Having the Nissen Fundoplication this Thursday!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Part 1 of 2

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Dave234
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2011
Total Posts : 338
   Posted 11/14/2011 5:11 PM (GMT -6)   
Somebody please give me reassurance.  I'm kind of freaking out a little.  Also I'm starting to feel like I might be coming down with something.  I'm going to get some good sleep tonight so I can feel better.  I do feel like it's because I'm so nervous about the surgery.  I really want to get it done. 
 
My doctor is supposed to be very, very good (DC/Northern VA area). 
 
But what if I'm feeling a little under the weather?  Should I postpone the surgery?
 
AAAAHHH!!!! I'm so nervous!!!!!
 

Post Edited By Moderator (stkitt) : 12/23/2011 12:21:54 PM (GMT-7)


opnwhl4
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 4961
   Posted 11/14/2011 5:27 PM (GMT -6)   
Dave-

Welcome to Healing well. I would definitely let your surgeon know how you are feeling and see what he thinks.

I have had 3 nissens since June of '06. The surgery itself was no problem for me, but remember the recovery can be slow the first several weeks. If you remain patient and stick to your doctor's diet suggestion all should go well. If you can think of any specific questions please ask away.

Take care,
Bill
opnwhl4
Moderator: GERD/Heartburn
Nissen 6/06 and 5/09
#3 on 8/24/11

Dave234
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2011
Total Posts : 338
   Posted 11/15/2011 6:23 AM (GMT -6)   
Is there a checklist of things I should have on hand for after the surgery?

opnwhl4
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 4961
   Posted 11/15/2011 7:08 AM (GMT -6)   
Dave-

That really depends on what kind of diet your surgeon recommends. A couple things for sure are to avoid bread that isn't toasted and solid meats like beef for several weeks. They tend to get stuck at the wrap. Plan on soft foods and liquids for a few weeks. Especially during the first couple weeks while the wrap still swells. Some people use a blender to make foods easier to get past the wrap. Also warm drinks such as tea seem to help loosen the swollen wrap when you eat.
If something does happen to get hung up, don't panic. Try to relax and drink something to push it through the wrap. If it just won't go, you can bring it back up kinda similar to a cat with a hairball. Gross I know, bu that's the best way to describe it. It's not vomiting it's just reversing the esophagus muscles.

You can experience some feeling of reflux early on and is quite normal. It takes quite some time before the esophagus heals. even then a normal amount of acid can feel like bad heartburn as the esophagus heals. Avoid using straws as they introduce air into your stomach and you may or may not be able to burp it up.

Also remember even though the incisions heal quickly the inside under goes a major change and takes months to fully heal. also ask for anti nausea meds for at home. Most cannot vomit after a nissen and you don;t want to deal with dry heaves. I know this all too well.
I ate malto meal and oat meal early on along with pudding and jello. Gradually added some cold cereals and other soft foods.

Take care,
Bill
opnwhl4
Moderator: GERD/Heartburn
Nissen 6/06 and 5/09
#3 on 8/24/11

Dave234
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2011
Total Posts : 338
   Posted 11/15/2011 2:23 PM (GMT -6)   
I think I'm all ready to rock!!!! Doc put me on liquid levaquin (antibiotic) to knock out a mild pharyngitis. Without a fever, my surgeon says I'm good to go.

I cannot wait to do this thing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I took some liquid mucinex and an old lorazepam (from a previous surgery - septoplasty - from last year) to calm me down.

I've gone to the store to get liquid versions of pretty much anything I could think of. Milk of Magnesia, liquid Colace, liquid kaopectate (not sure which way I'll be going - diarrhea or constipation), liquid Mucinex, liquid Maalox, those Gas-X strips (only seem to come in mint, which I imagine shouldn't be a problem for me anymore), and dissolvable Beano.

CAn anyone suggest anything else? AM I READY TO ROCK???!!!!!!!!!
 
Edit (from the future - 8 days post op):  Liquid Colace, Milk of Magnesia, liquid kaopectate, and liquid Maalox were all unnecessary, a complete waste of money.  Actually the liquid Colace burned when I tried to drink like 2 teaspoons of it that first day back home, and the teaspoon of liquid Maalox gave me horrible stomach pain (I guess those were esophageal spasms?  Felt like intense stomach pain.  I guess that's what esophageal spasms are?)  You may not be able to move your Bowels for the first week, but with how little you will consume, I seriously doubt you'll even notice.  I know I didn't.  And I'm definitely someone who usually notices, if I can't go for even one day.
 
