final words of wisdom?

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joe1619
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2009
Total Posts : 293
   Posted 7/27/2010 8:03 PM (GMT -6)   
So I saw a surgeon today who said i need a fundoplication. he says he could do a half wrap, but thinks the full wrap will hold up longer since i am only 36. I know I have seemed angry and bitter in old posts so apologies to everyone and thank you for the replies. This surgeon could not believe my records and said i should have got surgery earlier..i know! My question is how did those of you who opted for surgery make the jump. i am very scared and the doc. says that he does the procedure in 20 minutes stating that is all it takes. it says that on the medical ctrs. website also. any thoughts are much appreciated. i am a bit of a hypocondriac and am scared speechless. i already have severe anxiety so am thinking half wrap to minimize side effects.

couchtater
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Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 14475
   Posted 7/27/2010 8:27 PM (GMT -6)   
I did a 270 degree wrap and I have no problems. Can he do that kind?
My surgery was very quick, too. He said I could be done in 30 mins.

I was scared, too. All my life I've had white coat syndrome. I didn't know what to expect because I had never been in the hospital. It wasn't that bad, really. Once you take the view of it's going to help me and anything is better than keep suffering.
I was in very little pain basically. Sure my stomach was tender, but I didn't feel the need for pain meds, not even tylenol. :) My GI told me the pain would be horrible. He lied. :D
I only took pain meds to sleep for a few days after that.

The day of the surgery I went in the OR at 9:00am and woke up fully in my room around 12 noon. I was very sore and took the only IV shot of pain med I needed during my stay. I even climbed out of my bed several times to go to the restroom with very little pain. I just felt cumbersome and moved very slowly. They encourage me to get up and move some. I only felt like walking a few feet, before I was too tired.

Make sure you have someone to "baby" you during your recovery. I was going stir crazy by day 11. I went grocery shopping with my mom that day. As long as I didn't push the buggy I felt fine. I even drove the car that day. I was off pain killers by then.

The hardest part was the hiccups when I overate. They do hurt, but I held a pillow over my belly to ease them.

You will do fine.

Joy

joe1619
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Date Joined Dec 2009
Total Posts : 293
   Posted 7/28/2010 8:54 AM (GMT -6)   
joy i can always count on you for a reply. so yours was done quickly. doc says it should not take hours. he does not even keep you in the hospital you go home same day. because i am traveling he said hotel then he could check me out next day if needed. i think he is talking 180, not sure about 270. when i talked with your doc they also said 180 and when i asked 270 they said 180. so i guess one size does not fit all. he made no guarantees about throat symptoms but thinks at the least i will get better. for everyones info, and this is just one docs opinion, but he does not believe in 4-6 ppis a day. he thought that was crazy and said if 1 does not work then taking more and more might be just as futile. i will ask about 270. he said all his patients burp even with full wraps but none vomit. still weighing pros/cons but got to get sore throat to stop. joy can you now lie down when your tired even if you ate earlier. he says small meals, but that a bedtime snack was ok and now i am exhausted but can never nap because i have to wait several hours after eating which makes it impossible

dencha
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Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7188
   Posted 7/28/2010 10:44 AM (GMT -6)   
Joe,
I got my courage to go forward with the surgery from this forum. There are so many wise and wonderful people here who are willing to share their experience and knowledge with those of us who come searching for answers.

I had my surgery about a year and a half ago. I was a strange case, though, because I'd been on so many steroids (uncontrolled asthma due to GERD) that the internal tissue was fragile and the surgeon was concerned that it may not hold. I had a lung infection, so I was coughing at a time when I shouldn't have been. It was hard, because I was having the surgery because of my sick lungs, but my sick lungs complicated the procedure and recovery.

Anyway, after about 2 and a half months post-surgery, my lung recovered, and I've done much better since then. That said, because of my complications, some damage was done to the repair and I have developed some reflux. Still, at this point it's not creating as much trouble with my lungs as it has in the past. It's not ideal, but I would have the re-do tomorrow if it was recommended for my lung health.

I had read many negative and hysterical posts online, and they scared me away from fixing my LES for way too long. Hindsight is 20-20, but I wish I'd done it years earlier. By the time I finally got the courage to move forward and give the surgery a try, I'd damaged my body due to steroid usage. Oh well...better late than never.

