Laproscopic Fundoplication -- need some testimonials!

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May234
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Date Joined Dec 2004
Total Posts : 14
   Posted 1/22/2005 2:51 PM (GMT -6)   
 
Hi everyone, I have suffered from GERD for about 3 years now (I thought it was 2 years, but I realized it's 3 now).  I want to have the Laproscopic Fundoplication, but first want to hear peoples' testimonials (good or bad) who have already had this surgery.  I want to be freed of this pain I have everyday, but am also very scared as I have never had surgery before.
 
Also, if anyone can answer the below questions, I will be very happy!
 
1)  I have heard that people can experience feelings of nausea after the surgery especially if they over eat -- is this true?  Is the nausea a constant feeling or spuratic?
 
2)  I have also heard that you can never vomit again.  What happens if you have the flu or food poisoning and the vomit comes up but cannot be expelled?  Can a person choke to death this way?
 
3)  Is there anyone who had the surgery before becoming pregnant and found that it helped a lot with the "pregnancy heartburn"?
 
4)  Is there a lot of gas and bloating after surgery?  For how long?  If so, is the gas more painful post surgery?  What about constipation or blockages?
 
5)  Has anyone had the surgery and is now plagued with the acid reflux again?
 
6)  Can the surgery ever be "undone" if you are not happy with it?
 
 
Thank you in advance to all of you who have been so kind to answer my many questions!  Any info or advice would be greatly appreciated.
 
Thank you,
May
 
 

Creekaholic
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Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 104
   Posted 1/24/2005 9:34 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi May!

Unfortunately, I've never had this done or known anyone who has had this done, but I can contribute my 1 cents' worth! :)

1) I'd imagine those may be some side effects after you have the surgery, but they would probably go away within a few weeks. 


2) My Dr. also advised against this surgery because you can lose the ability to vomit.  Of course when he told me that I thought, "Great!", cause it's really no fun for anyone when that happens.  But your choking question is a good one.  Do you have a gastroenterologist that you go to regularly?  I would ask him that question.

3) When I was pregnant with my son, I had DEBILITATING heartburn, so bad that I actually considered terminating, because I was in such pain and so incredibly uncomfortable.  I would probably say that the surgery would help diminish that considerably.

5) I have read where some people's symptoms return a couple years post-surgery, which of course would be very depressing.  I think someone on this board recently had this done, so hopefully they will see your post and answer your questions better!

6) From the sounds of the surgery, it makes it seem as though it COULD be reversed, but you'd probably have better luck asking your doctor for a straight answer.

I have actually read about a new procedure that you may want to look into, it's less invasive than Laproscopic Fundoplication.  It's called Enteryx.  You can read more about it at www.reflux1.com . I am going to talk to my Dr about this today, actually.  And there's another similar procedure called Stratta (I think).  Both are out-patient and don't have such severe lasting side-effects. 

Best of luck and please let us know how you are and what you decide! :)

Toni 


May234
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Date Joined Dec 2004
Total Posts : 14
   Posted 1/26/2005 3:26 PM (GMT -6)   

Hi Toni, thanks for writing back again.  I did go to the reflux1 website and read all the information about Enteryx, but I don't think it's for me.  It's states more than once that this procedure works well for people who's acid medication still works for them, and mine, unfortunatley, does not work for me anymore.  Also, it mentions that people may still have to take medication after the procedure is done, and I don't want to have to take any medication at all anymore.  I think it's meant for people who's reflux is under control and not so bad.  I was also not crazy about the fact that the implants can never be removed - what if your body can't tolerate them?  It sounded like a good preocedure, and definitely less invasive than the fundoplication, but just not what I'm looking for.

Thank you so much for offering up so much information.  And I will let you all know how the surgery went once I'm up to it.  It's scheduled for next Tuesday - yikes!

Best.

