New here - Scheduled for fundo on 12/12

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New Member

Date Joined Dec 2011
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 12/6/2011 4:33 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello everybody. I've been lurking around here for a couple of weeks and have found the information invaluable. It's giving me a much better idea of what to expect after my surgery. I love my surgeon, but they always downplay the recovery aspect of these things.

I'm 40 and I've been dealing with GERD for 10+ years (I can't really remember, I just know it's been at least that long). I've been on Prevacid then Prilosec and added Zantac back in early 2008. Currently on 40mg Prilosec in the morning and 150mg Zantac at night. The drugs certainly help, but I'm still hitting the Tums several times a day more days than not. I've had several EGDs and Barium swallows over the years that have shown various problems (some erosion in the esophagus, hiatal hernia back in 2008, biopsies all normal). I didn't know I had any other options so I just dealt with the GERD, paid the price when I ate something I shouldn't have and went on with life.

Back in August I missed a dose of Prilosec and got really sick, even missed some work. So back to the doctors who put me Dexilant (bad idea, made me hurt and didn't help) and my GI recommended I get the fundo. (He'd recommended it last year when my gall bladder had to go but the surgeon didn't think it was a great idea. My gall bladder needed to come out and he didn't want to wait for the other testing. I did have some improvement after the gall bladder surgery, so I didn't even think about the fundo after that.)

So here come the tests:
Barium swallow showed level 3 reflux and some dismotility
Manometry was normal (and that was the worst test ever. Ugh.)
EGD was same as previous: some erosion but nothing particularly worrisome.
Bravo PH: Demeester composite score of 45.8 (Gee, is 79 refluxes in one day bad? lol)

So here we are. I have a couple of questions for you nice folks:

1. about how long were you out of your daily activities? I work at a mostly desk job and am trying to get an idea of how long I'll be out.

2. Everyone has talked about weight loss after the surgery and I'll guess it's subjective based on your pre-surgery size. For the people who lost a significant amount, has it stayed off? (I've lost 15-20 since all this started, but I could sure stand to lose some more. I'm just hoping it won't come back in a year when I can eat anything I want without pain.)

So wish me luck! I'm hoping I can start having coffee again regularly after this is all over. I haven't been able to have coffee without problems since late 2007 :-(

Thanks again for all the great information smilewinkgrin

Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2011
Total Posts : 146
   Posted 12/6/2011 6:43 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi there,

I have my surgery 2 weeks ago today. I'm still pretty early in the recovery process, but I'll tell you my experience.

1. I took 3 weeks off from work to make sure I had plenty of time. The surgeon said most people take 2 weeks, sometimes more. I work a desk job as well, and I could have definitely gone back at the 2 week mark. I can get around as easy as before the surgery now. It was really just the first few days when I was out of it from painkillers, needed some help with stairs, and felt pain that limited me moving around. After those first 3 days I was able to get out for long walks and drive again with no problem. I would recommend 2 weeks minimum. Even after I was moving around I had some pain, so I wouldn't have wanted to be at work.

2. I've lost 10 pounds so far. The surgeon thinks I'll probably lose 5 more. I hope to keep it off, I had been gaining a little weight before surgery that I wasn't too proud of. I'm about back to my usual weight.

Hope this helps. I imagine you will be able to drink coffee just fine. Before my surgery, tomato based foods would always make my symptoms worse. Just in the past 3 days I've had tomato basil and tortilla soup with no problems at all. Its been great! Just watch out for the post surgery bloating. That's really the only thing during recovery that has bothered me.

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7180
   Posted 12/6/2011 7:55 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Dana,
Welcome to the Healing Well GERD forum!  Glad you've come out of the shadows, so we can answer your questions and lend support!  I remember when I was moving toward a decision to have surgery, and this forum was really helpful to me as well.  Soon we'll be able to welcome you to the Wrapped Club!
I think that bowecho has given you a pretty good estimate regarding when you'll be able to manage going back to your desk job.  It's nice to have the extra week he took, but you can manage just fine in two weeks.  If you've read the posts here, you'll know that this recovery is long and challenging.  As you said, surgeons seem to underplay (or not really know) what this recovery is like.
If you've been bouncing around the site, you probably already saw this, but here is the thread I kept here on the forum during my first 19 days post-op.  It might give you a little idea what to expect:
I don't know if your surgeon has or will give you eating information when he sends you home.  Some keep their patients on liquids for several weeks.  I didn't have that restriction, but rather was given the direction to eat "whatever could be chewed to a liquid", and to stay away from bread and steak.  Here is a pretty good guide regarding foods that are good options post-op, but of course you should follow whatever eating protocol your surgeon suggests.
Unfortunately, no matter how hard I tried, I couldn't get this to become a clickable link.  You'll have to copy and paste it into your browser. 
I lost about 15 pounds during my recovery.  Although I intended to keep it off, once I was back to normal eating, I wasn't as careful as I should have been, and gained it back.  Oh well...
Good luck with your surgery! 

New Member

Date Joined Dec 2011
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 12/7/2011 1:07 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks for the information.

bowecho: Thanks for sharing your time frame. I'm planning on taking 2 weeks unless I just feel fantastic and decide to go back sooner. I'll probably go back part time at first then back up to full time. Good luck on your continued recovery. And congrats on the tomato basil soup. That's one of my favorites and it doesn't always agree with me either (I just eat it anyway some days).

Denise: Thanks for the warm welcome. I read your journal very early on and it helped a lot, as have several of your other posts. I've also read several diets online and while they seem to vary some, I'm going to go with the slow progress from liquids to mushy as my body tolerates it.

My surgeon said that I'd have a barium swallow the morning after surgery to check placement and then they'd feed me some soft food and if I tolerated it I would be free to go home. I've already decided to start out a bit softer and have gotten some Boost/Ensure, apple sauce, yogurt, jello and pudding for the first days/weeks. I feel I'm about as prepared as I can be.

I'm hoping I can lose some weight and keep it off. One of my biggest issues is that I get very nauseous when my stomach gets empty so I'm hoping this helps with that symptom.


Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2011
Total Posts : 146
   Posted 12/7/2011 1:22 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Dana,

Sounds like you are prepared! I bought the same things. I ended up drinking LOTS of Ensure. It actually tastes pretty good, and contains a good number of calories. It kept me from being hungry and gave me some energy. I'm still drinking them in the morning even though I could have plenty of other things. They are pretty yummy.

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