just had surgery 8-4-11

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New Member

Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 8/8/2011 9:26 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi everyone,
This is my first post and I just have a question about the hiatal hernia and nissan surgery.
I am four days post op and feeling great.  I am still doing the clear liquid diet of just broth, juices, and decaf tea and coffee.
I am tolerated them very well and want to go to the next level, but...
What will happen if I eat some pudding and it doesn't want to go down?  Will I just gag it up? Will it sit there and hurt?
So I guess I am asking what will happen if I eat the wrong food too early?
I really want to try some cream of wheat or oat meat that I could make real thin, but am scared of what will happen.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 5028
   Posted 8/8/2011 12:19 PM (GMT -6)   
If you eat something that doesn't go down - because of swelling - you could not only gag, but choke. Food that's too much or the wrong texture for your swollen esophagus and wrap can not only not go down, but it can get stuck or go down the wrong tube into the lungs.

It's best to follow your doctor's directions very carefully. While some doctors do allow eating more earlier, your doctor has prescribed what's best for your case and type and extent of surgery.

You only have a few more days on clear liquids, and then you can move on to the next phase of the diet. I would avoid anything gritty and irritating until the doc says to try it.

Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2011
Total Posts : 82
   Posted 8/8/2011 1:14 PM (GMT -6)   
That's probably a more extreme description of the food getting stuck problem. In my experience it's like getting hiccups. Instead of choking in your throat you're chocking by your wrap which can catch you off guard first time it happens. As long as you're sensible with it you shouldn't have any real trouble. When I decided to move onto mushier foods after a couple of weeks I made a veg curry which I more or less pureed.

I had a bit of difficultly with some of the bigger chunks leading to my first 'spasm' by the wrap. It doesn't hurt and a few sips of water will usually make it go but you'll get to know what you can tolerate day by day. Pudding at your stage shouldn't be too much effort and there's always ice cream (or my special diet ice cream as I told my wife)!

In a matter of weeks you'll be eating more or less normally. Take your time and relish the little accomplishments along the way. Mine were the first piece of buttered toast, the first piece of solid chicken, the first slice of pizza and eventually my first proper burger. I'm currently 4 and a bit months in and perfectly fine now apart from not burping anywhere near as good as I used to and being a bit gassy. But that'll pass.

Take care!

New Member

Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 8/8/2011 1:41 PM (GMT -6)   
Thank you both,
That is what I needed to know.
At this point I have been wondering if I will ever be able to eat normal again.
I wish I had more patience.  I understand the go slow, I just didn't know how my body would respond if it didn't.
I had also read that some people COULDN'T burp, but i do.  It's just a funny sort of burp.
Thanks again

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7188
   Posted 8/8/2011 3:55 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi rebic,

Welcome to the yeah yeah yeahWrapped Club yeah yeah yeah at Healing well!

My experience falls more in line with Gritty's. The thing that's more likely to get stuck would be pills. Keep in mind that every surgeon has different recommendations for eating, as Alcie said. However, that said, I don't see why some pretty soft/loose cream of wheat or pudding would be a problem.

My surgeon put me on liquids the day I was in the hospital, then soft foods as soon as I went home. That means starting at Day 2 I could eat things like Cream of Wheat and pudding. In fact, I did eat egg custard right away.

You will need to take tiny bites and chew chew chew in the beginning, and for quite a while while you recover.

The one thing you need to keep in mind is that your wrap will become increasingly more swollen over the first two weeks. Don't be at all surprised if you have more trouble swallowing as time goes on. After the two week mark the swelling begins to go down, then you're on your way.

I was on "anything that could be chewed to a liquid" from Day 6 on. I was very careful, and if anything didn't chew completely I deposited it in a napkin. I didn't have any trouble with that protocol.

In the early weeks you'll want to avoid untoasted bread, as it gets clumpy and can never really chew to a liquid. Also I was told to avoid steak, as it doesn't chew completely.

Before I had my surgery, experienced members here said that when I swallowed something that got stuck in my wrap it would be kind of like a hairball, and I might end up coughing it up. I never had that experience. Instead I followed the advice of another member and stayed relaxed, drinking water (never iced, it can cause spasms) or tea, and whatever it was went through just fine. I did get some spasms as described by Gritty.

I also was able to burp right away. Actually, I don't think I burped as much as my stomach burped. That will help you a lot, as it will avoid bloating issues. Hearing that, I would guess your wrap is fairly loose, which makes it less likely you'll have problems with something like pudding or cream of wheat.

Just remember...eat very slowly with tiny bites and chew chew chew.

You will be able to eat normally again, although I do understand you wondering. I remember thinking I'd never be able to eat another bagel, and an acquaintance told me that she ate bagels, and she was a Nissen patient two years prior.

I was pretty much eating normally at four months. You'll always have to be a little more careful with chewing your food, since your wrap is kind of a cobbled-up LES, and it doesn't work exactly like the original. But hey! The original didn't work at all, or we wouldn't be having this discussion!

Patience. If you can surrender to your recovery and follow where it leads you, it will be easier to tolerate. People who fight their recovery and want to rush it have the most frustrating time at all.

Remember...ALWAYS...eat slowly, and chew, chew, chew, chew, chew. If you can remember that you will do just fine.

Good luck, and glad you've joined us!

Elite Member

Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 14475
   Posted 8/8/2011 4:29 PM (GMT -6)   
I could eat pudding very easily during the first days. I was able to eat very watery grits around day 12.

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2011
Total Posts : 95
   Posted 8/14/2011 7:46 PM (GMT -6)   
I had pudding around the 2nd or 3rd week. I used it to take vicodin that I had crushed to a powder. It got "stuck" the 1st time. It just felt as though I still had to swallow and I could taste it as though I hadn't quite swallowed all of it. I kept swallowing and taking small sips of water and the feeling went away after 15 minutes or so. I really felt the "stuck" feeling when I first swallowed a pill whole. It was at the end of the 4th week. I did it without thinking and immediately thought, "What do I do now?!" It felt as though it was right below the point of the gag reflex. I tried sipping water and forcing it down with some yogurt. Every time I thought I might gag and possibly vomit, I would swallow. It was a very long hour or more before the gag reflex calmed down. I took my time introducing solids and used a baby spoon to eat with for a long time. I gladly accept the occasional discomfort after suffering for way too many years.

Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2011
Total Posts : 30
   Posted 8/16/2011 4:49 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi rebric,
I had my wrap and hernia fixed on 8/8 and just hit the one week mark. I do well with pudding, but take small bites. I notice if I overdo it with too big of bites/sips of anything, I get a shooting pain up into my left shoulder. I have found that taking mashed potatoes and adding chicken broth to make a very soupy potato drink is fulfilling and for a sweet treat I usually make smoothies to a very liquid consistency by adding coconut water or vanilla almond milk.
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