Sliding Hernia surgery coming

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anxietyplus
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2011
Total Posts : 19
   Posted 7/21/2011 10:26 PM (GMT -6)   
I have a very large sliding esophageal hernia and after being to 3 doctors , they all say i must get this fixed. my symptoms are not being able to eat a meal all the way without first going to lay down on my left side so i can burp a few times then i can go back to eat. The food would feel like it was all up in my throat. I also have pain in my stomach a lot. they say there is twisting of the stomach also.  I have been studying some of they threads here and have seen discussions on the Nissen procedure and the Hill repair. 
 
 i see lots of aconyms that i dont understand.  Next week i have an appt with a surgeon, whom i am not sure has done very many of these repairs. I also have an appt with a surgeon that it is a subspecialty with him on the 4th of August.  I am an asthmatic, and also am taking 2 Omeprazole a day which has helped quite a bit but not completely and still have the pain issues and somtimes having the issues as before the pill.
 
 I am terrified of surgery and here so many awful things about this surgery so would like some feedback as to which course to take and which procedure is bettter.-
 
Thanks for any help.
 
alleycat

opnwhl4
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 4961
   Posted 7/22/2011 1:47 AM (GMT -6)   
Alleycat-
You want to have a surgeon with a lot of successful experience. I've had the surgery twice because my first surgeon did it wrong. remember those who are satisfied with their surgery probably don't spread it around the net, well at least not a big percentage anyway. if you have any specific questions fire away, might be an easier way for us to get you the info you need. Please feel free to email me anything also. My email is on my profile.
There is a lot if basic info about who have do the surgery and I'd love to start listing them, but I'm stuck in the hospital and just got some additional pain meds and think I'm gonna take a nap.

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

anxietyplus
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2011
Total Posts : 19
   Posted 7/22/2011 6:41 AM (GMT -6)   
How do you find out about how many surgeries of this type the doctor has done?
Which procedure did you have done?
Did you stay in the hospital a few days?
how was recovery?

So many questions. Hope you are doing okay? why are you in the hospital?
alleycat

somedaysarediamonds
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2011
Total Posts : 363
   Posted 7/22/2011 8:36 AM (GMT -6)   
Good morning Alleycat,

I'm new here too and am waiting for a Nissen wrap surgery hopefully next week. I also have a hiatal hernia but it seems to be the regular kind.

I think everyone in pain and an acid state who shows up at this place is probably about in the same shape both physically an/or emotionally because we're all closer to the end of our proverbial rope than we've ever been.

I've had acid reflux pretty much all of my life but have gone along "adjusting my life" to living with it rather than really getting to the bottom of what was causing it.

Of course many years ago not many doctors were trained in Nissen and I'd never heard of it at all until my current GI doc mentioned it a few weeks ago.

I've just lived my life thinking I had to continue on as usual until the last couple of years when GERD started to get worse without ever getting better.

I'm glad to hear medication is still helping you. I don't know whether just hernia repair would fix your problems or not along with continuing the meds you take.

I only know you'll know just as so many people I've met here and in my personal life as well knew when they reached a point they couldn't continue living the way they had been living.

My decision to have the surgery came when I could no longer eat, sleep, exercise, travel or just enjoy life in general. I became a captive of my recliner and a slave to Pepto Bismol and Mylanta because 80 mg of Nexium at a time or any other med for that matter wouldn't touch my symptoms.

There are people here who have had the wrap and it was quite successful. Things can and do go wrong but not as often as posts from other forums might lead you to think. This is the only forum where the posts haven't scared me to death.

If you want information about Nissen there are a lot of good people here to to talk to about it and I guess I and several more folks posting on this board will know more about it in a short while after our surgeries are done.

Take care and hang in there.
Carpe Diem - Seize the Day!

If you would ask me what I came into this world to do, I would tell you I came to live out loud. - Emile Zola

opnwhl4
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 4961
   Posted 7/22/2011 12:13 PM (GMT -6)   
Alleycat-
I stayed 3 days after both my 360degree nissens. I had the highest reading on what ever scale the GI docs use that mine had ever seen and so they recommended the surgery. I didn't check my surgeon out the first time and it was done wrong, so I had a redo 3 years later. The best way I can think of to find out about a surgeon is to ask the nurses. They are a huge knowledge base. If they would let the surgeon perform the surgery on them or say their children you are probably in business. I asked my second surgeon how many and what his success rate and redo rate was. H was more than happy to provide me the answers. Even directed me to some papers he has written about the Nissen. A good one won't be affraid to provide you with proof.
I am back in the hospital because the repair to my esophagus that was torn 2/28/11 during an upper scope has failed. They are figuring out what the best course of action to do now. Won't know what is the options for sure until Mondays manometry. So I'm stuck here NPO with TPN for nutrients so it can rest some after all the other tests they did.