The surgery isn't a big deal in good hands. I was in overnight, and the recovery was much easier than I'd prepared myself for. I had a full wrap, and once past the initial healing and eating issues, have never had trouble swallowing anything. Rough foods like carrots, celery, and big entree salads seem to irritate my wrap. Also I have trouble swallowing big, dry pills. I'm fine with medium sized. I take liquid calcium to bypass that problem.

Good luck making your decision! Even with my "issues" I feel I made the right decision having the surgery. Thank goodness for this forum and the great people here, who supported me before, during, and after my surgery.

Take care, Joe, and stick around! We're here for you!
Denise

joe1619
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2009
Total Posts : 293
   Posted 7/28/2010 1:29 PM (GMT -6)   
dencha, you know i think i waited too long too and my skin is paper thin due to stress anxiety and all the meds i have been on. yesterday the surgeon said i was wheezing so sent me for chest xray. waiting to hear if its pneumonia. i am sure that is small compared to what you have been through. the tech did have to do a retake saying one of my lung was bigger than the other. hope that is normal as i have never heard about that before. if i could ask what compromised your wrap and are you better off than before wrap.. some reflux still. do you still take acid pills. most say fundo reduces reflux but you still may have some. man if i had 80% less and the pills controlled what was left id be happy unfortunately my throat is sever, i mean severely damaged due to reflux and even with a near perfect outcome healing it poses a challenge. according to the doc its long overdue, but better late than never. as doc said many gis live in a fairyland thinking things are going to always get better. one gi went as far as telling me ppis stop reflux, which we all know is not true..if it was that easy then why would anyone ever need surgery. anyway thx for sharing. this board is maybe the only online source i trust because we are all real people and i promise i will post just like you and couchtater to share after all is settled

dencha
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7188
   Posted 7/28/2010 3:24 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Joe,

My reflux is definitely better than it was before surgery. My problem is complicated by a very fragile and reactive lung tissue, and it doesn't take much to get them going.

My lungs are 100% right now, and my new asthma/allergy doc (we moved) has cut my steroid inhaler does in half. Hopefully they will continue to be in good control. I'm supposed to call back in 3 weeks and let him know.

I have a persistently hoarse voice, which I attributed to allergies and coughing. My new asthma doc thinks it's reflux, and wants to put me back on high doses of PPI's to see if he can get my vocal chords calmed down. So although I'm not feeling a lot of reflux, my voice hoarseness is his clue to look at reflux. He also wants me on Zantac 300mg at bedtime for a while.

Yes I am better than I was before the surgery. My lungs were so bad that that I had a lung infection before the surgery. I was on high doses of steroids for a long time in an effort to keep me breathing. When I had the surgery, my internal tissue was very fragile and after the surgery, the surgeon told me he put a few extra stitches in to try to hold it. I coughed nonstop for 2 months after the surgery--a "no-no" for recovery from a Nissen.

It seemed it have held for the better part of a year, then I had a bad cold and coughed like crazy. After that, I began to get some bile reflux I could taste. Nobody has scoped me because they don't want to make it worse by accident. I've had times of better and worse symptoms since January. I haven't noticed that it has caused my asthma to be any worse, but my new doc is on the case. He thinks that if my vocal chords are effected, it could also affect my lungs.

So while it sounds like I'm back to square one, that's not entirely true. My lungs, pre surgery, were out of control. I haven't had steroids since I got weaned off them after surgery.

I wish I'd had the surgery before my lungs were so bad, and my steroid intake so extreme, that I ended up compromising the long term success of my wrap. I will have another one done if need be. My doc is seeing if he can do a "work around" so I don't need to go in for another surgery.

My asthma doc is not at all impressed with any GI docs he has worked with. There seems to be a big disconnect between allergy/asthma and GI philosophy and belief systems.