Creekaholic
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 104
   Posted 1/26/2005 3:37 PM (GMT -6)   
May,
 
Great to hear you're going to have relief pretty soon! I'm glad you decided to have the surgery!  yeah I'm sure all will go splendidly!  Have you started a countdown yet?  I know it must be exciting, but nervewracking at the same time! 
 
Best of luck, please update us as soon as you're feeling up to it!!! tongue
 
Toni

pandacrazy
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Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 1326
   Posted 1/31/2005 12:23 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi I've had the surgery and now have acid reflux again because my esophagus is now not working right. I have to swallow alot of times to get food or liquid down. That can be a side effect after the surgery that the esophagus stops pushing the food down like it should. I actually have the food or liquid sit down there and it mixes with a little of the acid that refluxes from the last time I swallowed and causes me problems when I lay down. I found a solution to it though. I've found that if I suck on a piece of hard candy before laying down making sure to swallow hard at least 10 times and as long as I avoid caffiene I'm ok most of the time. They do test your esophagus before they do the surgery by sticking a thing down your throat slowly to measure the pressure at different points in the esophagus. They do that when they put the tube down for the test to find out how many times you reflux in a 24 hour period. I found out that mine wasn't working right after when they did the barrium swallow xray to see what was going on and I had to swallow ten times to clear my esophagus because it wasn't working right on it's own. That was a year after I had it done. That doesn't happen to everyone. The doctor did offer to undue it half way but he said then I may have the acid coming back up again. I declined the offer of further surgery. I also take acifex 2x a day and then carafate before go to bed. I have alot of gas since having the operation in 2000. I never had gas before that. It does help when it gets bad once in a while to take pills for gas and then put heat on my stomach. It wasn't too bad right after the surgery. I have problems if I over eat. I feel sick for quite a while if I over eat. So I try to avoid that at all costs. I haven't been able to vomit since I had this done. I was only sick a few times since then and I just would have the dry heaves until it worked it's way through my system and shot out the other end. Not real fun but oh well at least the heartburn is better than it was before. I don't know about the pregnancy thing since I had my 2 kids in the 80's. I hope I answered all the other questions. Just let me know if you have any more questions. Barb 

tapper
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Date Joined Feb 2005
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 2/1/2005 2:31 PM (GMT -6)   
 hi I am 36 years old male and I just had a nissens procedure 10 weeks ago, but I have had terrible stomach ache for 5 days now in the whole of my stomach. I feel as if I am ready to explode anyone else been like this confused

pandacrazy
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Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 1326
   Posted 2/1/2005 6:58 PM (GMT -6)   
I would certainly talk to my doctor about it if I were you. Sometimes I have really bad gas pains, but I've never had a stomach ache for 5 days. Mine only lasts for hours. I take something for gas and then put a heating pad on my stomach. You really need to talk to your doctor though to rule out any complications or other things. Barb

tapper
New Member


Date Joined Feb 2005
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 2/2/2005 4:02 PM (GMT -6)   
thanks barb for your reply. I am most definetley going to get it checked out. I have hardly eaten today and I am getting as I don't want to for the terrible pains my stomach feels as if it's going to explode.Nick. (tapper)

pandacrazy
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Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 1326
   Posted 2/2/2005 6:18 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Nick, you should get that checked ASAP. It could be something else like your gallbladder or any number of things. I had my gallbladder out in 2000. I couldn't eat or drink anything because it made me have terrible pain, heartburn and sometime nausea. I'm really concerned about you because of the recent surgery you had. Let me know what you find out. Take care. Barb

May234
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2004
Total Posts : 14
   Posted 2/4/2005 3:03 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi everyone, I had originally started this post a couple of weeks ago before I went for the surgery. Well, it is Friday and I had the surgery on Tuesday. I am in a lot of pain and am having a heck of a time eating (swallowing) foods down - it feels like it gets stuck in the bottom of my esophogus. And I had an awful time with the Percocet the doctor had prescribed - it made me anxious and fidgetty - I had surgery and I can't sit still.
Well, I guess only time will tell how everything goes -- all I know is that I am very scared.
Thank you all for your replies and support.

