Failed (or not) Nissen - round 2

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rummaan
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2010
Total Posts : 92
   Posted 1/25/2011 5:32 AM (GMT -6)   
Dear friends,

Thank you so much for supporting me all this time. It's been very rough and it aint over yet.
I head a Nissen fundo back in the beginning of August 2010 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, by probably the only bariatric surgeon in the country (or one of the very few). Before I had the procedure he told me that he did hundreds, that he trained in Canada and that it is a simple procedure. I was sick, tired and desperate for help to restore my life, my work, my family relationships, and last but not least my Mom's worrying nerves.
So I trusted the guy and he did what seemed to be uneventful, quick surgery on August 8, 2010.
I won't bore you with recovery details, the recovery itself was easy compared to GERD - a little bloating, some dumping, a little diarrhea, some pain, a bit of nausea. After all I'm only 35 (feel like 70 at times).
The scariest thing was the immense burning and nausea that came with it, like how it was not only before the surgery, but before the treatment when I just discovered my GERD. I never quit the PPIs and the burning and the nausea subsided some but not completely. As soon as I started introducing more solid and varied foods I began experiencing my old symptoms again, namely feeling of extreme tension or heaviness behind the solar plexus and chest, dry throat, shakiness, sometimes burning and some nausea 1-2 hours after meals and in the early AM (doesn't let me sleep more than 5-6 hours). In addition to that I have pains and burning sometimes on the left side of the chest and below in the stomach.
In the span of 2 years I had 3 endoscopies, 2 barium swallows, many blood tests, CT scan, Bravo test, 3 H. pylori eradication attempts, tried H2 blockers, Protonix, Prilosec, NExium, Aciphex etc.
The surgeon did a barium swallow 4 months after the surgery, said everything was great and that I must have a hypersensitivity issue along with the spasms. Now he just avoids me and doesn't pick up the phone anymore.
My condition gets worse after anything challenging, like, a fatty lamb, a little onion or chocolate and sometimes the "aftershocks" last up to a week. During that time I can barely function at work, interact with my 4 and 2 yearolds and my wonderful patient wife. Those are the times when the forum becomes a savior.
We got extremely tired of this bleak, landscaped encarceration and well-paid slavery on my contract and decided to just go home to the United States. Not the least important was the observation of the healthcare practices here and lack of any recourse and second opinion. I basically want to get better and not to live from meal to meal.
I emailed my information and barium images to several top experts in the field: Ralph Aye, Barry Salky, J.M. Collard and others. And majority of them said the images look good and I need to give it a little more time. Only Ralph Aye suggested that half of the images may show a hernia. I wouldn't be surprised as I learned that my surgeon here lied on the pre-op report and said he did manometry and some injections which in fact I never had. He also told me post factum that he only did 42 of these surgeries before me!!! I honestly think he just used me to practice.
Now I read only good things about Dr Aye and he already showed that he cares by replying often and in detail even though who am I to him? Nobody.
I'm thinking about booking an phone consultation with him ASAP and then get seen in Seattle, because my symptoms are becoming worse and more frequent.
But before that we have to fly back to Minneapolis, find an apartment, daycare for kids, a car, new jobs for us etc. Anyone who had GERD understands how difficult are the simplest things in this condition.
Sorry for the long post. I'm daunted, distressed, nervous, anxious and a little depressed over the whole situation. Sometimes I simply feel like crying like a baby over the whole ordeal. Is there any help? Why can't anyone help me?

I feel good about coming back home though.
Please share your thoughts and opinions I highly appreciate them.
Sincerely yours,
Roman
P.S. O yeah, and anything I eat seems to wash back to my mouth for quite a while afterwards. I can taste the things I ate for a while in the back of my throat.
P.P.S I'm switching to Nexium from Pariet and it seems to be better in acid control. But that would mean I definitely have a failed wrap?!!!

dencha
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7188
   Posted 1/25/2011 11:29 AM (GMT -6)   
Dear Roman,
Reading your post, it is very easy to imagine what you've been going through. Wow. What a horrible way for a surgeon to behave. When experience with the procedure is so extremely important, he lied to your face--assuring you he had done hundreds, when in fact, he'd only done 42. I would call that malpractice...lying to a patient is unforgivable.

