Recovering Nissen Fundoplication Part 1 of 2

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kyheart
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2011
Total Posts : 515
   Posted 4/12/2011 8:19 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello everyone, I am 11 days post surgery and I must say that it feels really good to know that I have somewhere to go to ask "dumb questions" about my recovery. I have experienced some "bubbling" in my stomach after drinking my meals. My surgeon has me on full liquid until at least this coming Thursday (appointment 13 days post-op). It is really good to know that I am not experiencing something unknown. I am a bit older than most of you all, I am almost 62. I was experiencing reflux to the extent that it would wake me and cause me to dash for the bathroom to throw up. I also had a 'significant' Hiatal Hernia that was beginning to move a lot when i would bend over or twist a certain way. I had a Bravo PH study before surgery and that was not the most comfortable experience of my life. I am really glad I had the surgeon I did, he gave me good advise and was very informative when I had questions. I didn't feel bubbling in my stomach required a call to the office though.. so thanks to you all for the information.
I am not hurting except on the left side, and as I have read here, that is not uncommon. I do have the problem with gas but mostly right after I 'eat'. It usually dissipates within 20 minutes or so. I also have the very watery stool, that I attribute to the full liquid diet. I have to return to work on the 18th of this month. I mostly sit and I do not have to lift at all. I will be able to kind of baby myself for a few weeks and my co-workers will be doing that also. Has anyone else had this done and then returned to work? Just curious.
I look forward to talking to you all and learning how you have recovered. Thanks for listening, you know what I mean when I say my stomach is 'bubbling', my husband has no clue smilewinkgrin
I welcome any and all comments and information about recovering from this surgery....

Post Edited By Moderator (stkitt) : 8/1/2011 8:55:38 PM (GMT-6)


opnwhl4
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 4961
   Posted 4/13/2011 3:53 PM (GMT -6)   
kyheart-
Welcome to Healing Well and the "wrapped club". Good to hear things are going well during your recovery.

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

dencha
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7188
   Posted 4/13/2011 8:27 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi kyheart,
I'm glad you started your own thread, so you can ask questions and share your recovery more effectively.

I had the surgery in February 2009 when I was 57, so I wasn't far off from your age when you had it done. Actually, we're really close in age!

My surgeon had a different philosophy regarding eating, and I was able to eat any food that could be chewed to a liquid from Day 5 on. It made the recovery a lot easier for me, as I really love to eat, and I was able to eat a very wide range of foods.

Many members here were on liquids a long time, just like you.

I'm glad that you had a chance to read the posts of others here. I found this forum just before I had the surgery, and people here helped me to gain the confidence I needed to go forward with it. They also helped me through the recovery. The site helped me so much that I decided to stick around and pay their kindness forward.

Glad you've joined us, kyheart!
Denise

kyheart
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2011
Total Posts : 515
   Posted 4/13/2011 9:36 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks so much for the welcome. I think I am doing well for 13 days post surgery. I see my surgeon tomorrow and I will find out if my diet will increase or not. He let me know early on that I could eat whatever I wanted but, if it was too much for my esophagus to handle, I would be in a lot of pain. Then he proceeded to advise me to progress slowly.
I thank you for the welcome and I will be happy to pass on any information I can to anyone who goes thru this or is thinking about it. I do know that I was on 2 Nexium 40mg a day before the surgery and the last one I took was the morning of my surgery and I can sleep on my back now and I feel great!!!! No reflux, no vomiting, no drainage caused by reflux making me cough, etc, etc... I am lovin' it
Sandi

kyheart
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2011
Total Posts : 515
   Posted 4/14/2011 6:49 PM (GMT -6)   
I went to see my surgeon today and was given a clean bill of health. I have to stay on full liquid and pureed , smashed etc... food until next week. Then I can add some baked or broiled fish and see how my system accepts that gradually I will add chicken and other soft meat or poultry. He said I should try 1 thing at a time and take small bites and chew thoroughly. He said that he does not anticipate and problems.. just go a bit at a time until I feel 100%. I am so blessed.. I have a wonderful surgeon! He is the best...