Best,
May

Creekaholic
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 104
   Posted 2/4/2005 5:01 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi May!

I'm so sorry you're having difficulties!  But I'm pretty sure things will get better & easier as time goes by and you heal.  Are you on a soft diet right now?  Please keep us informed!

You're in my thoughts!
 
((HUGS))
And days go by
I can feel them flying
Like a hand out the window in the wind
And cars go by
Yeah it's all we've been given
So you better start living right now
Cause days go by


pandacrazy
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Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 1326
   Posted 2/4/2005 7:01 PM (GMT -6)   
I've found breads and stuff like donuts and such are the worse and probably should be avoided. I still have to drink water with my meal especially if it includes bread. I still have to eat something after I take my pills because otherwise they stick in my esophagus and after a while it burns like heartburn. I'm the one that had the surgery 5 years ago and after a year was back on meds and now my esophagus doesn't work right so once again I have heartburn and my food doesn't go down. If you develope that problem I found that sucking on candy and swallowing hard several times before laying down is very helpful in clearing the esophagus. I hope yours works out better than mine did. Keep us updated. Barb

tapper
New Member


Date Joined Feb 2005
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 2/5/2005 10:26 AM (GMT -6)   

Hi Barb It's Nick, just to let you know. I still have terrible stomach ache. I have an appointment on Monday to see the doctor. I hope is all ok and it's just wind or something. Despite having a bad stomach from a week this Thursday.(anyone else) For me prior to this I too had a problem with bread and other items of that nature but that does improve as you well know, when I first had it done I struggled terribly to eat and you learn that you must eat soft foods and little bits or else it gets stuck in the gullet.Despite having terrible stomach ache at the moment I have not once regretted having the nissens procedure, I found the heartburn was really hindering with my lungs and caused me to wheeze as I have Asthma too. Today I drove a tractor and it was very heavy on the steering it mawled my stomach terrible.When I parked it up and got off it. I was really shaking as I felt pain in left side under my ribcage and I was a little shaky on my legs. I think you must take things extremely easy after having this op for quite sometime despite it being a keyhole procedure. I have been told that they actually sew your stomach to the muscles to hold it in place. When I went to have the ph tests the surgeon told the nurse that he didn't think I needed an op, but the results showed that an anti reflux procedure was the best way to go. I honestly thought though that with keyhole I would be totally recovered in a month or so but I think not and my advice to anyone who has a nissens, not to go back to work until you feel yourself are ready.


pandacrazy
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Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 1326
   Posted 2/5/2005 11:46 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Nick, I was able to return to work after 3 weeks but one of my jobs is pretty much a desk job. I do other things there like set up tables and cook for large parties and such but my boss was kind of easy on me in that respect. She did the tables and we ordered out for one of our parties right after I had the operation. My night job is working at a group home and I just do a little cleaning which they told me not to do when I came back for a while they just told me to lay on the couch and just be there if anyone woke up and needed anything. So I was very lucky in that respect. Isn't that ph test awful? Out of all the tests I've ever had done that is the worse thing. I have a strong gag reflex which made it worse. Mine they did 2x because the first one wasn't good enough. The second time they put in a bigger tube because it had to measure something else 2. Can't remember why. I have a terrible time remembering anything lately because of my heart medication. That's my newest illness. I hear you with the acid messing up your asthma. I was diagnosed with asthma after 3 months of non stop heartburn. I had the operation with all the little incisions. They still hurt because they are still cutting through the muscle to do it. I had my gall bladder out that way too and had the pain with that 2. The doctor talked about undoing mine halfway and I told him no way because he said then I'd probably just have the same thing again anyway with the heartburn that way. At least this way I can avoid the heartburn if I just avoid caffiene and suck the hard candy before I lay down. Make sure you eat small amounts at a time because if you eat too much at once you'll feel horrible for hours. You have to remember that your stomach has been made smaller by this because it is wrapped around the end of your esophagus. After a year or 2 that will get better. If you get any worse I hope you go to the ER to have this checked out. I'm still worried about you. Did you try a heating pad on your stomach and then taking something for gas? That will help if it's gas. The heat might help in any case. I never had any gas until after the operation. I think it's because I didn't really have any way for it to build up because my stomach at the top was pretty well open. I wonder what causes the pain in the left side as opposed to the right side. You'll have to let me know. Talk to you later. Hope you'll be better soon. Barb