Under the circumstances, it sounds like relocating to the US is a very good plan. This issue is taking over your life, and you need to find answers and a positive resolution.

It sounds as if a phone consultation and further exploring a second opinion is an excellent idea. I'm glad to hear that you received a response from at least one of the experts you contacted. If Dr. Aye has an excellent reputation with Nissens, I think it would be great if you could see what his opinion is regarding the path you should take.

Things washing back into your mouth surely sounds like either reflux or foods/liquids are being hung up at the wrap site and back-washing. It seems to me that sometimes wraps can be tight and loose at the same time...things hanging up, and acid refluxing at the same time or alternating occurances.

I wish you the very best in your quest for an answer to your problems.
Thank you for sharing your experience, so that others may learn from it.
Take care and hang in there,
Denise

rummaan
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2010
Total Posts : 92
   Posted 1/25/2011 12:14 PM (GMT -6)   
Thank you dear, you are so kind as always. I basically feel the same symptoms as before the surgery. AS soon as the surgeon took a look at the barium swallow the radiologist told him in Arabic "here you go - reflux", the surgeon said loudly in English so I could hear "no, you don't know how it looks after this surgery, this is reflux inside the esophagus". But after that he completely disappeared. Doesn't pick up the phone, doesn't answer his email. I guess he realized the failure. That's okay, that will make me stronger, since I'm not dead yet :-) So we are moving back home, I'm so proud to say "home" even though I'm the first generation immigrant. My wife thinks the same way. There's nothing in this world like the good old U of S of A!!!

dencha
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7188
   Posted 1/26/2011 8:41 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Roman,
I'm glad to hear that you're heading back to the USA! I wish you all the best. I'm sure it won't be an easy move (we just moved an hour and a half away, and it was a huge undertaking!), and I hope it all goes smoothly.

I look forward to hearing about your first appointment with Dr. Aye!
Take care and keep posting here, so we can cheer you on!
Denise

somedaysarediamonds
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2011
Total Posts : 363
   Posted 8/24/2011 10:55 AM (GMT -6)   
Denise, did you ever hear from Roman? I was very encouraged by his earlier posts a few weeks after his surgery and now reading this above I'm not so sure.

Please let me know.
Rita
GERD doesn't exist in a vacuum. . .

Don't let the sound of your own wheels drive you crazy. - The Eagles

Lap Nissen Fundoplication August 1, 2011
Constant Bile Diarrhea since 1996 after Gall Bladder removal
Anxiety? You betcha. . . :)

stkitt
Elite Member


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 8/24/2011 6:12 PM (GMT -6)   
Dear Rita,
 
I have been reading your posts and I am so sorry that things are just not going your way.  Words cannot express how bad it makes me feel to know how much you are struggling post-op and I do hope as time goes by you start to feel positive benefits from your surgery.
 
There are a proportion of patients that require medication after a fundoplication.  Some small studies estimate that up to 60 percent may require a PPI after surgery.  

There is also the possibility that the fundoplication may not work - however, in general this is an effective modality for GERD.
 
I am glad you have found info in the forum to help you identify with other members who have had post-op  problems.  Not having experienced the surgery I can only offer you support and hope you continue to find support and sharing here in the forum.

 
 
~~Kitt~~
Moderator: Anxiety/Panic, Osteoarthritis, GERD/Heartburn and Heart/Cardiovascular Disease.
www.healingwell.com

"If you can't change the world, change your world"

dencha
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7188
   Posted 8/24/2011 9:09 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Rita,

Actually, I haven't heard from Roman since his January post. I hope he stops by soon to let us know how things are going. Hopefully he saw the doctor in Seattle and has gotten things headed in the right direction.

You are in the very early stages of recovery, and it's far too early to begin assuming anything is wrong with your wrap. My surgeon said "pretty much anything can happen at the early stages", when I questioned whether or not I was getting reflux.

Your esophagus can create mucus in reaction to the irritation of the surgery, and when your wrap is swollen, it can hold back a small amount of food, and that can irritate things as well.

Even today I can have a bit of food or liquid that sits at the wrap site. Not much, and it's not problem, but if I burp out a little air, it sends it up the esophagus. I know it's not reflux because there's not a bit of acid or bile in it.

The more you fret and worry and struggle over your recovery, the harder you make it. If you can relax, and just follow where it takes you, you'll find it a much easier process. Surrender to it. You'll find your recovery improves immediately.