Also, Baby (liquid) Tylenol (grape flavored) really helped me.  Not the adult kind (which has burning Alcohol).  The baby tylenol is nice and smooth, and does not hurt (unless you are already full and you take a full dosage which is like the tiny capful of it).

Post Edited (Dave234) : 11/25/2011 11:21:39 PM (GMT-7)


babygirl10150
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 639
   Posted 11/15/2011 7:13 PM (GMT -6)   
As far as meds go, it looks like a good list. What about liquid Tylenol? I took that instead of the strong pain meds. I'd get some broth, jello, pudding, Ensure, anything liquid to 'eat' after surgery. Some docs recommend a liquid diet, some don't. I was on soft foods when I left the hospital. Don't rush recovery, listen to your drs limitations and you will be golden. Good luck!!!
Michelle

~Diagnosed with POTS 10/11~
~Nissen redo #3 coming soon~
~Nissen redo again 12/13/10~
~Nissen redo 05/10/10~
~Nissen 12/14/09~
~Colostomy 07/30/06~

dencha
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7180
   Posted 11/15/2011 7:36 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Dave,
Welcome to Healing Well!  We'll soon be welcoming you to our Wrapped Club!  I'm glad that Michelle mentioned liquid Tylenol or Motrin.  You won't want to use the narcotic pain meds for long.  If you're anything like me, narcotic pain meds will make you feel lousy.  As soon as you can handle it you'll want to switch to OTC pain meds.  You might want to save the narcotic version for bedtime, when aches and pains seem to increase.
 
I was on liquids in the hospital, and soft foods at home, until I saw the surgeon again on Day 6.  I had made lots of broth, squash, applesauce, etc. and bought Carnation Instant Breakfast, because I expected I'd be eating like that for some time.  My surgeon is of the opinion that patients can manage eating properly, and trusts their good judgement.  I was told I could eat anything that could be chewed to a liquid, with opened up a world of eating possibilities.  I never had a single glass of Instant Breakfast!
 
As Bill said, your wrap will become increasingly swollen as you move toward the two week post-op mark.  This is natural.  Your swallowing will get worse before it gets better.  In the first couple of weeks you'll find swallowing a bit of a chore.  It improves, though.  You'll also likely feel very full after only a very small amount of food.  This is because your stomach interprets the swelling as fullness.
 
I don't know if you've read my post-Nissen journal, but if not, it might be helpful.  It'll show one person's experience in the first 19 days of recovery.  Just disregard the references to coughing.  That was unique to my own recovery, and my lung condition was the reason I had the surgery.  Here's the link:
 
Again, good luck with your surgery!
We'll all be awaiting your return to hear how it's going!
Best wishes!
Denise

Dave234
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2011
Total Posts : 338
   Posted 11/16/2011 6:14 AM (GMT -6)   
Denise, yes, I've actually already read that. It was kind of my intro to this forum, and the reason I continued reading in it. As far as I'm concerned, you are like a superstar of this forum!

I also would cough a lot (not as bad as you, but it would be frequent, and very annoying, a wheezing cough that one would expect from an 85 year old smoker in bad health, not from a very healthy, non-smoking 33 year old; that was one of the reasons my GI doc (Northern VA/DC area) recommended I contact a surgeon, even though he told me he is against the surgery. I figured (as did my primary care doc), that if my GI doc recommends me a certain doctor for the surgery, then that surgeon must be very good.

He recommended me my surgeon, who does about 100 of these surgeries a year, and has been doing them for many years (10, I believe?).

He says he fixes other surgeons' mistakes. I specifically asked him if they cut the vagus nerve and he had told me that they take extra care to move the nerve out of the way.

Post Edited (Dave234) : 11/24/2011 9:58:21 AM (GMT-7)


Dave234
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2011
Total Posts : 338
   Posted 11/16/2011 6:17 AM (GMT -6)   
By the way, thanks for the advice on the liquid tylenol. I'll see if my beautiful, awesome wife can pick it up. She says she wants to sleep in the hospital with me that night. She is adorable.