May234
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2004
Total Posts : 14
   Posted 2/9/2005 2:31 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi again everyone.  You have all been so kind with your time and writing about your experiences - it is greatly appreciated.  Barb, I feel so awful for you - and at the same time am afraid that I may have the same fate.  It has been 1 week since my surgery and I am already experiencing heartburn and I don't understand why.  I'm so frustrated it is unbelievable.  I'm still in a lot of pain, but the pain is more in the stomach rather than the incisions.  Yesterday I had a heck of a time eating my breakfast and dinner.  I was trying to eat oatmeal for breakfast and I guess I was eating too fast (although much slower than normal) and there must have been a build-up of the oatmeal at the bottom of my esophagus that didn't go down.  All of a sudden I felt extremeley nauseous, so I tried to take a few sips of water to help push it down.  Then I felt a terrible pain in my lower esophogus like a burp that had gotten stuck down there.  Then I couldn't keep it in any longer and vomitted the bit of oatmeal and and water that I believe hadn't entered my stomach yet (because I'm told you cannot vomit after the surgery) - so it must not have exited the lower esophogus yet.  What a terrible feeling.  Has this happened to any of you??  So, I am still on complete liquids, and have a hard time swallowing small pills even!  I am at the point that I wish I never had it some.  I wonder if the stomach was tied too tight?  But then I wonder, if it was tied too tight, how is the acid still coming up on me?  I see my surgeon next week, so I will ask him all these questions then.
 
Barb, how soon after the surgery did you start feeling like yourself again?  Or did that never happen?  Do you regret having it done?
 
I too, feel nauseous if I over-eat (but really, I haven't over eaten, I just get full really fast).  I guess this feeling never goes away?
 
I think I may have the same problem as you that the acid I'm experiencing now is caused by the food that is probably sitting in my lower esophogus and has not entered my stomach yet (maybe some of it never does?).
 
I am full of negativity right now, but I feel like I have been put through the ringer for nothing.  If only I could turn back time.
 
Please write back anytime.
 
May

pandacrazy
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Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 1326
   Posted 2/9/2005 3:02 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi May, I had problems with the heart burn for a month or so after  and then it went a way for about a year before I had problems again. Once when I was sick and drank some water before it could go all the way down it came back up. It is true you won't be able to throwup ever again. I still have problems with pills getting stuck. I just make sure I take pills and then eat a little something after or drink alot of liquid and then suck a piece of candy. Try sucking on a piece of hard candy after eating. That is what helps me. Make sure you take very small bites and sips of what ever you are having. You'll be able to eat more at a time after about a year. Stick to small amounts and as soon as you start to feel full stop. Don't try to fit another bite in or you will suffer for hours for it. I don't know what else they could have done for me because medicine wasn't working by it self anymore. I now take acifex 2x a day and a carafate before bed for my stomach. Caffiene causes terrible heartburn for me. Steer clear of that no matter what. Hang in there it may work out for you after all. It takes time. I know I got real depressed after mine quit working and then I discovered the candy thing helped and decided I could live with that. Undoing it for me is not an option as it would go back to the way it was before. Just ask if you have any more questions. Barb

Creekaholic
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 104
   Posted 2/9/2005 7:22 PM (GMT -6)   
I'm sorry you are having such discomfort! :( Have you discussed your discomfort with your doctor?
((BIG HUGS))