Recovery wise, expect to have difficulty eating for a while due to swelling. Not everyone has this issue, but the majority seem to. You can ask us about anything that comes up and we will be happy to help. Feel free to email me if you have a long list of questions. My email is on my profile.
I'd have it done again without hesitation if this one wears out.

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

anxietyplus
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2011
Total Posts : 19
   Posted 7/22/2011 12:39 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks so much for all the encouragement.  I think I will ask more with the coming appts.  I actually was scheduled to have it done on the 18th but i got scared and cancelled. my surgeon had not discussed what procedures etc that he was going to do.  He said he would have another doctor assist, (a thorasic specialist) and it would take 4 hours approx. that was all i knew. Well it sounded so major. Then i read a lot of negatives so I just felt like i had to slow down the dicision and check out more doctors. My hemotologist recommned the one doctor and so i feel pretty good about him but really wont know till I go for the appt.
 
With my hernia for a while after eating just a small amount i would become in such severe pain, i broke out in a sweat, felt weak like i was going to faint.  The only relieve i had was to just force myself to throw up and emty my stomach.  I thought at the time i was going to die from it. once i went to the emergency room and they did a ct scan and said a large hernia. That was almost 3 years ago.  I look forward to less problems with my stomach.  hopefully surgery is the end and not beginning of more problems.
 
alleycat 
 
 

somedaysarediamonds
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2011
Total Posts : 363
   Posted 7/22/2011 12:48 PM (GMT -6)   
After what I've been through with my third esophageal stricture repair and my LES finally blowing completely out, I'm ready for whatever might come with the surgery. I'm miserable all the time.

I just wish I'd had it done yesterday instead having to wait. I was at the hospital with a friend who had knee surgery and I was envious. Sounds silly but I was. I just want it over with and to be able to feel as if some kind of progress might be made. It's not right to be afraid to eat, sleep, exercise, breathe deeply etc. Just not right.

Nothing could compare to the emotional and physical toll that bad GERD causes.

Wishing you well.
Carpe Diem - Seize the Day!

couchtater
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 14475
   Posted 7/22/2011 2:31 PM (GMT -6)   
My surgery was less complicated than yours, but my surgery was only one hour long.
I stayed in the hospital for 24 hrs.
My worst pain lasted for four days (the type that needed hydrocodiene) by day five the pain was very tolerable and I didn't need any more pain medicine.
There is a strict diet to follow during recovery. Some people complain this is the hardest part. :)
You'll be on liquids for about 2 weeks during the swelling phase. Then pureed/soft foods and moving on slowly to firmer foods.

This was my first surgery so I was scared too, but I wanted to feel better so I took on the "if I want to feel better then I must buck up and do it" motto. It worked.
Joy

somedaysarediamonds
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2011
Total Posts : 363
   Posted 7/22/2011 4:01 PM (GMT -6)   
This is to everyone -

I'm still never sure who is speaking to whom so it's still a bit confusing here to me. In case anything said above was intended for my ears I'm going to reply.

I'm sure the moderators and longtime posters get weary at times answering the same questions over and over but the help and encouragement is really appreciated. This is the only forum I even considered signing onto because most folks here seem lucid and sane - not rambling or out of their gourd. Just kidding but some of the other forums are a little strange and the members seem a bit out of control.

I just wanted to come here to feel a little less afraid and a bit more as if I'm not the only one. It's so easy to feel that way. That's the one thing I learned fairly quickly both from this forum and the few "real" people I've met who have had the surgery or are going to have it.

As far as what couchtater said above in the last sentence posted, I couldn't agree more. That's been my attitude since my GI explained the procedure to me. Plus I am in so much constant pain I'm not sure the surgery and recovery would necessarily be all that much worse. And if it is, then I'll deal with it. I won't go on this way.

