Welcome to Healing Well! Two years ago, I was where you are...struggling with the idea of having the surgery and searching the internet for information. As you search, I'm sure you're finding many scary posts about people who have had very bad surgeries and are warning against ever having the procedure done.
My asthma and family doctors were urging me to have the surgery, but as my symptoms were atypical (mainly uncontrollable asthma) my GI doc wasn't as sure that the surgery would solve my problems.
Finally, I couldn't stand living with my unhealthy lungs (my family said that my condition was life-threatening) and high doses of damaging steroids. I went to my GI doc and with the urging of my other doctors and a little higher PH number on my 24 hour study (still only at the top level of "normal"), my GI doc said I could either continue to treat the problem with meds (that weren't working for me) or go see a surgeon about the possibility of a surgical fix.
I couldn't go on the way I was, and if the surgery didn't work for the problem, at least I could rule out GERD as the reason for my horrible lungs.
I had the surgery in February 2009. I had a lung infection at the time of the surgery, and it took about 2 and a half months for my lungs to improve. By mid May, though, my lungs were the best they'd been in years.
Yes, I am definitely glad I had the surgery, and if I needed a redo, I would willingly have it done.
This forum was a lifesaver for me. People here had a very realistic attitude towards the surgery, and were helpful in preparing me for the recovery. It was also great to be able to ask questions of them when I was going through the recovery.
I stuck around after my surgery to repay the kindness that was offered to me.
Is the surgery perfect? No. There will be changes to your upper GI tract that you will need to adjust to and accept. But if it's the right thing for you, it will make you much, much better. As for being off PPI's...some go off and never need them again, while others take some, but are still happy with their improved condition.
The selection of an outstanding and highly experienced Nissen surgeon (who has done hundreds, and hopefully more surgeries) is critical to a good outcome.
Good luck with your decision. I'm sure others will be by to comment on your post.