Gritty
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2011
Total Posts : 82
   Posted 4/14/2011 7:13 PM (GMT -6)   
Great to hear things are going well, you're about a week behind me. I've found doing a veg casserole is a really good step onto solids as you can alter the flavours, you get a bit of texture and if it's too much you can mush it down into puree or soup meaning you're not wasting anything. I tried cottage pie at week 2 but blitzed up mince beef tastes a bit gristly and not very pleasant. I'm going to attempt some lasagne tomorrow, making sure there's plenty of sauce and the pasta is really soft.
I guess it's one thing at a time. I've been knocked on my arse by a piece of toast this week but discovered that I can now tolerate rice krispie squares again. It's quite nice rediscovering all the food I took for granted all the while following this forum's mantra of chew chew chew!

dencha
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7188
   Posted 4/14/2011 7:28 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Gritty and Sandi,
(Interesting pair of names...) Ah, yes...chew, chew, chew. It's the key to eating at your stage of the game. If it doesn't chew to a liquid politely deposit it in a nearby napkin. Gritty, I enjoyed crepe manicotti in the early days. Just keep your meals small and frequent.
Small bites...
Chew, chew, chew...
Yup. Got it covered.
Good luck to both of you!
Denise

kyheart
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2011
Total Posts : 515
   Posted 4/15/2011 7:57 AM (GMT -6)   
Good Morning...
I am pleasantly surprised this morning, I ate my first soft boiled egg last evening for dinner. I chopped and then smashed until it resembled a yellow liquid, it was delicious.. and no adverse reactions!!! yeah I cannot help but attribute a large part of my relatively easy recovery to my doctor. He must have done something just right for me to achieve such good results! I am going to try some cottage cheese at some point today.. dairy products are still not high on my "let's eat" list. I believe they are the cause of my watery stool. I have no problem until I have something dairy.... we will see, if so.. dairy will be tested every few days until we are good..
I hope everyone has a wonderful day!
Sandi

dencha
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7188
   Posted 4/15/2011 10:00 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Sandi,
Yum! A soft boiled egg. One of my favorites! Hopefully the cottage cheese goes down easily and doesn't cause you any problems afterwards.

You are correct in crediting your good results to a skilled surgeon. A skilled surgeon will know whether or not you are a good candidate, and has the ability to create a wrap that is well constructed.

Have a great day, and happy eating!
Denise

kyheart
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2011
Total Posts : 515
   Posted 4/16/2011 12:56 PM (GMT -6)   
Well the cottage cheese was wonderful and I opted for some scrambled egg this morning,, stomach doesn't like the scrambled as well as the boiled, I guess I will wait a while to try scrambled again. I am not nauseous just very full feeling and have the hiccups. I guess this is all a bit of trial and error in order to get through it. I am relatively pain free at this point, 16 days post surgery, and the only time I have to splint my stomach is when I cough hard or (heaven forbid... sneeze). On the up side I have lost 3 dress sizes already..(weight loss began after Bravo PH test in January, before surgery).. what a way to lose it. But easy because you have no choice about what you eat ;-) grin

kyheart
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2011
Total Posts : 515
   Posted 4/22/2011 10:45 PM (GMT -6)   
Well it has been 3 weeks today that I had my surgery and I am doing well I think. I went back to work this past Monday. I did pretty well except for Wednesday.. I ended up leaving about an hour early. I have nothing to wear that isn't fitting around the middle and it becomes uncomfortable after 8 hours or so.. any way hoping for better days this coming week. I have also been able to increase my diet a bit.. I had about 4 ounces of spaghetti for dinner tonite (chopped and smashed and then chew chew chew) but there have been no adverse affects do far... I am not pushing the food part, I am perfectly happy to add a new food every other day or so, if something disagrees I go back to liquid for a day and then proceed as before.. just the fact that I have had no problems since my surgery. I have not taken a Nexium since the morning of my surgery. I have not gagged or even felt like I was going to throw up (the way I did before the surgery), I have no GERD symptoms at all.... Bless my surgeon... he is wonderful!!!

