2 weeks till surgery for reflux..

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Gritty
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2011
Total Posts : 82
   Posted 3/4/2011 2:07 PM (GMT -6)   
I wasn't really worried until a couple of days ago. It took so long to get appointments for tests and the surgeon that when they offered me the surgery I just jumped at it. The surgeon was very nice and answered all my questions (although now I wish I asked a lot more). I've had pretty constant acid problems for around 12 years now and am currently hovering between 40 - 80mg Nexium a day. It's fairly well controlled with the meds but even the surgeon says it's quite a high dose to be taking for life.

Anyway, I did he stupid thing of looking into recovery times for the operation and fell into the pit of bad experiences and got myself worked up. Then I stumbled upon this place and from what I've read it's all mostly positive. The truth is I'm currently terrified about replacing my current symptoms with a whole load of others but I'm assured I'm in good hands.

My surgeon is Mr. Alan Li at Manchester Royal Infirmary (UK). From what I've heard he's an expert in this field so I have my fingers crossed for a decent outcome.
Yesterday I was ready to phone the hospital and cancel, today I'm thinking of biting the bullet and just getting it over with. I'm hoping to squeeze in another appointment with the surgeon in the next couple of weeks if I can for some reassurance but what I really want to find out is if there is anyone here who feels fully better, like before in terms of eating/ drinking. The thought of avoiding carbonated drinks for life scares me. Anyone here had this more than a year ago?

Any advice or support would be very welcome to put my mind at ease (and my wife's too).

Thanks.

dencha
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7188
   Posted 3/4/2011 3:09 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Gritty,
Welcome to Healing Well! I totally understand your fears, as I did the same thing--researched Nissen Fundoplication online, and found many very scary posts that made me wait an additional four years to have the surgery.

In those four years, the reflux I had created huge problems with my lungs. Like you, when I was at my wits end, and knew I needed to move forward with the surgery, I found this wonderful forum, filled with very positive, yet realistic people who've had the surgery.

I will be back to share more, but I've got to close now. My little grandbaby is calling for me! I'll talk to you again soon. I'll just leave you with this. I am glad I had the surgery, and only wish I'd done it sooner.

Have a great day, and don't worry!
Denise

Gritty
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2011
Total Posts : 82
   Posted 3/4/2011 3:24 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks Denise. It's so difficult trying to find the positives. I'm guessing that most people who were happy with the op just got on with it and didn't feel the need to share. It's like when you go looking at shopping reviews. Those who had poor customer service or were sent a damaged product are the people shouting loudest whilst the happy customers just get on with it and enjoy their product.

I'm trying to get another appointment with the surgeon before hand just to put my mind at rest. The NHS told me very little about what to expect after the op in terms of diet and recovery so it's been great looking on here and having an idea of how the next few months will pan out. I'm a writer in my spare time so I'm sure this experience will give me lots to keep me busy on that front.

couchtater
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 14475
   Posted 3/4/2011 5:42 PM (GMT -6)   
I'm feeling wonderful now. I had the partial wrap due to swallowing issues, but I'm able to drink sodas with little problems. I just belch like a sailor afterwards. ;)
I was able to go back to work at two weeks. You will have pain the first few days and bloating for the first two-three weeks. The diet is strict for the first months, but it's well worth it in the end.
Joy

todd1074
New Member


Date Joined Feb 2010
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 3/5/2011 5:25 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi gritty,
I agree with a previous comment that many people who have successful surgery no longer feel the need to scour forums and share experiences they just revel in the fact they are better and get on with life whereas you will always hear about the horror stories or problems as these people are still seeking reassurances or answers.
I had surgery in 2008 and had a 360 degree wrap and I can honestly say I do not regret it at all. I was told I wouldn't be able to drink fizzy drink ever again or burp and that I would pass more tail end wind and suffer gloating but compared to my symptoms before this was nothing to my mind.
In reality it was like that to start with but was con rolled easily by eating small meals and little and often. Now I can burp occasionally if need be and therefore I can enjoy a small glass of fizzy although I stir it to get the worst of the fizz out.
Your surgeon actually trained with my surgeon I am In Kent .
Don't let the horror stories put you off. Have faith in your surgeon ask lots of questions and get it sorted to enjoy a better life without the need for so many pills.
I wish you the best of luck and speedy healing.

Gritty
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2011
Total Posts : 82
   Posted 3/5/2011 7:58 AM (GMT -6)   
Thanks Todd. How did you cope with Christmas? Were you able to eat a full turkey dinner and all the trimmings? I'm a big eater and couldn't cope without a decent roast now and again.

dencha
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7188
   Posted 3/5/2011 8:45 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Gritty,
Your eating issues will be in the first weeks and months. Once you're healed, you'll be able to eat normally.

