New here, my story and concerns with my upcoming Nissen and lap chole.

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bittersweet603
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2006
Total Posts : 93
   Posted 3/25/2011 7:45 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi I just wanted to introduce myself here, I have been reading and reading and getting to know a lot of you just by your posts. I am a 25 y/o female who has been suffering from severe GERD and digestive problems for over 10 years now. I have had 3 Endoscopies, one colonoscopy, the BRAVA PH test, the gastric motility test (which failed because I couldnt tolerate it), a barium swallow, hydrogen breath test (which tested positive and high for bacteria), xrays, cat scans and and probably more I can't think of atm. Basically I have been through the ringer at the age I'm at and I've finally had enough and am taking the steps to hopefully correct my pain and suffering.
I've researched and read about the Nissen Fundoplication surgery for probably 5 years now when it was first reccommended by a GI Dr. as a good option for me. Since then it's been brought up by another 3 Doctors but I was always afraid of venturing to that land of surgery. I have been taking PPI's and acid reducers so much that they are like candy to me, my life revolves around my bottle of pepto and I'm always having anxiety of when I'll get a severe attack. I feel like my quality of life is going down hill and I am too young for this. I'm a petite girl and It's gotten so bad that I once lost 30 lbs in a month because I couldnt eat with how severe my reflux was (and probably a bad case of gastritis).
 
 My symptoms over the years have also been delayed digestion, nausea after eating with severe reflux, pain centered around my gallbladder which will also be taken out during the Fundoplication. My most recent uppder endoscopy showed severe esophogeal erosion and gastritis in my stomach. The Dr's haven't given me an answer as to why I keep getting gastritis but I'm hoping its a dysfuntional gallbladder causing it. I've always ate very healthy with occasional indulgences but I adhere to an overall strict GERD diet but nothing has helped.

My surgery is scheduled for May 9th, I wish it was sooner because that is my birthday vaca I was saving up but I will do whatever I can to have some relief from this suffering. I work in a hospital and have a very well respected surgeon doing my operation who has done a few co-workers Fundoplications as well that were successful. All though that makes me feel better I still have concerns and worries and I would love to speak with those who have gone through it.
 
Thanks for reading and I hope we all get well soon!
 
 
Oh and my main question and worry is how long it will take til I can return back to work. I work as a secretary and LNA and have to do heavy lifting at times but I can work in a more secretarial role if needed. I only have about 8 days off for recovery..do you think this will be adequite?

Post Edited (bittersweet603) : 3/25/2011 7:50:29 PM (GMT-6)


couchtater
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 14475
   Posted 3/25/2011 8:02 PM (GMT -6)   
Wow, welcome to HW,
glad to meet you, but sorry you have to be here.
Have they cleared your H. Pylora yet? It would be good to get rid of it first in my opinion.

If you're at a desk job only with no lifting or bending you might be able to work 1/2 days for about a week at that time. I was back teaching at 2 weeks, but I sat a lot and was very tired. During that time your stomach is very swollen, you need to be able to wear very loose clothes, and will want to semi-recline some. You will be very tired during that time. Also no lifting over 5lbs for at least six weeks. Then slowly add a little at a time. By two months mark you can carry up to 50lbs.
Joy

bittersweet603
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2006
Total Posts : 93
   Posted 3/25/2011 8:10 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Joy, thanks for replying so fast!
I don't and never have had H. Pylori. I've been tested 3 or so times for it. The gastrits is a mystery and Ive been having flair ups of it all my life in conjunction with the severe GERD. One of my Dr's said it could be a gallbladder malfuntion so I'm not only experiencing acid reflux but also bile reflux into my stomach which is irritating it. I also have been getting bad pain under my right rib cage after eating sometimes. Had the hida scan and an ultrasound which showed nothing..but so have several of my nursing co-workers and they had their gb's out and the ended up being full of stones. Tests are never 100% I guess.

If I need to I'm sure I can get an extension on my leave from work..afterall I will be recovering on the floor I work on so they will know I'm not faking anything ;) I hope though that this is an easy recovery..I've been reading too many horror stories.

spike1010
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2010
Total Posts : 113
   Posted 3/25/2011 9:17 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi,

Sounds like you are very much in need of surgery and heading in the right direction. I have had this surgery about 7 weeks ago and I have only just gone back to work on phased return (I'm a teacher). I would recomend that you take as much time off work as possible and when you do return, then take it easy (no lifting for at least 6 weeks).

Don't worry about the horror stories and I'm sure that having worked in the environment means that you know several good experiences with surgery, there are many people on this site who will confirm like myself that the surgery is very good.

Take care and good luck

bittersweet603
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2006
Total Posts : 93
   Posted 4/28/2011 4:29 PM (GMT -6)   
I am 11 days from surgery now and have an increase in anxiety about having this done. I know I have to because I've suffered so much and this is my last resort but I can't help the anxiety. I am most anxious about the waking up right after surgery part. I have a hard time with anesthesia and pain meds with nausea so I asked my dr for a scope patch to put on the night before to get it in my system..I am curious what everyones first day was like after the LP, what was the pain or feeling like? I'm so afriad to wake up and feel like all my insides are turned upside down and not be able to move. I feel like I'm not prepared enough, or maybe there isn't a way to fully prepare oneself for this. I am going to take this upcoming week and stalk up on soft foods and fluids and such and get a hospital bag ready. If anyone can recommend anything that seemed to put their mind at ease I'd greatly appreciate it.