Everyone worries that their wrap hasn't been a success. There are little pains, reactions, "heartburn" symptoms...there's a lot, lot, lot of healing that has to take place before you're back to normal. Patience.

I don't remember how many days post-op you are, but your wrap is far from healed. It takes a long time for all the swelling to go down and for things to settle into place.

It will happen. You'll get better. Don't borrow trouble. Because someone else had difficulties due to an inexperienced surgeon does not mean that you will. If you project and fret and worry and assume the worst, you will have one difficult recovery.

You've got a long, long way before you are fully healed. Relax and let it happen.
I know it's hard to wait.
Hang in there.
Denise

rummaan
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2010
Total Posts : 92
   Posted 8/24/2011 11:50 PM (GMT -6)   
Hey, everyone!
It's been a while! In short, we moved back to the states, I got checked in Seattle by Dr. Ralph Aye and later at Mayo in Rochester. They found that the surgery was actually done pretty well, it is intact and "if anything it's a little too tight" Should get better with time. I even had a dilation at Mayo which only helped for a few days.

They also took me off of all meds, so now I don't take even antacids and if anything I felt better. But I had to taper slowly off of PPIs in a month or so. The antidepressant they put me on in Saudi Arabia, - remeron, has been much harder to get off and actually even now I'm still in withdrawals, which are mostly gastrointestinal symptoms.

At Mayo they also said that I must have functional dyspepsia since that wouldn't improve with the surgery, but may go away on its own with time. Most meds wouldn't help this, except a low dose of tricyclic antidepressants if you can tolerate them, which I couldn't.

Now the symptoms are much milder, but I still have them daily, although now they are manageable and I can work at least and actually enjoy life again. We bought a house, I work in the garden and sometimes forget about no lifting rules with the yardwork and kids.

I still cannot tolerate coffee and spicy foods at all. Although my eating volume is almost the same as before the surgery (which is a bad thing as my weight is the same as before as well).

Sometimes I still have a suspicion that I may have a reflux, but I dismiss it with all the evidence to the contrary they accumulated with all the tests.

The symptoms will feel the same, because there is only one type of sensation that the esophagus can transmit - heartburn.

So hang in there, if it continues for 3-4 months then maybe it makes sense to do a barium swallow and a PH study again.

But normally if the fundoplication is intact there is very very little chance that there is a reflux. You know they did tests in the past where they removed and tied off pigs stomachs with the wraps (both Toupet and Nissen) and started pumping them with liquids. So there was no reflux even at ridiculous pressures, never achievable in real life. ANd what gave in were the stitches, but there was no reflux.

So relax and just be patient. I keep telling this to myself for the last year.

dencha
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7188
   Posted 8/25/2011 8:36 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Roman,

Welcome back! It's so great to hear that you're feeling better. I'm sure it took a lot of time and effort to get yourself moved back and into Dr. Ayes and the Mayo Clinic. It is so good to hear that your wrap is intact and things are working well.

I had some testing done at the bequest of my asthma/allergy doc in the fall to see if all was well with my wrap. I saw "the Nissen surgeon" in the area, and he said the same thing that you heard. My wrap was intact and that he has never seen anyone with reflux problems that had a good looking, intact wrap.

I have also heard that the esophagus is a "dumb organ" and that it interprets all pain as heartburn. It is scary for post Nissen patients to feel "heartburn" and they tend to panic a bit...of course there will be some esophageal pain after surgery...not heartburn!

The most difficult part of recovery from Nissen, I think, is waiting for the early recovery stages to pass. Surgeons either don't know, or don't communicate how difficult and long the recovery time is. A really common post here is regarding people in the very early stages of recovery expecting to be feeling better and eating better.

You have been through a lot, and are a perfect example of how a rocky start, over time, can get better. I was told that the majority of the healing takes place in the first 6 months, while the healing continues throughout the first year. I can add to that. I am certain that I continued to improve through the second year as well.

I do believe that you will continue to improve as well. Good luck getting off your antidepressant. That sounds like it is horrible. I wish you well.