Thanks for listening!
Carpe Diem - Seize the Day!

opnwhl4
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 4961
   Posted 7/22/2011 6:04 PM (GMT -6)   
I too had enough of the constant pain when I had my initial nissen. you are right , the recovery pain is well worth getting rid of the horrible every day pain.

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

couchtater
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 14475
   Posted 7/22/2011 6:08 PM (GMT -6)   
It does get a little confusing following a thread. :O
That's why it's easier to start your own thread when you have a question. :)

I like your motto-Carpe Diem!
Mine is "Doctor, Doctor have mercy on me..." by Ray Stevens (ROLF)
Joy

somedaysarediamonds
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2011
Total Posts : 363
   Posted 7/22/2011 6:18 PM (GMT -6)   
I started a thread when I signed up. Just been following and posting to others that interest me since then.

I retired from my newspaper career about a month ago and Carpe Diem was my byline. I just deleted it before this post. It made me too sad to read it because I stopped writing due to my tummy troubles.

Argh!
We're not in Kansas anymore. - Dorothy

dencha
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7188
   Posted 7/22/2011 9:29 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Alley Cat,

Welcome to Healing Well! It sounds like you're definitely in the right place, and that surgery is in your future. I don't think there's a member of this forum who hasn't been where you are--fearful of going forward with this surgery. It's a very natural feeling. There are many scary posts on the internet...I saw every one of them, and they kept me from going forward with the surgery for four long years. Finally, I got so bad that I no longer felt I had a choice, and had a Nissen Fundoplication in February 2009. I just wish I'd done it years sooner.

If you see any acronyms that confuse you (HH, LES, EDG, etc.) just ask what they are. I've been around here for over 2 years, and sometimes I get confused with them, too!

As Bill so wisely advised, be sure that you research your surgeon thoroughly. It would be better to travel to a center for the surgery than have an inexperienced (in this particular procedure) surgeon do it. If there is one thing you get from the people of this forum, it's to be sure your surgeon has had lots and lots of experience and success with this procedure. The rule of thumb is that he/she should have done 300+ in a smaller city, and 1000+ in a large city. Call the GI docs, ask anybody you know who's in the medical field, have your primary care doc call around for you, and all of the above.

Best wishes for finding the best possible surgeon. So glad you've joined our forum!
Take care,
Denise

anxietyplus
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2011
Total Posts : 19
   Posted 7/22/2011 10:18 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks so much guys, I am still afraid but going forward with more information in hand to and that makes me feel more secure. I live in a city with county population of about 450,000 so maybe the 300 plus . I will call my primary care doctor Monday and ask for suggestions on physicians. and i will directly ask at the office as to how many of this type surgery. So much to think about. I am a bit intimidated about outright asking the doctor himself. :-(
Alleycat.

opnwhl4
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 4961
   Posted 7/23/2011 1:49 AM (GMT -6)   
alleycat-
Forgot to mention that gastric bypass surgeons are sometimes very good at this surgery too. I know a few good surgeons in my area now that are good at the nissen and one is a thoracic surgeon, a GI surgeon, a general surgeon, and the last is a general surgeon who now manly does gastric bypass and nissens.

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

somedaysarediamonds
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2011
Total Posts : 363
   Posted 7/23/2011 7:46 AM (GMT -6)   
Geeze. Now I'm more afraid than ever and you weren't even replying to me. Tulsa's population is slightly less than 400,000 but it lays claim to some of the leading physicians and surgeons in the state.

I'm not really sure how population density relates to the qualifications of a surgeon. I'd never have known one of the finest gynecological surgeons to ever practice medicine if I'd gone by the standards in one of the above posts. He saved the lives of so many women they had to have his funeral at the convention center.

I get more confused all the time and I can't wait to get this procedure over with. I woke up throwing up acid this morning.

No need to respond. I'll just have my morning panic attack and then I'll be okay. :(

opnwhl4
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 4961
   Posted 7/23/2011 12:58 PM (GMT -6)   
HB-
I'm sure there are surgeons there who are well qualified to do the surgery. I'm in a small farm community and had to go to Chicago for my redo. When they tore my esophagus I had to go 1.5 hrs away to have it fixed and now that I am having issues with the tear again I am once again 1.5hrs away the opposite direction of the hospital where it was originally repaired.
A population of 400,000 is unreal to me. When the two towns combined where I live we got to 5,000 people, but that includes all the farms also. There has to be some good ones in that area.