couchtater
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 14475
   Posted 4/23/2011 11:16 AM (GMT -6)   
06-0013, I answered your questions on your thread. :)
Joy

kyheart
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2011
Total Posts : 515
   Posted 4/29/2011 7:19 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello Everyone,
Today I am 4 weeks post surgery. I have had no real problems since the surgery, my surgeon advised taking it slow when adding new foods to my diet and I have done that. I have added spaghetti, baked fish, cottage cheese, scrambled eggs, chicken vienna sausages.. I feel good and have had no nausea. I still have some pain in my left side where the lower incision is but then that is also at my waist and where I bend from. I do have sporadic issues with diarrhea, it is random and I have no idea what the cause is. It has happened when I ate something new and it has happened when I ate something that I have eaten before. Oh I almost forgot, I have also ate crushed soda crackers with buttermilk. This was a real treat because I love crackers and buttermilk. I had no issues, it went down easily and didn't bother me at all. I did make sure I took small bites and had some water close by just in case.
If I had one wish for everyone who has to have this surgery, it would be that they had a recuperation as easy as mine has been so far.. I do miss eating hamburgers and hot dogs and PIZZA but I don't miss the acid reflux, vomiting, drainage and coughing. I would do it all over if necessary.
Have a good weekend all!!!!
Sandi

dencha
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7188
   Posted 4/29/2011 8:52 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Sandi,
It sounds like you're doing great! I also had one incision that took longer to feel better. I found out from the surgeon that that was the port where most of the surgical tool manipulation took place. Try a bag of ice on it. It helped me a lot.

Be patient...things will gradually improve. Like you, I had a very good recovery. I was prepared for the worst, and the recovery was a pleasant surprise.

Best wishes!
Denise

kyheart
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2011
Total Posts : 515
   Posted 5/1/2011 2:31 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks Denise for the info.. I feel totally blessed to have had the recovery that I have. I ate some hamburger w/gravy and homemade mac & cheese for dinner last nite.. this was the heaviest thing I have tried since the surgery. It went quite well, no nausea or ill affects. I am going to try some chicken w/gravy tonite for dinner. I have found that I have to watch the amount I eat rather than relying on my stomach to tell me when it is full. I do not think I would have done as well as I have if I had not taken the reintroduction to food as slowly as I have. I will continue to take it slow and I know that I will have a complete recuperation.
I have not taken Nexium since the morning of my surgery. I have no reflux and no pain from the hiatal hernia that was repaired. If I had known how well it would turn out, I would have had this done years ago...
Sandi

dencha
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7188
   Posted 5/1/2011 6:46 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Sandi,
I agree...I waited during four years of agony (severely effected lungs) because I was so fearful of the surgery. Oh well...as they say, hindsight is 20-20. Maybe someone who reads your posts will be able to gather their courage more quickly.

Be sure to take small bites and chew thoroughly. Take things easy. You're doing well, but your upper GI tract was completely revised, and there is a lot of healing still going on.

I believe Bill warned you that your swallowing may get more difficult around Day 14, as the swelling reaches peak at that time. Don't worry if that happens. It's totally normal.