If you can find the time, it would be wonderful if you could post here from time to time. There are some who suffer and worry and are looking for a light at the end of the tunnel. Everyone is different and some people don't seem to have the ability to relax into the recovery and surrender to it. Struggling against what is, makes it so difficult. Your very positive and proactive attitude throughout your rough recovery was an important piece. You could provide some hope, experience, and encouragement. Think about it!

Again, thank you so much for coming back and letting us know how you are doing!
I'm glad you're back in the U.S. of A!

Fondly,
Denise

somedaysarediamonds
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2011
Total Posts : 363
   Posted 8/25/2011 1:26 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks so much Kitt and thanks Denise and Roman for replying.


It's good to read that someone "got better" after experiencing some of the same troubles I have experienced and continue to experience nearly 4 weeks post-op and that they're getting better or at least living a real life again.

I've actually been fairly patient in that I put up with the GERD symptoms for way over 20 years, raised a family, worked, was involved in community and church activities and volunteer work as well. It was only when the symptoms of GERD and nearly 17 years of bile diarrhea after gall bladder removal got unbearable that I went back to my GI to see if there was an alternative. That's when he recommended the NF.

I have anywhere from 3 to 10 or more bouts of bile diarrhea per day and it takes someone with a bit of patience to deal with it as long as I have and still lead a halfway normal life. I ask you to remember that when I post on here it is because I'm not feeling well or I need a bit of encouragement and I'm very grateful for the help I receive and the support I see others receiving as well.

Only three years ago I was very physically active, we'd bought a brand new home and we were traveling as we pleased in retirement. I was not worrying about anything and have never had any problems like this before. They all began when my GERD got really bad 11 years ago.

When I started having cavities in my teeth and esophageal strictures the GI increased my medications. Nothing has ever stopped the bile or even slowed it down. When I got to where I had to sleep almost sitting up to keep acid from coming out my mouth I became concerned. When I could no longer sing in the church choir due to acid making me so hoarse I couldn't talk, I became concerned. I had no voice when I tried to speak this morning.

These kinds of things started as I said about 11 years ago. I continued to modify my life to accommodate the side effects of GERD and lived as fully as I could.

When I could no longer enjoy eating out, we stopped going out. When I had to locate a bathroom on the spur of the moment I started wearing protection in case I couldn't make it to the bathroom due to diarrhea. Still I kept up with my life and my responsibilities.

When I began losing sleep from acid reflux and couldn't concentrate in the daytime at my job due to the pain, I had to retire. When I became so weak from not being able to eat or keep anything down I began to lose hope and weight as well - 31 lbs as of today.

My hope was in the NF surgery and my surgeon thought it would stop many of my GI symptoms. I now know 4 people personally in my town who had the same surgery; none of them experienced anything similar to me.

A very vile, bitter liquid coming up my esophagus woke me this morning as I sat reclined in the living room and my first thought was to throw up and I remembered I couldn't any longer.

My nose and throat still burn and my voice is raspy and I got about two hours sleep. When the nausea cream on my wrist, the 2nd dose, just barely calmed the taste in my mouth and the sour liquid coming from my esophagus, my husband called the surgeon's after hours number and he called back.

The surgeon sent me to the hospital for a complete GI barium test and nothing negative at that point showed up at all except for some heavy duty pain and soreness where the small intestine empties into the large one. The radiologist said my problems have to be "functional" but says it does sound to him as if I have some sort of strange reflux.

The surgeon said on the phone before the hospital test that it could be intra-esophageal reflux of food. I have no idea what it is. I only know I have better things to do than to worry and stew and fret and focus on health issues. I'm a stronger person than that as my past experience with health problems plainly shows.

I have helped plan my high school reunion for the third time and it is Labor Day weekend. I have no idea if I'll even be able to attend. I am not now nor have I ever been neurotic, desirous of ill health or attention and I am not looking for problems. If I go it will be in a Depends and I will not be able to eat the menu which I helped plan. Small stuff but indicative of where I am.

When you are awakened every single morning for three years without a breather of any kind with a mouth filled with hot vile acid and your heart beating fast, you eventually get to where you have no life because you get no rest at night. I don't wake up and get sick, the acid/reflux/bile/intra-esophageal relux - whatever - is what actually wakes me up. I'm still very sleep as I realize how sick my stomach is and that my mouth is full of hot bitter saliva.