Toni
And days go by
I can feel them flying
Like a hand out the window in the wind
And cars go by
Yeah it's all we've been given
So you better start living right now
Cause days go by


pandacrazy
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 1326
   Posted 2/9/2005 10:08 PM (GMT -6)   
I agree with Toni you do need to talk to your doctor if you haven't. I know there's not a whole lot they can do at this point but you do need to make him aware of the problems your having. Barb

tapper
New Member


Date Joined Feb 2005
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 2/10/2005 1:15 AM (GMT -6)   
  sad I Barb it's Nick after seeing the doc on Monday he thinks that I have been overdoing it at work. I only returned to work a week ago and now i'm off again I hate not working. I still have stomach ache but I have got painkillers and other tablets. I have to go back to see him next Monday and if I still have stomach ache he wants to refer me back to the hospital, but he has also written to the specialist asking for me to have a follow up and check up for this procedure, not sure what that means hopefully no more tests. Anyway sorry for taking so long to let you know and thank you for your concern for me too. Hopefully it might settle down who knows   :-)

pandacrazy
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Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 1326
   Posted 2/10/2005 8:53 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Nick glad to hear you made it to the doctor. Hope you are feeling better real soon. Take it easy and enjoy your time off. Look at it as an opportunity to do something around the house that you don't usually have time to do. Don't do anything strenuous. Go through papers, read a good book, enjoy a movie. I recently bought a word search book. Something I haven't done for years. If I have to have my heart stent redone I've got all sorts of things planned to do while recovering for the week off from work. I hope I don't but if I do have to have it redone I will enjoy that time off since I work 2 jobs. Take care and let me know how your doing and what you found to do with your time off. Barb

Mikido
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 16
   Posted 11/1/2005 8:01 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello my name is Mikado ( female, 50 ish ) and I just had the Laparoscopic surgery for Gastroesophageal reflux disease five weeks ago.( which was a three hour surgery ) The surgeon wrapped the top part of my stomach around the outside of the esophagus , 3/4 of the way then stitched it, then repaired my hiatal hernia. The first two days in the hospital was the worse, becasue of the nausea, plus the effects of the  anesthetic made me sleeeeeeeeeeeeeep ! redface I went home the third day. I had swelling,  plus I was black and blue,but with very little scaring. I still can't eat anything thicker than pudding or yogurt, but it takes up to 8 weeks, sometimes longer. 99%  of the acid reflux is gone so I am very happy with the results. I have asthma, so before the surgery the reflux made it 10 times worse. The Doctor says it will take 6 months to a year before I notice a difference in my breating, becasue of the reflux damage.I went back to work  four  weeks after surgery and I am playing golf again  yeah  Would I do it again..you bet !  God bless and good luck   

Norm1
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 326
   Posted 11/1/2005 10:41 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi All,
I believe the same thing that gives us reflux in the first place (excess carbs) is also responsible for many of the fundoplication side effects, like gas, bloating, flatulance. The gut microbes still consume the carbs we can't (because we eat to many to absorb) and make a lot of intestinal gas. This gas causes reflux, bloating, flatulance etc. So before or after this operation (recommend before) try controlling those carbs and you will feel much better. Of that, I am sure.

The other side effects (swallowing difficulty, inability to belch or vomit) are likely related to the tighening of the LES.

Take Care all,
Norm

pandacrazy
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 1326
   Posted 11/3/2005 10:01 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Mikido, I had the same operation in October of 2000 and the results only lasted about a year before the heartburn came back again. I have it so bad at night that it wakes me up. I'm on 2 different meds for it and it is not working. I think all the heart burn may have caused my asthma. It does seem to make it worse also. Good luck and I hope your one of the ones it keeps working for. Barb
Proud Mother of a US Marine just returned from Iraq!
 
Proud grandma of Isabella Rose, and furry grandson Kayu!

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