asthma.My GI told me it wouldn't help at all, but to go ahead and try.I went to an excellent surgeon who did his own special version of the Hill and I've hadn't had acid related asthma at all since then.You will have to go through a lung healing process time. Mine lasted for about two months, but I feel very good now at six months out.Best of luck!Joy

dencha
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7181
   Posted 6/26/2010 1:57 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Michelle,
YES! Your story has remarkable similarities to mine. I've had asthma my whole life (generally well controlled), but during the past four or five years or so, it got uncontrollable. My family and asthma docs were both confident that my reflux was making my asthma worse. They sent me to the GI doc. (I'd actually be hospitalized at one point when I was having a severe GI reaction to an antibiotic and it revved up my reflux and asthma. I wasn't responding to prednosone or my nebulizer treatments, so my asthma doc put me in the hospital for a week.)

Anyway, my first GI doc thought I was crazy and didn't help at all--his group was on the job when I was hospitalized, and did nothing to help me through it. I got sick of my GI doc's attitude, and fired him.

My family doc recommended a new one, who did some tests and determined that my reflux was much too mild to be influencing my asthma. My allergy/asthma doc and family doc didn't concur.

My asthma was terrible. I was nebulizing several times a day, on high doses of inhaled steroids, and intermittent use of prednosone. The use of these steroids caused me to get adrenal insufficiency, and I began bruising very easily. Also, my skin became extremely fragile (like that of a 90 year old). Although the adrenal insufficiency has resolved, the thinned/bruising skin continues to haunt me. I wish I'd had the surgery years earlier--before my steroid use left me with what is a disability--it takes NOTHING to cause my skin to tear, and I'm covered with steri strips and band-aids constantly.

Finally, my doctor threw his hands up, and bypassed the GI doc--sending me directly to a surgeon. The surgeon did an endoscopy (somewhat open LES) and barium swallow (revealed a hiatus hernia), and trusting my doctor's recommendation told me that I was a good candidate for surgery.

I then took this information back to my GI doc, and he retested me with a 24hr PH monitor (similar to the BRAVO). That revealed a number of 14, which is very average--not generally a reason to go forward with surgery. My GI doc, however, had decided to factor in my asthma and family doc's opinions, and said he'd refer me to a surgeon if I'd like to talk to him.

At this point, I was like you--there was really no other option. I had to give it a try. If it didn't work, then at least I could rule out reflux and look in another direction for relief. My family doc had said that my problem was life-threatening and needed to be attended to. I just wish I'd been braver and moved on surgery sooner.

I had the surgery in February 2009. When I had it I was in the midst of a lung infection. I was also on fairly high doses of steroids. I had to have a steroid boost during the surgery because of the adrenal insufficiency. After the surgery, I coughed my guts out for two months. I was worried sick that I was coughing out the stitches. My surgeon said that my internal tissue was extremely fragile and that he'd put in some extra stitches to hold it.

Anyway, by mid May, my lungs began to improve. It was AMAZING. I was in the midst of my worst pollen season, and even with that, my lungs improved. (During the years prior to surgery, even prednosone didn't relieve the wheezing and coughing any more.) My lungs have been much, much better since surgery. Even when I've had colds, they haven't been as severe on my lungs as they were pre-surgery. I guess the reflux had my lungs so inflamed all the time that anything (allergies, viruses, etc.) that added to that inflammation put my lungs over the edge.

I think you're making the right decision. My surgeon didn't think my reflux was bad enough, and was kind of worried. He, too, considered the recommendations of all my docs and my history, and decided that it was worth at try. He didn't make any promises, but did say that the surgery would probably help my lungs, and that they would continue to improve throughout the first year (which they have).

My quality of life and health have been tremendously improved. If need be, I'd have a redo surgery without hesitation.

People with asthma and reflux are at a huge disadvantage. I think you're definitely doing the right thing. Be thankful you're catching it before your fragile skin torments you daily. Any time I lightly hit my arms, I get a big skin tear. I have to be sure I have steri-strips and bandages wherever I go!

I hope you'll stay here at the forum and keep us informed as to your progress. I posted my recovery on the forum. If you search "dencha" you'll probably find my posts.

Be sure that your surgeon is extremely experienced in doing Nissens, since your surgeon is the most important variable in the surgery's potential success. An excellent surgeon can keep you from having a multitude of possible side effect, and ensure that your surgery works well.

Be sure to educate yourself about what to expect with the surgery recovery.
Please post questions you have! We'll be happy to do our best to answer them and provide information for you.
Best wishes with your surgery, and happy breathing!
Denise

Rent a wreck
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2010
Total Posts : 43
   Posted 6/26/2010 6:27 PM (GMT -6)   
I have been an asthmatic for as long as I can remember. I had the fundo 5/13 because the gerd had gotten out of control. I would get an asthma attack 2-3x year prior to the surgery and also got sick with bronchitis after any surgery. (have had 6 in the last 5 years). After the fundo was the first time my asthma did not kick up and since the fundo, have been great. In my opinion it will make a difference in the asthma severity, however you will still need to be on a maintainence inhaler like advair to keep it in control. My allergies seem to be better too. Good luck and keep us informed

mrv
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2010
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 6/27/2010 6:38 PM (GMT -6)   
Thank you Bill, Joy, Denise and Wrent a Wreck for all your information and encouragement. I will keep you posted. My surgery is scheduled for the 14th of July.

Thank you all so much,

Michele

dencha
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7181
   Posted 6/27/2010 6:57 PM (GMT -6)   
Good luck, Michelle. Be sure to stop by with any questions, and share your experiences with others who are looking for answers.
We're here to offer support, information, and share our experiences!
Take care,
Denise

kbr
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2010
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 12/30/2010 4:07 PM (GMT -6)   

hi there,

am new to this, but am writing because my husband has similar problems to yours. previously healthy until two years ago when he developed chronic cough, sinusitis and shortness of breath. long story short, after two years of inhalers, all sorts of meds, and almost continuous use of oral pred (with limited improvement) we went to Denver to National Jewish Hospital. THey diagnosed him with severe reflux. came home to see GI and despite max medication (Nexium 40 mg, zantac) no improvement with respiratory symptoms. (He never had heartburn or typical reflux symptoms). So we are now moving on to Nissen surgery, hopefully can schedule it this month. wondering how people with these respiratory problems, post nissen, are doing? some of the docs we have encountered feel that the Nissen won't help... but i am somewhat encouraged by reading some of the posts on this board. thanks for reading and happy new year to all.


couchtater
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 14475
   Posted 12/30/2010 5:01 PM (GMT -6)   
KBR,
Welcome to HW.
I'm at the one year mark and my asthma is undercontrol thanks to the NF.
My surgeon told me that they were just beginning to recognize the asthma-gerd connection.
Joy

kbr
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2010
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 12/30/2010 5:04 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks Joy for the feedback, that is great news ! It does seem like that they are now seeing more of the GERD/asthma connection .. I think Duke just did a large study on it with positive results. I am glad you are feeling better!

LdyJane
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 903
   Posted 12/30/2010 5:50 PM (GMT -6)   
In a way, yes, my symptoms were atypical and I don't have asthma, but no one knew why I couldn't breathe, but the acid damaged my lungs so that it was crippling my lungs; my alveoli are fibrotic. I still can have problems with shortness of breath but we know why and hit the inhaler for a little while and I'm fine.
Did it work for that..yes.
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