Good luck, Joe. I'm glad you'll stay around and help out others. That's what makes the forum so great!
Denise

couchtater
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 14475
   Posted 7/28/2010 3:38 PM (GMT -6)   
Yes, Joe, I can eat and lay down with no problems.
I hope everything goes well for you.
I stayed 24 hrs at the hospital by the way. I travel a long way, too. I spent a night at the motel, a night at the hospital, and then went home. Make sure you have someone drive you home.
Watch out for the pre-surgery anti-nausea pill they give you before the surgery. I had a reaction to it. It made me throw up. >:( I saw a warning afterwards on it that it may make you nauseous. :D

Joy

joe1619
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2009
Total Posts : 293
   Posted 7/28/2010 4:09 PM (GMT -6)   
throwing up before surgery or after. i asked dr. about bleeding all gas out and he does that. guess hes done 2000 of these, 20 redos and been sued 6 times. he was open about everything. he says i can do a 180, 270 or 360 but he prefers 360. not sure what to do but i will ask about the nausea pill. ironic these meds can do opposite of what they are intended to do. can you exercise doc says after a month i can run do light weights is that true. that would be great. he says he also had fundo and could work out immediately

couchtater
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 14475
   Posted 7/28/2010 4:29 PM (GMT -6)   
I threw up before the surgery. I hadn't thrown up yet since the surgery, came close but that's what the phengren is for.
Yes, I can exercise to the limit my OA in my back allows. I mostly walk.
At the six weeks mark you can start lifting more than 5lbs. I added more very slowly. (about 5 lbs each week or so) I listened to my body and if I felt a tugging in my stomach area, it was too heavy to lift and I'd wait another week on it. You'll know when it's happening.
I wouldn't work out immediately. Bending over is a no-no until week six or so. So is pushing things around. At week six I pushed some student desks around and suffered for it (they weighed about 20 lbs).
The main thing is to strictly behave for the six weeks, then slowly increase, listening to your body. Anything that strains you is a no-no for awhile.


Joy

joe1619
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2009
Total Posts : 293
   Posted 7/28/2010 7:11 PM (GMT -6)   
i may have mispoke on my doc. he had fundo and worked out lightly 2 weeks later not that day. i will ease into thx for your help

stkitt
Elite Member


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 7/29/2010 8:55 AM (GMT -6)   
I have been following your thread and I have not had the wrap but so many awesome members have and to see the support they share with you is truly wonderful.



I am always here to support you so take care.



Kindly,

Kitt

Alcie
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 5028
   Posted 7/30/2010 8:08 PM (GMT -6)   
I frankly would be thinking hard about getting a second opinion about getting shipped home the day of surgery. Any doc who thnks he can do a careful op in 20 minutes would leave me scared too. What is his record for successes? Complications? If you watch a couple videos you can see it takes longer than 20 minutes just to dissect down the esophagus so it's long enough for a good wrap.

I didn't get off the table for 5 hours. Granted, mine included pulling my stomach down out of my chest, so cut about 3 hours off for yours. I wasn't breathing for the next 3 hours because of being given to much pain med. My NG tube wasn't taken out until the next day. I wasn't able to even swallow water for 2 days. General anesthesia is not to be taken lightly.

Even new mothers get to stay in the hospital at least overnight now!
Alcie
 
 

joe1619
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2009
Total Posts : 293
   Posted 8/1/2010 9:27 AM (GMT -6)   
i know 20 minutes is like fast. what if something goes wron. i think i should stay he says go to hotel he will see me in morning. he acts like youre getting flu shot. confident man, has done 2000 with 20 redos. did find 1 patient with bad experience

zeldagoblin
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2010
Total Posts : 204
   Posted 8/1/2010 12:39 PM (GMT -6)   
Joe, I am in a very similar quandary. My unbearable symptoms are the throat ones, my globus, thick throat and throat pain. I alway have a sore throat and often a nasty pain in my left ear and eustachian tube (SP?) I have been told to go for the fundo by my GI, but I only want to do it if the op DEFINITELY fixes the throat symptoms, otherwise I feel it is pointless. I am 35 and can't imagine feeling this way for the next 3 decades!!!

joe1619
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2009
Total Posts : 293
   Posted 8/1/2010 2:40 PM (GMT -6)   
exactly i have ear pain too because throat burn causes the ear pain. also, the mucous is our bdies response to the burn..my throat hurts too. i am talking to a dr in spain who grew a new throat for a lady from her own stem cells. she is doing great. he is reviewing my stuff. if i could heal the throat via stem cells i then would watch diet and use meds..mine went untreated forever and it would be easier to do a fundo as i dont know that i can handle what i have now plus fundo side effects i am 36. what do we do so confused

couchtater
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 14475
   Posted 8/1/2010 3:01 PM (GMT -6)   
joe,
A partial wrap has very few side effects. A few painful hiccups the first couple of weeks. A restricted diet and exercise for a few weeks. Some gas issues (mine are fading). I can eat what I want, when I want, and how much I want.