Best wishes for continued healing!
Denise

kyheart
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2011
Total Posts : 515
   Posted 5/1/2011 8:44 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks for your well wishes Denise.. and I am sorry if I didn't clarify that I hit week 4 after my surgery this past Friday. It has been exactly 1 month today. I was too skitzy to eat anything but full liquid until after week 2. I stayed on liquid and heavy liquid(cream of wheat, grits, soup after blending. etc) until I went to see my surgeon at 14 days. I had gone to the office at 7 days and had my staples removed. At 14 days I asked my surgeon where to go from there as far as food. He simply advised me to start with baked or broiled fish first (beginning in the 3rd week, not before)and mash or chew chew chew everything. I have been very strict on myself and made sure that I did not cheat. I do not like pain and my surgeon( I love him..) said that I could eat anything I wanted to... but... if I ate things I shouldn't I would cause myself a lot of pain... so I have as I said, been very strict on myself...
If I can help even 1 person stop being afraid of this surgery and go have it done and be out of pain.. I will feel that I have fulfilled a good deed.
My only request to any one contemplating the surgery... Please, trust your surgeon completely.. have a good feeling about him/her, and don't be afraid to ask him/her questions.. You have that right... my surgeon is NEVER too busy to sit and talk with me. He even came in to pre-op b4 my surgery and talked to me and my family. He asked my husband and cousin if they had any questions about my surgery or what they could expect from me after. He knew I was an avid reader so he asked me what authors I read and what type of books I read. I know this was to ease any jitters I had... He is just the best in my opinion. Anyway, as I said.. trust your surgeon above all!!
Have a good Monday All...
Sandi

dencha
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7188
   Posted 5/1/2011 9:27 PM (GMT -6)   
Sandi,
That explains your wild eating habits! (I guess I should have gone back to the beginning of the thread!) So glad to hear that things are going so well.

I would add one thing to your discussion about trusting your surgeon...verify that he/she is qualified to do the Nissen surgery. There are very few Nissen surgeons who have had the amount of experience that is required to do the procedure properly.

Anyone contemplating this surgery needs to research and select their surgeon carefully. THEN you can be confident in him, and relax into your surgery and recovery.

Thanks for sticking around and sharing your surgery and recovery experience! I am certain it will be helpful to many who are looking for answers.
Happy Healing!
Denise

kyheart
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2011
Total Posts : 515
   Posted 5/4/2011 7:07 PM (GMT -6)   
Denise and All
I am at 4 1/2 weeks post surgery. I have been able to eat chicken nuggets tonite.. I made them here at home and they were baked, not crisp and I did what we all do best... chewed, chewed, chewed.. I had some sweet potatoes with it and I felt like I had eaten a 4 course gourmet meal...grin... so far so good.. I don't even have any gas collecting. I did have a couple incidents yesterday.. I was able to actually burp.. 3 times over the course of the day.. at first it scared me so bad I thought maybe I had blown the wrap and then I thought.. no if you had you would have had pain and besides you haven't done anything that would blow it...??? Anyway, I am convinced that being frugal about what you eat and how soon after surgery is what recovery is about.
Denise, you are so right about making sure that your surgeon is skilled in this procedure. Mine has been a surgeon for 30+ years and this procedure is one of his most frequently done. He is my hero.. he took away the pain and agony that I had lived with and had gotten progressively worse for years... I am so thankful he was put in my path to find....
Have a blessed day and nite
Sandi

dencha
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7188
   Posted 5/4/2011 7:18 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Sandi,
I'm so glad you're doing well! Really, you can eat anything that can be chewed, chewed, chewed to a liquid. That's the key. Your dinner sounds yummy!

As you said so well...there's nothing more important than a skilled and highly experienced Nissen surgeon. If you have one, you'll never have the surgery recommended to you unless you are a good candidate. The time and effort you put into searching for the right surgeon is the most important thing you can do when considering this surgery. You obviously had one!