couchtater
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 14475
   Posted 4/28/2011 5:05 PM (GMT -6)   
My surgery day:
Woke up at 5:30. Took the antinausea medication the doctor perscribed before the surgery. (I was allergic to it unfortunately and threw it back up. )
Arrived at the hospital at 6:00am. Was taken to the prep room, put on the breezy gown and climbed into the bed.
Nurse came in and asked a million questions and put in an IV. Hurt some, but okay. Only my third one I've ever had.
My parents came in and kissed me bye. The power went off in the building just then! Generators came on in two seconds.
The orderly came in and rolled me down the hall to the pre-op room. In the pre-op room they asked more questions and gave me two injections in my IV and placed a patch behind my ear. I laid there and listen to others talking (a child was in the other bed). They then rolled me into the next room the OR. I saw a bunch of masked people standing around. They had me slide over on the table (Slide til your butt hits me, darling). They told me stretch out my arms I look to my left and I'm gone. Night-night. Sneaky devils! They gave me a distraction while they injected me! ;))
I wake up in the pre-op trying to tell them I was very thirsty and was hurting some (thirsty....hurt....thirsty...hurt...zzzzzz) I kept falling back to sleep. I felt them do an xray (sit up, honey). I faintly remember them telling me they couldn't give me anything until I woke up more. I woke up again when I felt the bed rolling down the hall. Again when they transferred me to the bed. (You've got to grab the bar and help us, sugar) ZZZZZZZ
My parents came in and woke me again. I told them I was thirsty and still hurting. They got the nurse to come and give me a shot in my IV for pain and got me some ice chips. (Love my folks!) They rubbed ice on my dry lips and gave me ice to suck on.
After that shot I didn't need anymore pain medicine. :)
When I became fully alert I realized I had an oxygen tube under my nose, some foam pressure boots on, my breezy gown, IV, and some electrode pads still stuck in some odd places.
They brought me a liquid meal of broth, jello, tea, and orange popsicle (yummy!)
I spent the remaining day sleeping off and on, getting up to walk some, getting my wounds checked, answering questions, and getting my vitals checked.
Went home the next morning to sleep in my lazyboy for the next three days and drink chicken broth. Pain meds were needed only to sleep at night.
Joy

bittersweet603
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2006
Total Posts : 93
   Posted 4/28/2011 6:08 PM (GMT -6)   
Thank you so much for explaining your experience to me Joy, it helped a lot to ease my fears of this whole process. I am hoping my surgery goes as smoothly as yours sounds it did. I am hoping I won't be in the hospital for more then one night. My wonderful Mom will be picking me up and taking me to her house to recover for a week or so afterwards. I think I am most anxious about the hospital stay because I've worked there for 4 years and see the bad with the good. I have a fantastic surgeon so I am trusting him to do a good job.

couchtater
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 14475
   Posted 4/28/2011 7:54 PM (GMT -6)   
The hospital I was at was wonderful. Except for them forgetting to get me the Welcome Kit (wash pan, soap, mug for water, etc.) I was very pleased. I was my first hospital stay and surgery.
Joy

opnwhl4
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 4961
   Posted 4/29/2011 5:13 AM (GMT -6)   
My experience was very similar to Joy's except the redo the got really sneaky and gave me vesed and something else while I was waiting my turn to go into the OR. So I barely remember getting on the table. My first one I had an NG tube until the next morning when they did a barium swallow to check for leaks. They wouldn't let me have anything to eat or drink until I had this test(both times). I stayed 2.5 and 3 days respectively at the hospital. the only pain I remember was from the incisions. Oh and a pillow on your tummy is a great help when coughing or sneezing.....they forgot to mention that to me, but my wife had an ovary removed a year prior and they told her so I had prior knowledge. Ha! fooled them. I didn't have a catheter left in either time and the sooner you get up and walk and the more you walk the better to get rid of the trapped gas inside. I do remember bad left shoulder pain from that.

Take care,
Bill
opnwhl4
Moderator: GERD/Heartburn
Nissen 6/06 and 5/09

couchtater
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 14475
   Posted 4/29/2011 6:21 PM (GMT -6)   
Yes, I did keep a pillow on my stomach for the first week, even walked with one hugged close. I liked keeping my IV arm propped on a pillow too. I had some problems with my IV hurting my arm.
Joy

dencha
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7181
   Posted 4/30/2011 6:43 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Bittersweet,
I had the Nissen surgery in February 2009, and like you, I worried a lot about what the recovery would be like. I'd read so many very scary posts online--warning me not to have the surgery. I was very happy to find this forum, with so many positive, yet realistic posts.

I tried to learn as much as I could about what to expect post surgery, and was prepared for the worst. When I woke up in the recovery room, I did not have an NG tube, and I felt quite comfortable. I chatted with the recovery nurse, and asked for an additional warmed blanket. Once I was fully awake, I was returned to my room.

I was offered water with a straw (NO STRAWS! It introduces too much air into your stomach, causing additional bloating), and my swallowing was a little strange in the beginning...later, once I'd had more time, it became better.

I was very tired, and just wanted to rest...on my first meal tray I was offered caffeinated coffee (a no-no), some chicken broth, ginger ale with a straw(a no-no) and lemon ice (OK). I enjoyed the lemon ice.

A night nurse told me to walk any time I got up to go to the bathroom, and I followed her advice. I walked the halls of the hospital floor as much as possible. The gas they pump into your abdomen to make it easier to see the surgical field, can cause lots of shoulder pain. The more you walk, the less your shoulder will hurt. It's hard to believe that shoulder pain can be the most painful part of the recovery!

I had bad lungs due to pre-surgery reflux, and I coughed a LOT after the surgery. I found ice to be the best way to help the pain I had in my left rib-area (the surgeon said that it was the place where the most work was done, manipulating the surgical tools).

You'll want to be sure to have liquid Tylenol or Motrin on hand. The narcotic pain meds have bad side effects, and as soon as you can, you'll want to switch to the other pain meds.

Be sure to ask any questions you have as your surgery gets closer.
Best wishes for a wonderful outcome!
Denise
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