You can grow a new throat, but it will still be damaged by your weak LES. Not everybody has problems with their surgery.

You will hear bad news the most because bad news is spread the most. When have you ever turned on the news and heard something good reported first? They always save the good news for the last part and it's mentioned very little.

There's and old saying, "the squeaky wheel always gets the oil."

You're just having a bad case of cold feet. Hang in there.
Joy

Problems too numerous to name. :)

joe1619
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2009
Total Posts : 293
   Posted 8/1/2010 3:13 PM (GMT -6)   
yes scared. its easier to grow new throat but my family says it will just burn again. my doc recommends the full wrap, but says he would do 180 or 270 also.. he just thinks i am so young i might want a full as it will last longer. i would be happy with 5 years from a partial then another one then. my manometry showed 30% abnormal swallows, but they think its due to reflux..i dont understand that

couchtater
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 14475
   Posted 8/1/2010 3:26 PM (GMT -6)   
I'd go with a 270 with the abnormal swallows. It's tight, but it's loose enough to keep you from having swallowing issues.
I know a man who's wrap lasted 20 years.
Joy

Problems too numerous to name. :)

joe1619
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2009
Total Posts : 293
   Posted 8/1/2010 4:35 PM (GMT -6)   
joy, my only reservation is will my throat heal. right now it hurts, i am so thirsty due to the burn and i have constant throat clearing from the mucous thats trying to fight the burn. i have a call out if he says those will resolve i may do it. this is miserable but i have severe anxiety and its all due to health. so if i have more problems without these things resolving its like pushing me over a cliff. i have to beat this, but am unsure ill get better. doc says once i go forward i will be able to eat more foods adding banned foods and even having bedtime snack. honestly what i want is throat to get better, ability to eat normally although i need to be careful. i can watch that heck we all do that every day, but i am afraid i wont eat for a month. i am 20 lbs under weight and i dont do well being hungry. how do you fight hunger. he says nutrition drinks but they all burn my throat and cause acid. when can i eat. joy i so appreciate your help when i get better i will send you an xmas present :)

joe1619
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2009
Total Posts : 293
   Posted 8/1/2010 4:48 PM (GMT -6)   
joy did his wrap work. also did he do 270. did you say you had frequent throat clearing too? I know you coughed

couchtater
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 14475
   Posted 8/1/2010 4:50 PM (GMT -6)   
My Christmas present will be hearing you're feeling better.
I wish I could give you a few pounds. I know you're having a hard time. My nerves get bad when I'm hungry, too.
I wish there was something you could drink that would coat your throat long enough for you to eat okay.
Hang in there.
Joy

Problems too numerous to name. :)

joe1619
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2009
Total Posts : 293
   Posted 8/1/2010 5:03 PM (GMT -6)   
thank you i will keep you posted have second opinion on fri, but doc is young

mitsie
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2010
Total Posts : 129
   Posted 8/1/2010 11:39 PM (GMT -6)   
joe


The surgery you have mentioned has been done in Pittsburgh Pa UPMC



This is the article. Hope I am permitted to post this

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10153/1062347-114.stm



This surgery was performed by the Dr that I am hoping can do my surgery and the Dr that I believe was Alcie's dr.



They are doing some wonderful things.



There was a program on TV last sunday 60 min. You can probably view it on www.cbs.com

joe1619
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2009
Total Posts : 293
   Posted 8/2/2010 5:23 PM (GMT -6)   
ive emailed,

alcie did he help you. this is a miracle. if i could get throat healed and stomach done id be good. the stem cell search is tough they fix hearts and other organs but not the throat

couchtater
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 14475
   Posted 8/2/2010 5:38 PM (GMT -6)   
He did the 270 and yes I was always clearing my throat.
Joy

Problems too numerous to name. :)
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