Happy eating, Sandi!
Denise

kyheart
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2011
Total Posts : 515
   Posted 5/7/2011 5:39 PM (GMT -6)   
Denise and all..
I am so pleased to say that I have tried a broiled hamburger in gravy with mac & cheese on the side.. I was able to eat the m&c and about 1/3 of the hamburger patty. I chewed thoroughly and made sure that I had sufficient liquid when swallowing. It went well. I cannot eat more than about 4-5 ounces at a time and this seems to be working well, I have lost 20+ pounds and I could afford to lose some more. I am going to try a ham & noodle casserole tonite for dinner. It seems that the pasta cooked well gives me the least problems. I am ever mindful of making sure that all food is smushed completely.
I would do this all over again for the results I have received. No heartburn, no reflux, I haven't taken a Nexium since the morning of my surgery and I was on 2 a day before. I sleep on my back and have no reflux, and I haven't jumped up to go throw up since the nite before my surgery.. I am one happy Lady...
Sandi

kyheart
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2011
Total Posts : 515
   Posted 5/12/2011 6:49 PM (GMT -6)   
Well all, I guess I should have waited or cut back on the amazing recount of my recovery.. I have had a real set back the last several days, it doesn't matter what I eat it goes straight through me, I have a bloated feeling and I am very tired. I almost feel as though I have caught the flu it is so bad. I have no fever though. I have no reflux or fullness in my chest so I am not too worried that the wrap has been damaged or that the hernia is back... I am just wondering what is going on.. I went back to liquid for breakfast and lunch today and as soon as I ate, it went right through. Dinner was a very small portion of mild pasta, 2 hours ago and no adverse reaction yet... i am 6 weeks post surgery tomorrow, has this happened to anyone else?? I would appreciate any ideas on the subject.
Thanks
Sandi

dencha
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7188
   Posted 5/12/2011 7:26 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Sandi,
When you say "it goes right through me", do you mean that you get lots of growling and gurgling sounds right after you eat and you can tell that the food is getting into your intestine too quickly?

If so, that's "dumping syndrome", and it can happen occasionally when you've had the surgery. If you didn't get it right away, it's a pretty good sign that it isn't going to be a huge problem. Your wrap is still very irritated, and certain foods will trigger it.

I have not had it very often, but it is definitely streaky. I can usually expect it when I eat something that irritates my wrap. I can tell right away, because it creates lots of gurgling in my stomach/abdomen, and I have very loose stools afterwards. I'm two years out, and I still get it every once in a while. Sometimes it's out of the blue, and other times I can tell exactly what I ate that caused it.

You're in the early stages of healing, and no doubt you still have lots of irritation going on. I can't tell you how to stop it, but I can tell you that it happens to the best of us!

It sounds like you've got a good plan of attack. Just relax and let it happen...things will improve. It just takes a bit of time.
Take care,
Denise

dencha
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7188
   Posted 5/12/2011 7:30 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Sandi,
Here is a PDF document that discusses dumping syndrome and suggests a diet:

www.upmc.com/HealthAtoZ/patienteducation/Documents/DumpingSynDiet.pdf

Hope it helps!
Denise turn

kyheart
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2011
Total Posts : 515
   Posted 5/12/2011 8:26 PM (GMT -6)   
Denise
My goodness, even though I don't know you, I would like you to be my best friend... you make me feel so much better.
I do have some gurgling and growling, but more than anything I have a very overfull feeling and just uncomfortable feeling. I ate about 6-6:30 last nite and at 2am I was up with watery almost diarrhea. At lunch it was the same even though I only had liquid, it is now 3+ hours since dinner and I am experiencing growling and gurgling.. I will just be very careful with my food and go with the flow... I am so thankful I have you all to come to, I would feel very foolish calling the doctor every time I have a concern.. Thanks so much for the link I will research it.. I read on another thread that when you have the hiatal hernia repair and NF at the same time, the recovery is longer.. I guess I am just going to have to call on the Lord to give me patience because that is one thing I am short on. I expect everything to happen yesterday. I feel so much better since my surgery that I guess I expect every thing to be ready to roll since I feel so good. I must keep reminding myself that although the outside is healed, the inside is still pretty tore up...
Thanks again for your patience with my ramblings and for your answers that make me feel so much better..
Sandi
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