My doctor finally put me on a med to help me sleep but I don't really need it - it doesn't stop the acid taste and it doesn't stop the 3 am awakening. That's why the radiologist told me today it is something "functional" and it is very real but he isn't sure what it is.


I'm glad to hear that Roman is better and sorry to disappoint people who have had the surgery and have had no problems but as people on this forum are want to say, it is what it is. I have no control over what I'm going through and have done everything at this point I have been told to do including CPAP, sinus and nose surgery and tonsillectomy, meds for depression and anxiety interestingly enough none of which worked except for the Remeron Roman mentioned.

Remeron is actually used for many stomach and intestinal issues as well as for people who won't eat due to cancer or eating disorders. It is what got me through a few tough years because it calmed my stomach but it made me gain over 100 lbs. I'm not willing to take Remeron, gain weight and risk my general health with its other side effects because it eventually quits working anyway. That's why it is not prescribed that much to begin with.

So, as I sit here on the same sofa I slept on last night I'm listening to my stomach make more noise than I ever imagined it could, I'm waiting for my husband to bring me a soft-cooked egg and hoping it won't make me sick again. The nausea meds get quite expensive and pretty much just make me sleepy.

I remember when I first found this forum I didn't want to read the posts of people who were having problems after NF because I didn't think I'd really have any post-op problems to speak of. I was wrong and we're trying to figure out what to do to control the symptoms I am having no matter what is causing them.

My surgeon and GI doctor are the ones I must listen and pay heed to. With my gall bladder about to rupture from gangrene all those years ago I'm sure the docs who could not diagnose the problems were telling me to calm down or words to that affect. I would have died if I had not been proactive and kept looking for an answer.

In the end I have to do what I know is best for myself and that's what I'm trying to do. I hope people can and will understand the position where I find myself now and that it's not one of my choosing or unto my liking.

Thanks for all your input and wish me well as I do all of you.

Rita
GERD doesn't exist in a vacuum. . .

Lap Nissen Fundoplication August 1, 2011

dencha
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7188
   Posted 8/25/2011 1:48 PM (GMT -6)   
Rita,

Nobody here chooses the difficulties they experience, and many experience great difficulties and face them with courage. Being patient with GERD for 20 years is not the same thing as being patient with a recovery from a Nissen Fundoplication for four weeks.

This recovery will take months. Anything happening now does not necessarily mean that it will be happening to you in six months or a year. Many people experience a lot of trouble at the beginning of their recovery.

That said, each person is unique, and you may very well have additional health issues that are rearing their head as you recover from surgery.

You can be proactive and push your surgeon or GI doctor to explore the situation further. Still, if you can be patient and allow yourself more recovery time, you will likely see many of the bothersome symptoms you are having resolve themselves.

This is not a simple procedure. Your outsides heal much more quickly than your insides. Your upper GI tract has been completely revised.

Patience.
Denise

somedaysarediamonds
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2011
Total Posts : 363
   Posted 8/25/2011 1:53 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks, Denise. I appreciate your concern and your wise words.

Rita

elsiem
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2011
Total Posts : 131
   Posted 8/25/2011 6:32 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Rita,

Im sorry that you are still experiencing so many unpleasant symptoms & health issues but you need to remember that four weeks is still very early days in the healing process.

I do believe your symptoms are real but they may be just part & parcel of your healing process & not something sinister so please try to relax & stay as positive as possible. Your insides have been 'shuffled like a deck of cards' & it's going to take a long time for your stomach to learn all these new habits & start functioning routinely again. Be patient my friend.

Sometimes I feel guilty because I am doing well & others like yourself are still suffering so much. Then I remember what Kitt said about 'guilt being a wasted emotion'. At 8 weeks post op I still feel random aches & pains & wonder if my surgery was successful but because I feel so well I can only assume that it was & I'm grateful for that.

Even though I dont post often I do wonder how you are doing & send special feel well vibes across the ocean. Things will get better, maybe not today or tomorrow but Im sure in time this will be nothing more than a bad dream & you will be back to enjoying all the things that make you happy.

Continue to be strong as you advocate for yourself. I hope you will soon find all the answers & a solution that will help make this rough journey a whole lot smoother.

Take care & keep coming back so we can hold your hand along the way & try to make your struggle a little more bearable.


Lynda

somedaysarediamonds
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2011
Total Posts : 363
   Posted 8/25/2011 7:36 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks, Lynda.

