Failed Nissen Fundoplication?

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New Member

Date Joined Oct 2011
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 10/26/2011 7:40 PM (GMT -6)   
I had my surgery done on Sept. 29 so I'm right at the 4 week mark. From the beginning I was able to burp. Not the long deep belches that would sometimes come after too many suds but these small burps every time I swallow. That's improved over time and swallowing has gotten easier although if I eat too fast, food seems to get hung up until I wash it down. My surgeon had me stay on my PPI during my recovery and I've had the sensation of reflux occasionally, normally 2 hours after a meal and in the middle of the night.

This last weekend, I could tell it was getting easier to swallow. Unfortunately, my reflux symptoms seemed to get worse too up to the point where I had like a full blown reflux incident that woke me up last night.

This morning, my surgeon sends me back to my GI who wants me to do a barium swallow. Depending on the results he said he may do an endoscopy so he wants me to try and taper off my PPI. Yikes! He originally treated me for GERD and I could tell he was not too thrilled about my getting this surgery (my ENT originally referred me). Anyway, he said my Nissen had possibly slipped or was too loose and the swallow would give him a conclusive view. He said it's possible my reflux symptoms my be worse even with the surgery having been done more or less correctly. Arrrrrrgh!

I'm really bummed after going through the surgery and living on soup and soggy crackers for 4 weeks and I'm facing a possible redo already?

Has anyone out there experienced anything like this so early after the procedure?

Post Edited (gruzek) : 10/28/2011 10:47:21 AM (GMT-6)

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7188
   Posted 10/26/2011 9:38 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Gruzek,
First, welcome to Healing Well!  Glad you've joined us! 
You are now a member of our yeah yeah yeah Wrapped Club! yeah yeah yeah
Your surgery is far too recent to determine whether or not it has failed. 
It's very common to have some "reflux" symptoms during recovery.  I don't think there are many who get through recovery without experiencing them.  Some are simply pain that is unreleated to reflux...the esophagus is a "dumb organ" that interprets all pain as reflux.
Many have an experience similar to reflux that is actually food and liquid that has been held up at the wrap site.  A burp of air can send it up the esophagus and into the mouth.
Until the wrap swelling reduces completely, it can be irregular and not sit properly in place, thus allowing actual reflux.  This doesn't mean that your wrap was a failure.  I remember "reflux" pain that scared me, and made me worry that I'd had the surgery for nothing, and that I was one of those with a failed surgery.
I worried just like you...and many other members here have as well.  Staying on PPIs during recovery is a common practice and one I agree with. 
It takes 6 months for the majority of the healing to take place, and most of the remaining healing occurs by the year mark.  Four weeks is still in the very infancy of your recovery.  You've got a lot of healing ahead. 
Your GI doc is probably reacting to your description of a full-blown reflux attack.  If that is not what you had, then all bets are off.  If you get the barium swallow and all is well (that's what happened to me), then you will know that it is not a wrap failure. 
If you can be patient at that point, it's very likely that all these disturbing symptoms will begin to improve.
Be sure that you drink plenty of liquids after eating, to be sure that it all gets through your wrap.
When I asked my surgeon if I could be getting reflux in the early weeks, he said, "Pretty much anything is possible at this point..."If you are getting some real reflux it doesn't mean that you will continue to do so after your healing has had more time.
Hang in there!  Let us know what happens.
We're here for you...I'm sure others will be by soon to weigh in.
Again glad you've joined us!
Good luck,

New Member

Date Joined Oct 2011
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 10/26/2011 11:08 PM (GMT -6)   

I'm new here so not sure if I'm doing this right. Hi Gruzek, I just had my NF seven days ago and I have to say I hadn't done a lot of research before my operation, all I was told by the surgeon was that I would not be allowed to eat bread or steak again...

I was not told of any special diet I would be on after the op so I didn't know what to expect. I was surprised to find out I would be on liquids for so long as well as the slow process of getting back to normal eating. But to be honest, I really don't mind I was always complaining about what to cook up next anyhow and it's pretty much out of my hands at the moment.

The only problems I do find and not sure whether it's normal or just me being a girl is I get a lot of chest pain which travels to my neck, after I have had a drink, it really doesn't seem to matter how slow I drink it although I have noticed it seems worse when it's a little thicker than water. It may also not be straight away but when I get up 30 mins later (wind build up?) and on odd occassions just out of the blue I get like a hiccup which is quite uncomfortable.

I have also started with headaches which I have day and night not bad enough to make me use drugs but irritating...

I think a lot has been done to our insides and it will have all these weird things happening as it starts to heal and become normal again.... Sometimes we can go into a panic if our original expectations may have been a bit high.

I do hope that your issues settledown and after a given time sort themselves out by themselves.

All the best xx

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 4961
   Posted 10/26/2011 11:22 PM (GMT -6)   

Welcome to Healing Well and the "wrapped club".

First off, you can eat steak and bread again. I am 2 months out from having my 2nd redo and am eating anything I want to. I will recommend not eating SOFT bread and steak until you have healed more. Might try to add it slowly after 3 to 4 month mark. When you are up to adding foods go slowly. Also remember to take small bites and chew, chew, chew. The better you chew the easier it is to get it down.

I have no idea why your doctor told you no bread or steak again. Unless they do their wraps so tight nothing can get past it, but it shouldn't be that tight anyway.

The pain can be from swelling and the gas they use to inflate your belly for the surgery. It should calm down in another week or so. Also walking can help with that pain also.

Take care,
Moderator: GERD/Heartburn
Nissen 6/06 and 5/09
#3 on 8/24/11

New Member

Date Joined Oct 2011
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 10/26/2011 11:43 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Bill

Thanks for the advise, my surgeon told me that she does the wraps very tight because she believes that when they are not tight you can have problems after and then it may stretch and you are back to square one.

I have been doing a bit of walking but I may need to increase it.

Thanks for the welcome, I hope you are doing well with your healing, I have followed these threads for the last few days and I must say it has been very informative.

Take care as well :)


New Member

Date Joined Oct 2011
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 10/27/2011 8:21 AM (GMT -6)   
Thanks for the encouraging words Dencha. I agree that I should wait for the results for the barium swallow, but it's difficult not to worry. I know this is an operation where too tight or too loose can cause problems and I have a bad habit of hoping for the best and expecting the worst. It's nice to hear from those that have been through it and it helps me step back from the ledge.
I'll let you know what the results are after I get this upper GI done, hopefully soon.

New Member

Date Joined Oct 2011
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 10/28/2011 10:37 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Aleks,

I've been getting those inadvertent hiccups since I had my surgery too. They seem to have quieted down some. I also had the headaches the first week and I never have headaches. I suspect the anesthesia from the surgery might have had something to do with that but I don't know. I don't get them any more.

I had the barium swallow this morning and they gave me a barium pill which got hung up in my wrap. I actually couldn't feel it and I thought a pill not much bigger that my vitamin would make it by ok, but no go. So I expect to be on very soft foods for some time to come and I expect you will be too. I may have caused some of my own problems by trying to eat chicken noodle soup that hadn't been pureed. So I advise you to take moving to solid foods as slow as possible.

And I now appear to be getting hit with gas pains. That started a couple of days ago. Sigh.

Keep hanging in there!

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