If you're anything like most GERD sufferers, you have had years of dealing with stomach issues, so the ones you get that are caused by the surgery will be taken in stride.

If you have he surgery this month, if your experience is anything like mine, you'll be eating pretty normally by the end of July. I went on vacation at 4 months, and went out to restaurants, eating everything.

I still have some of the reactive stomach issues I always had...the wrap is created out of my stomach, so it can get irritated by rough foods (celery, carrots, big salads) or very acidic things like pineapple juice (one of my favorite drinks used to be coconut rum and pineapple juice...now it drink just a bit...not so much from the wrap as from my annoying stomach.

I enjoy eating still, just as I always did. I've never been a big soda drinker, but I have had some since the surgery, and it didn't bother me. I enjoy beer, and have not trouble at all drinking it.

You'll have some GI quirks caused by the surgery, but if you're anything like me, it'll be well worth getting rid of your other issues.

As for eating, I go for it...even if I know I may pay a bit later, if I want something, and I'll enjoy it, I eat it. Some are more cautious, but that's my attitude.

The main thing is that you'll want to chew your food very carefully even after healing. Slow down and enjoy that food!

I posted on another thread--jhayes/fundo in 2 days
On it I copy and pasted the "journal" I posted when I was recovering from the surgery. If you haven't looked at you might want to. It gives an idea of what the earliest days of recovery might be like for you.

The main thing is to have a surgeon who is very experienced and skilled in doing Nissen surgeries. It's definitely an art form, and takes time to develop the skill necessary. Todd has experience with a surgeon who trained with yours, and had a good outcome...just be sure that he has done many, many of these. Mine had done over 300. I've moved since then, and the guy here who everyone refers to has done over 1000. The more the merrier!

You're in the right place...people here are realistic but positive on the whole. We will do our best to answer any questions you have both pre and post surgery.

Best wishes!
Denise

todd1074
New Member


Date Joined Feb 2010
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 3/5/2011 2:48 PM (GMT -6)   
I had the surgery late September so Christmas dinner for me that year was chicken soup but as Denise says the eating issues are in the first months and now I enjoy a meal out and a decent roast dinner.
I don't eat as much as I used too but that is not a bad thing and you won't be hungry so you will feel satisfied with smaller meals anyway.
I don't have issues with any food now and eat most things even a nice spicy curry which I love.
I have had quite a bit of surgery and I have to say the Nissan was bad. I had my gallbladder removed in January 2010 and the pain from that was far worse than the Nissan surgery.
Ask any questions and help put your mind at rest there are so many positives to this surgery :-)

Gritty
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2011
Total Posts : 82
   Posted 3/7/2011 9:32 AM (GMT -6)   
Just had a good chat with the surgeon's secretary and that put my mind at rest. Apparently he does one of these a week and has done hundreds. In fact she said she'd never seen one of his patients ever come back for a correction which is a good sign.

Any recommendations on what to eat the week before surgery? I'm currently on a 'greatest hits' tour of all my favourite foods (getting my easter egg in nice and early too) but don't want to overdo it just before the op.
Also, I was under the impression I'd be back to work quite quickly but the secretary reckons 2 weeks to a month. I was hoping for the week after but I'm guessing that's not going to happen. I'm lucky because I have an easy office job just a couple of minutes from my flat but obviously I don't want to put myself at risk.

Oh and I've been reading spike's story on the other thread and it's been very helpful. Thanks to everyone who's posted your advice and experience, it's been great.

dencha
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7188
   Posted 3/7/2011 4:32 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Gritty,
One thing I did was test out foods to see which ones could be chewed to a liquid. That way you'll have your list all ready!

I think most of us eat whatever we feel like before the big day! How responsible of you to be thinking of being careful!

It's good that your surgeon wants you to take it easy for a while after surgery. It's laproscopic, but your insides are being moved, twisted and stitched. It's your upper GI tract, and you need it for eating! Be kind to yourself, rest up, and when you go back to work you'll feel much better than if you tried to go right away.

Good luck!
Denise

couchtater
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 14475
   Posted 3/7/2011 6:02 PM (GMT -6)   
My surgeon had me on liquids the first three weeks. Broth, popicles, jello, puddings and non-acidic juices. Then I moved on to watery grits and vienna sausages. I slowly added more solid foods as I felt like I could handle.
Main thing is chew, chew, chew!
Joy

spike1010
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2010
Total Posts : 113
   Posted 3/8/2011 2:57 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi gritty,
I'm glad that my story has helped you, this is my reason for giving so much detail about both my pre-op and post op experience, so that others may be informed etc. Good luck with your surgery.