I'm beginning to feel as though I'm a "sounding brass or a tinkling cymbal" as the Bible says in I Corinthians but I think the sheer duration of my digestive issues which had dragged me down over the past year is what one of my main problems is.

My GI actually prescribed Bentyl for me late this afternoon and hubby has gone to pick it up. Also some Phenergan suppositories to use for this sudden onset of nausea which won't seem to go away and keeps me from sleeping.

I never was one to be able to lose sleep and make it through the day. I was SO happy when my children grew to the age when they slept all night. I felt as if I got some semblance of normalcy back when they were through being babies.

I'm SO happy for you that you're doing so well. I've done well with all the other surgical procedures I've experienced but this one is a horse of a different color.

I'm hoping the two meds from my GI will help settle down this messy digestive tract and let me sleep a little better and not be so sick at my stomach so I can eat enough to get some strength back.

Thanks for caring.
Rita
GERD doesn't exist in a vacuum. . .

Lap Nissen Fundoplication August 1, 2011

stkitt
Elite Member


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 8/26/2011 8:40 AM (GMT -6)   
Rita,
 
I will be away for the weekend but wanted to stop in and wish you well.  I hope the new meds give you some much needed relief and I am sending healing prayers your way.
 
I hope when I am back online on Monday you will be feeling better.
 
Blessings,
 
Kitt
~~Kitt~~
Moderator: Anxiety/Panic, Osteoarthritis, GERD/Heartburn and Heart/Cardiovascular Disease.
www.healingwell.com

"If you can't change the world, change your world"

somedaysarediamonds
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2011
Total Posts : 363
   Posted 8/26/2011 10:17 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Kitt,

I took 25 mg of Bentyl as per my doc last night at 8 pm. Went to bed about midnight and woke at 2:30 am about to throw up with my esophagus and mouth burning up with acid. Drank a bunch of water and it got a little better but by then my heart was pounding out of my chest. Took another Bentyl because it said to take them every 6 hours a needed but it did nothing for my esophagus. Finally hubby gave me a sleeping pill and we both moved to the loveseat recliner and went back to sleep and slept till nearly 10 am. I hadn't had a sleeping pill in some time and hadn't been dropping off into neverland sleep until taking Trazodone last night. Pretty good theory there that the Trazodone affects my breathing for some reason. I think Bentyl helped my stomach pain but it did very little if anything for the nausea and burning in my esophagus that continues to wake me up. It's very frightening to me to have the "acid" back up so bad when I'm in a sound sleep so hubby and I are going to do all we can to learn about intra-esophageal reflux and what if anything can be done about it. I don't feel well this morning but I feel much better after sleeping from about 7 till 10 am. The lack of sleep at my age is really wearing me down.

Have fun Kitt and thanks for caring.
Rita
GERD doesn't exist in a vacuum. . .

Lap Nissen Fundoplication August 1, 2011

rummaan
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2010
Total Posts : 92
   Posted 8/26/2011 3:59 PM (GMT -6)   
It's been a year and I'm still in pain. I still don't sleep well and I still feel "acid". I was absolutely sure my wrap failed, but it didn;t, it was all just a sensation. It is NOT acid, it is most probably not all the food making it through the wrap and then ferments and irritates the wrap which radiates to the stomach too. Then you can also regurgitate it up the esophagus and feel it as "acid". I've read about this scenario so many times it's not even funny. Just read my post from last Septemebr.

Just relax, take some low dose antidepressants to ease your pain (Remeron is very good for sleep and nausea), eat very soft and liquid foods and just be patient. It WILL go away with time. There's nothing anyone can do about it now. See in 6 months if you feel any better.

Another thing is my barium showed that pills get stuck in my wrap and I didn;t even feel it at all. Then they irritated it and caused tremendous suffering later on. So take a few pills as possible and try to take them all in liquid form.

Yes, nausea will be around for a while. I finished a couple of packs of Zofran since my surgery.

The main thing is to rememer that it's just a sensation, not a structural problem.

dencha
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7188
   Posted 8/26/2011 9:31 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Roman,

Thanks for your very thoughtful response. I'm sure it will be helpful to many. When I was in the early weeks of recovery I also experienced "heartburn" and was very fearful that my wrap had failed. Nobody wants to go through the revision of their GI tract like that and discover that it didn't work and was all for nothing.

