Your advice is very important. Anyone considering a Nissen should find the most experienced NISSEN surgeon that he/she can. A surgeon who has done many, many of these procedures will have worked out the learning curve and your chance for a successful outcome is increased dramatically.
One of the reasons an experienced surgeon is best is that he/she will be able to interpret test results and know what results indicate that a Nissen surgery will improve symptoms. When a great surgeon operates on a poor candidate for surgery, the likelihood of good results is not good. It's a two-way street.
While a top gastric or thoratic Nissen surgeon might be ideal, it is possible to find a well-recommended general surgeon to do the job. The big key is more the number of Nissens (lots and lots--hundreds or over a thousand) than the type of surgeon. If you live in an area that does not have a big medical center, and traveling is an option, that's a possibility. The only trouble with that is you'll have to travel back whenever you have an issue, because local docs won't touch you.
I considered that possibility, but went with my GI's recommendation. I thoroughly researched it with the medical community in my area and the choice was reinforced.
I don't think that the importance of a skilled NISSEN surgeon can be overstated. Anyone out there exploring the possibility of surgery should be very careful with their choice of surgeon. It can make all the difference in your outcomes.
Even the finest surgeon who does not have sufficient experience with this particular procedure is not acceptable. It must be someone with this specific experience.
Thanks for reminding us of this, Floridagirl.
Glad your procedure went well.