Gritty
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2011
Total Posts : 82
   Posted 3/22/2011 7:31 AM (GMT -6)   
Ok, the op is tomorrow. Had a great foodie farewell over the weekend and today it's a couple of light meals so I'm not backed up before the op.
I've not been on here for a while as I've been trying to take my mind off it but thanks to this forum I'm feeling very good about the whole thing (although my wife is still terrified for me). I'll let you all know how it goes.

spike1010
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2010
Total Posts : 113
   Posted 3/22/2011 7:49 AM (GMT -6)   
Good luck and don't worry.

PH Fan
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2009
Total Posts : 88
   Posted 3/22/2011 7:52 AM (GMT -6)   
Goodluck Gritty! and keep us posted on your recovery,when you feel up too it.

iamswanson
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2011
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 3/22/2011 3:06 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi everyone!

I am 46 and dealing with GERD all my life. I finally found a doctor that I am comfortable with and feel he is well versed in this condition. Past docs kept saying lets just medicate and see. I am on 80mg Nexium a day, vomiting in my sleep, trouble swallowing food, etc.

I am scheduling the Nissan Fundoplication surgery and was just wondering how incapacitated you are after the surgery. I live alone. Do you think I will need someone there for assistance, or are you pretty mobile in a short period of time? Can you shower? Stairs? I have a dog who needs attention as well.

Any advice?

Thanks in advance! :)

couchtater
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 14475
   Posted 3/22/2011 3:19 PM (GMT -6)   
You will have to not lift anything for six weeks over 5 lbs. You will tire easily the first seven days.
I showered at day two, just be careful of washing around the cuts. Bending over can be painful the first two weeks. Walking the dog is good for you just don't let him yank on you too much. You can drive if you're not on pain killers.

I know you need to lift the dog food bag for the dog... instead get a simple scoop and place the bag up high enough so you don't have to lift it. A self-feeder and self-waterer will be a bonus.

It will be tricky the first few days, but it is do-able.
Joy

Gritty
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2011
Total Posts : 82
   Posted 3/24/2011 2:48 PM (GMT -6)   
Back home after a day. Not bad going. The pain is minimal really, it's more uncomfortable than anything else. I've been given a crate of Fortisip milkshakes and been told that its liquids for two weeks then sludgy foods like soup and custard for two weeks followed by soft diet for two weeks after that. When I'm lying down I feel fine but it's very difficult getting up into a sitting position. The doc says the first three days are the worst so I'm sure I'll be fine. Best of all though is I've had no GERD symptoms at all.

couchtater
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 14475
   Posted 3/24/2011 6:45 PM (GMT -6)   
I remember having to get up like a pregnant woman.
Joy

Gritty
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2011
Total Posts : 82
   Posted 3/24/2011 11:58 PM (GMT -6)   
Phew, I'm glad it's not just me. I'm currently on the couch and just got up to a symphony of gurgling down below. I'm guessing it's those bowels trying to start up again. Figured I'd take the opportunity to have a walk about the flat as I'm sleeping flat on my back otherwise.

couchtater
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 14475
   Posted 3/25/2011 4:22 PM (GMT -6)   
Watch that gurgling! You can't move very fast in bathroom emergencies, so be careful. :P
Joy

Gritty
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2011
Total Posts : 82
   Posted 3/25/2011 5:15 PM (GMT -6)   
I'm a bit worried about that. Not 'been' since the morning of the operation. Going to be three days tomorrow. The doctor did say that the anaesthetic could cause constipation and I've read that the shock to the system can stop peristalsis. Is this normal?
I'm getting very bored of the liquid diet already. Got a bag full of horrible vitamin milkshakes and have been having the odd cup of very milky tea and fruit juice. I had some watered down chicken soup to try and get some flavour in my diet. Getting the odd twinge whilst I'm 'eating' which i guess is to be expected.

drgrcr
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 129
   Posted 3/25/2011 6:51 PM (GMT -6)   
Gritty, I hope ya get better soon. I am heading for surgery next Tuesday, yeah I am a little anxious.....but ready to try anything at this point.
Keep us posted

Thanks Pat

shaeyne
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2011
Total Posts : 29
   Posted 3/25/2011 11:26 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi,

i am so glad to hear that it going on fine with you, i will be going for Nissen soon, and i need an experience surgeon too, can you give some more details on your surgeon and how much it cost you, i had TIF and Apparently that failed. so life is more miserable post-tif.

Gritty
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2011
Total Posts : 82
   Posted 3/26/2011 4:27 AM (GMT -6)   
Well my surgery was free as I live in Britain. The surgeon was Mr Alan Li and he trained in Australia. He has his own private clinic aside from his NHS work where he specialises in weight loss surgery. His passion though is upper GI surgery and he's performed hundreds of fundoplications. Mine was a 270 degree wrap as he believes this is better than the full 360 at preventing swallowing problems later on. My advice would be to do your research and make sure your doc has performed hundreds rather than a few of these procedures.
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