Fortunately, like you, I discovered that it was not heartburn, but rather was a pain reaction to irritants in the esophagus.

Actually, when I had a post-Nissen barium swallow (probably a year post-op), I had an interesting diagnosis from the radiologist. I had no reflux from the stomach, but I had what appeared to be retained barium (that didn't make it through the wrap) moving up and down the esophagus, presumably propelled by air escaping from my stomach. My GI doc never received a diagnosis like that before. It certainly sounds like what's happening to both of us at times.

Like you, I think my wrap is pretty tight. I often feel water and food sitting at the wrap site. When I drink water quickly, I can feel it build up in my esophagus, then drain into my stomach.

I also have difficulty with large pills, and have had them get stuck. They are very irritating when they do...and I get a "heartburn" feeling then. I can feel the problem right after I take one of my larger pills. I've switched meds to ones with smaller sized pills, and have gotten lower dose versions, so I could take two smaller pills instead of a larger one. I take liquid calcium as well.

Your posts have been very helpful. I thought the pig stomach information was really interesting.

Hang in there. I discovered that I continued to improve through the second year post op. I had heard that the recovery continues for a year, but didn't realize that improvement would continue. The improvement kind of sneaks up on you...I didn't even notice it happening, but one day I realized that I'd gotten better.

Hope you're feeling well today.
Thanks again for your extremely helpful posts!
Take care,
Denise

somedaysarediamonds
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2011
Total Posts : 363
   Posted 8/27/2011 11:39 AM (GMT -6)   
Thanks everyone -

I appreciate getting to read your posts and I will take one thing away from them this morning: my recovery is going to be slow and I'm going to have to accept that fact.

I cannot take Remeron due to the severe weight gain it causes in me. Gained about 100 lbs in about 6 mos and it took forever to lose it. Doc says the weight gain didn't help my GERD.

It is encouraging to read that someone can and has gotten better after a year has gone by. I've been reassured with two hospital tests that my wrap is just right; only swollen and it will go down eventually. I will accept that fact as well.

I hope as the weather abates from the continued 100+ degree days of July and August that I'll be able to enjoy getting out of the house a lot more. It's been very difficult to be unable to eat much, stuck in the house and unable to do the normal things I enjoy like moving furniture, decorating, painting, hanging curtains etc. I have to tell hubby what it is I want done and then just sit and watch. And I'm not a sitter. It's been kind of like being in a prison of my own creation since the surgery was elective on my part. But this too will change.

Again thanks a lot for what you have shared and I do appreciate it.

Rita
PS - Also somewhere I just posted I said "8 weeks" post-op and of course I meant 4 weeks. Goofy me. LOL
GERD doesn't exist in a vacuum. . .

Lap Nissen Fundoplication August 1, 2011

Post Edited (halloweenbaby) : 8/27/2011 10:51:15 AM (GMT-6)


davinci817
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2011
Total Posts : 119
   Posted 8/28/2011 9:03 PM (GMT -6)   
Rita, just wanted to pop in and tell you I am thinking about you.

Bethanie

somedaysarediamonds
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2011
Total Posts : 363
   Posted 8/29/2011 11:17 AM (GMT -6)   
Thanks, Bethanie. I really appreciate it. It was a rough weekend with a lot of nausea and the nausea medication the surgeon sent me didn't work so I was sick and unable to sleep till last night. I just didn't eat anything yesterday except for breakfast and I was able to hold down the nausea and get a few hours sleep last night.

I am back on Nexium and am hoping it will help. My surgeon said all he did was make the acid stay in my stomach where it belongs but the surgery had nothing to do with excess acid actually in my stomach. That makes sense hence going back on Nexium.

I'm better today and am holding my own but as my surgeon says not everyone is a textbook case and I'm one of only a very few of his NF patients for their recovery to move as slowly as mine is moving.

What I'm very grateful for is that he gives me time and attention, he listens to me and my husband and he is being an advocate for me in my recovery. I don't think I could have picked a better more qualified surgeon nor a more caring one. I'm very blessed.

Thanks for writing.
Rita
Falling down is part of life, getting back up is living. -Unknown

Lap Nissen Fundoplication August 1, 2011
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