Sorry to hear you have to vomit that nasty stuff up. Hope you can get it fixed soon.

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

somedaysarediamonds
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2011
Total Posts : 363
   Posted 7/23/2011 1:21 PM (GMT -6)   
I'm about 40 minutes from Tulsa on a good traffic day. The small town I live in is still fairly large and a medical hub for the NE area of the state. We have a fantastic medical facility and a brand new huge cancer center being built with all the docs having been in place for years.

I've had three other surgeries here locally including ENT done less than a year ago. I know these surgeries were not NF but I do know three people now personally who have had the procedure done here in my town and they did very well.

So I guess when someone refers to a small town perhaps we need to qualify it. The surgeon I'm talking to was trained at the University of Kansas, practiced for 14 years in Topeka before the hospital in my town recruited him here and he's been here 3 years.

As I said, I do know several people personally he's done other gastric/colon procedures on and he literally saved their lives.

When it comes down to the nitty-gritty I guess we all have to do our research and use our best judgment.

I wish everyone well today with their tummy troubles (sounds so much prettier than acid reflux) and hope all of us can find some rest and relief.
We're not in Kansas anymore. - Dorothy

aeshleyrose
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2011
Total Posts : 656
   Posted 7/23/2011 4:12 PM (GMT -6)   
OP - those questions you HAVE to ask your doctor. I know that it's hard because they're so important and they always seem to be in a hurry, but it is HIS JOB to tell you what he will be doing to your body. Don't go in confused. Read here, read anywhere, but the best source of information is from YOUR DOCTOR.

Please, don't be afraid to ask! If he's making you feel rushed, that is his fault, not yours. Someone making changes to your body should have to sit with you for an hour if you need it.

Best of luck!

Alcie
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 5028
   Posted 7/23/2011 4:41 PM (GMT -6)   
My Toupet (partial Nissen) was done by a thoracic surgeon in a big university center. He's done many, many thousands, and my GI doc said he has the best outcomes in the area - which was the bottom line for me.

I'm not sure if they even do Hill Repairs here anymore. The doc and his resident staff do mostly forms of Nissen, although they were in the forefront of a lot of the other types as they were invented. Nissens here run in the 90%+ range of successes and they do a lot of cancer ops.

My op was for a giant paraesophageal hernia - why I wanted the best surgeon available. These can twist and then you have to be operated within 90 minutes. I'm an hour's drive from the center.

Here the ops are done by thoracic surgeons (usually called cardiothoracic surgeons although they don't have anything to do with hearts). A good bit of the operation is in the chest, because a critical part is cutting loose and pulling doen the esophagus so it won't reherniate. I wouldn't want anyone with any less training!
Alcie
 
 

anxietyplus
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2011
Total Posts : 19
   Posted 8/4/2011 9:54 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Again guys, 
 
Well I have had a very stressful time getting other opions from other surgeons.  it is not so easy to assess a surgeons expertise but after talking to 2 different ones I was still in a delima when I went for a followup with my Hemotologist and lo and behold he was kind enough to suggest a doctor who had done many of these repairs , in fact he is head of a hernia center at a large hospital here.  I was amazed that he shared this info with me. In fact this doctor did surgery on my doctors mother. That is a high recommendation. I saw him today and after only 15 min I knew he would be the one.  I had a list of questions but never had to ask them as he answered them before I could ask.  I am set to have my surgery the 26th of this month so I will be keeping in touch. especially afterwards.  I found out that about 1/3 of my stomach is staying up in my chest cavety. He said it was for sure a paraesophageal hernia .  Well I guess that is all for tonight.  I think I might actually sleep tonight.
 
Alleycat

couchtater
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 14475
   Posted 8/5/2011 7:15 PM (GMT -6)   
Allycat,
I'm glad you've found a good surgeon. I pray you have a quick recovery.
Joy

anxietyplus
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2011
Total Posts : 19
   Posted 8/6/2011 8:32 AM (GMT -6)   
Thanks Joy, I wish I didnt have to wait so long to have it. The 26th seems so far out. I guess I am a worrier. I will now start reading the follow up section of those who have had it so I am prepared for the after. The unknown is always so much worse. i am good if I know what I will feel after.

alleycat

couchtater
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 14475
   Posted 8/6/2011 10:35 AM (GMT -6)   
Same here. The unknown always worries me more. I like information on everything.
Joy
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