Dave234
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2011
Total Posts : 338
   Posted 11/16/2011 6:29 AM (GMT -6)   
Pill-swallowing after the surgery -- easy or hard?

soliver38
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 140
   Posted 11/16/2011 6:50 AM (GMT -6)   
everything will be hard post op....you should wait to the next day to swallow pills normaly

Dave234
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2011
Total Posts : 338
   Posted 11/16/2011 6:57 AM (GMT -6)   
soliver38, quick question -- had you ever posted on any other boards? IMDB board, for example?

stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 11/16/2011 8:31 AM (GMT -6)   
Dave,
 
Hello and welcome to HealingWell and also soon to be our newest member of the wrapped club.  You sound like you are truly ready to Rock so I am here to wish you the very best tommorow - your big day !
 
Sending you off with lots of good vibes and prayers for all to go well.
 
Kindly,
 
Kitt
~~Kitt~~
Moderator: Anxiety, Osteoarthritis,
GERD/Heartburn and Heart/Cardiovascular Disease.

www.healingwell.com

"only as high as I reach can I grow, only as far as I seek can I go, only as deep as I look can I see, only as much as I dream can I be"

Alcie
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 4978
   Posted 11/16/2011 8:49 AM (GMT -6)   
Don't try to swallow pills until you are told by doc. Crush them! I use 2 spoons or a spoon in a bowl. You can buy a pill crusher at any pharmacy.

Doc should prescribe liquid pain and constipation meds when you go home.

Don't let them send you home too quickly. This is major surgery, not like your septoplasty.
Alcie
 
 

t331
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 50
   Posted 11/16/2011 9:48 AM (GMT -6)   
I was I had got this forum before my surgery. Three weeks 1 day post Nissen. No reflux. Surgery was not bad. I stayed in the hosipital 3 days. I really did not get too much direction when I left the hosiptal. I was presecribed a huge pill for pain. Really didn't make any sense since I just got off a liquid diet. I was told that I could eat processed meat, well cooked casseroles, veggies, etc. immediately after being released. That did not work out too well. It kept getting hung up. Just like everybody else has said take baby steps and the only time I experienced any pain was when I ate too much. I only took one pain pill so far. I eat a cup or so of something soft every two or three hours with verry litttle to drink. In between meals is when I drink. I also walk after meals it seems to help me with the bloating feeling I have been having. Thanks, Tim

dencha
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7180
   Posted 11/16/2011 10:21 AM (GMT -6)   
Welcome, Tim!
I wish you'd joined us sooner, too!  Now you'll be a member of our yeah yeah yeah Wrapped Club! yeah yeah yeah I amazes me every day when I read posts that express how badly prepared people have been for what to expect and how to handle recovery from a Nissen surgery.  I suspect that part of it is that these surgeons have never experienced recovery first hand, and really don't deal with these issues much, other than a phone call here or there.
 
I agree with you regarding the HUGE pain meds they give us.  I tried everything I could to get the doc to prescribe an elixer.  As you said, how does it make sense to have us taking a huge pill when we aren't supposed to be eating solid food?  When you figure that one out let me know.
 
I crushed mine and put it in applesauce.  Actually, my wrap is tight enough to make taking large pills difficult still--nearly 3 years later.  I take liquid calcium (those are humongus), and whenever I can, I take a smaller version of whatever it is that a doc wants me to take.
 
David,  your best bet is to crush or cut pills into smaller pieces, or get your docs to prescribe smaller versions of whatever you need.
 
Tim, you are still at a very early stage of recovery, and need to take foods slow.  My surgeon turned me loose to eat anything around Day 5 (no steak or bread--don't try sandwiches), but told me to be sure to chew anything I eat to a liquid.  If something didn't chew to a liquid, I just passed on it.  (Paper napkins are handy for depositing things that don't work.)
 
If you take very small bites and chew, chew, chew, you'll do just fine.  Stay away from ice-cold water...at this stage, room temp is better.  Stay away from carbonated beverages...if you're a soda pop addict, leave it open and let it go flat first.  No straws...they add to the air in your stomach.
 
It's normal to be eating tiny meals at this point.  Your stomach is still swollen, and your brain interprets that as fullness.  Try to sip water all day.  You do need your liquids.  You don't have to overdo it, but it shouldn't hurt.  The walking is a great idea.  I did that, too...it helped get rid of my shoulder pain, too.
 
Glad you've joined us, Tim.  Why not start your own thread on the main page?  GERD - Heartburn Then it will be easier for others to find your posts and answer whatever questions that come up.
 
Dave, if I don't talk to you again before your surgery, good luck!  I'll be waiting to hear from you when you feel up to posting again!
 
Take care,
Denise

dencha
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7180
   Posted 11/16/2011 10:24 AM (GMT -6)   
PS, Dave...it sounds as if you've selected a great surgeon.  That's a key to success, so good job! yeah

t331
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 50
   Posted 11/16/2011 10:37 AM (GMT -6)   
Denise,

Thanks for the advice. I fell for the straw thing as well. It was easy to sip but I took in a lot of excess air which made me feel bloated. Funny, that is what they gave me in the hosipital. Tim

dencha
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7180
   Posted 11/16/2011 10:46 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Tim,
They gave me a straw in the hospital as well.  They also gave me a can of carbonated soda!  We have to be educated ourselves, since we don't get much help from the medical community in this regard! 
 
I found this diet online, but for the life of me, can't make it a live link.  Just copy and paste it into your browser.  It will give you some guidelines, and help you with your eating choices...
 
Happy Healing!
Denise

EllenC
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2011
Total Posts : 28
   Posted 11/16/2011 3:59 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello,
I had this surgery 3 weeks ago today. I was in the hospital for 3 days. Stay until you feel good enough to go home. Do not rush that. They gave me liquid Lortab. You might need that for a day or two but not much longer. Liquid Tynold should do the trick. I could only eat broth, mashed potatoes, jello and and liquid replacement meals. Do not drink any carbonated drinks at all for up to 8 weeks. After two weeks I ate a pc. of toast. It took about an hour but I got it down. Eat small, tiny bites and chew the heck out of it before you swallow and drink water behind it. I could only eat about 2 small spoons full in about 15 mins. before I got full. Now after 3 weeks I can eat the entire jar of pudding but it takes some time. I bought baby food but that stuff is terrible.
You will get sick of soft foods and I am still on them but slowly able to eat a little more. I am not rushing it. I have lost 15 lbs so far so that is a good thing if you need to get rid of that. Don't be scared if you hear some weird things coming from your stomach. After I eat mine sounds like tigers fighting. When you go to the bathroom you will be very loose from all the soft foods.
Hope this helps someone. I was very scared before my surgery but it went fine. Not a single reflux at all since my surgery. My first appointment is next week, so hopefully that will go well.

EllenC
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2011
Total Posts : 28
   Posted 11/16/2011 4:05 PM (GMT -6)   
The nurses tried to give me soft drinks and straws also. You would think they would know what to do for us. I had to argue with one nurse about me not drinking soft drinks. And we pay a lot for this kind of health care....

dencha
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7180
   Posted 11/16/2011 4:44 PM (GMT -6)   
Ellen...You've already shared most of the advice I gave in my response to your other post!  I should have read this first! Thanks for sharing your experience.  That's why this forum works so well!
You're a great addition to our group!
Denise

opnwhl4
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 4961
   Posted 11/16/2011 7:42 PM (GMT -6)   
Dave-

Good luck tomorrow. I didn't have any problems swallowing pills, but wasn't asked to try to until about the 3 day with my original op and my first redo. I was on IV meds for about 6 days with my last redo at the hospital. They kept me a week since it was an open procedure and with the prior surgeries I had a lot of scar tissue and adhesions to deal with. also had to go back to the OR 12 hours after my redo this last time. Thought I was bleeding internally, but it was just taking much longer for the anesthesia to wear off I guess.

will be thinking of you tomorrow

Take care,
Bill
opnwhl4
Moderator: GERD/Heartburn
Nissen 6/06 and 5/09
#3 on 8/24/11

Dave234
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2011
Total Posts : 338
   Posted 11/18/2011 10:30 AM (GMT -6)   
I just got back home from the surgery. Feelin' fine. Hey, do you know if burping is fine? I burp every so often. I know I shouldn't vomit because that can hurt the wrap. However, what if I burp? Not like big burps, just like a little air coming out.

Dave234
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2011
Total Posts : 338
   Posted 11/18/2011 11:15 AM (GMT -6)   
And I can hardly eat or drink anything. It really hurts my stomach to eat or drink anything. Will it get better? Ha, I already know it will. How were you all after the first day? Doctor gave me grits at the hospital. Ate a few spoonfuls before feeling very uncomfortable. Is this to be expected?
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