Hospital stay after Nissen?

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Date Joined Sep 2011
Total Posts : 620
   Posted 1/23/2012 12:42 AM (GMT -6)   
How long were you in the hospital before going home after your nissen procedure?

How did you feel and what was your reaction when you first woke up?

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Date Joined Nov 2011
Total Posts : 146
   Posted 1/23/2012 12:58 AM (GMT -6)   
I had my operation about 10AM on a Tuesday and went home around noon the next day.

I remember parts of when I woke up. It was like I was only asleep for an instant. I don't ever remember going to sleep, just being taken into the operating room and then waking up. My very first reaction was, "well that wasn't bad at all." I was of course pumped with some great painkillers, so I felt pretty darn good. I couldn't feel a thing.

I stayed in the post op area for probably a half hour until they wheeled me into my room. My stay was very pleasant. I spent most of the time watching movies with my fiance and taking short walks every couple of hours to move around. That really made me feel better, walking, even though I couldn't walk far without breaks. The surgery really takes your energy away. I would just go down and sit in the nice garden outside they had for periods of time. The nurses were very nice about me roaming as long as I let them know where I was going. Everyone there got to know me as the "guy who was always walking."

My meals were of course pretty boring. The hospital's liquid diet menu was basically chicken broth, beef broth and jello.

I was pleased with my stay, but very eager to get home. Nothing like relaxing on your own couch/bed for recovery.


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   Posted 1/23/2012 1:05 AM (GMT -6)   
Tony great story....thanks.

The pain level after wasn't that bad from the incisions?


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Date Joined Nov 2011
Total Posts : 146
   Posted 1/23/2012 1:12 AM (GMT -6)   
I meant during the hospital stay. You have an IV and the best painkillers around. I felt like a million bucks when they'd put that stuff in. No wonder people get addicted to that stuff! Once you go home, you still have pretty decent liquid painkillers, they just aren't as fast acting and nice as the ones at the hospital. :)

I personally didn't really have any incision pain. They itched sometimes, but no pain. Never bothered me. I did have pain around the wrap site, which lasted for about 10 days if I remember correctly. After that, all pain was gone.

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Date Joined Nov 2011
Total Posts : 95
   Posted 1/23/2012 3:03 AM (GMT -6)   
I had surgery at 9:30 on a Tuesday morning. It lasted about 3 hours. I had a large paraesophageal hernia repair and nissen. I woke up in recovery not knowing for sure if I'd had the surgery. Then I started feeling very nauseous and realized I was waking up from anesthesia. I couldn't see anyone but started repeating that I was going to throw up. A nurse was right there and put something in my IV and I felt better. about that time I felt like I'd been run over by a truck and started asking for pain meds and the nurse took care of that right away. The only pain I felt then was my left shoulder and about that time my daughter came in to see me and started massaging me. I remember repeating constantly that my clavicle hurt. I'm not usually a very demanding person but I sure was in recovery. I guess anesthesia will do funny things to you.

I left the hospital Thursday morning. My surgeon told me ahead of time I would stay 2 nights if everything went according to plan. My surgeon visited me 3 times in the hospital. I've seen him twice since being released 6 weeks ago and will see him again next month. He is very big on follow up.

I was in a lot of pain in the hospital if I didn't ask for pain meds. I learned that if I didn't ask I didn't get them. Meds were put in IV the first day and a half and I was given pills after that. I never needed nausea meds after recovery room. The whole day of surgery I was not allowed any liquids which was very hard. They gave me sponge pops which helped. Chapstick helped too. The second day I had italian ice, coffee, juice and broth. The second day I was given cream of wheat and applesauce before I went home.

My surgeon released me with instructions to eat soft food and chew well. I never had a problem swallowing or getting anything down. I didn't feel hunger for about a week. I used pain pills for about 10 days. I found if I propped myself in a chair I had no pain at all. I slept that way for a few nights. It took about 5 weeks before I could sleep flat on my back. Walking didn't hurt at all. The most difficult thing was getting up and down.

I was out and about in less than a week. I made a point of going out everyday. It helped me to not feel like an invalid. I had plenty of energy but I made sure not to overdo it. I made lasagna for Christmas Eve, 11 days after surgery, and was able to eat it without consequence.

I had pain when I stood up, sat down, got out of bed, etc for about a month then it suddenly disappeared. My surgeon said it may have been an internal stitch. Now, not quite 6 weeks post op, I can't even tell I've had surgery. When I saw my surgeon last week he told me to eat whatever I wanted. I had a big chopped vegetable salad (all raw). So good, no problems. I have never taken PPIs and have never felt heartburn or reflux in my life so nothing has changed in that respect. I do have asthma and that has cleared up for now. We'll see about the long run.

Initially, I lost about 10 lbs but that has probably come back as my clothes fit just fine. Well, that's my story. It's more than you asked to know but the info may be useful to someone. BTW, I'm a 59 year old female. Good luck to you!


Post Edited (imstarryeyed) : 1/23/2012 1:07:12 AM (GMT-7)

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Date Joined Sep 2011
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   Posted 1/23/2012 3:11 AM (GMT -6)   
Thanks Starry. That's a lot of helpful info.

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Date Joined Feb 2009
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   Posted 1/23/2012 11:28 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Maximus,
I had my surgery at ten in the morning one day and was released about ten AM the next day.
I didn't know what to expect in recovery, but really I felt fine.  I had no NG tube (a few, I guess do), and really was just cold, so asked for another blanket.  (They keep those rooms like iceboxes.)
When I went back to my room I was groggy, but really had no pain.  (As Tony said...great painkilers)  I did notice some difficulty with swallowing water, but that passed once the anesthesia had more time to wear off.
I was happy that the general anesthesia didn't bother my asthma.  I guess they add some meds--probably albuterol--to the breathing tube during the surgery.
I was glad that I'd researched things, as the hospital gave me things on my tray that I shouldn't have had.  Ginger ale is one of them...carbonation can cause bloating. Also, a straw..another way to introduce unnecessary air into the stomach.  Lastly, caffeinated coffee--very acidic.  My reactive stomach couldn't tolerate coffee well anyway.
After a couple doses of IV pain meds, the nurse suggested I go to oral liquid Loritab to ensure that my pain could be controlled with that once I left for home. 
My frustration was the difficulty getting liquid pain meds for home.  Are they worried that the patient won't take the correct dosage and will overdose?  I have no idea how surgeons can send us home on a liquid diet--or even a soft diet--and expect us to swallow large pain pills.  It seems to be a consistent conundrum for post Nissen patients.
I was anxious to be released.  Finally a doc from the surgeon's practice stopped by and did the paperwork, and I was able to escape the clutches of the hospital.  It's been my experience that it's easier to recover at home (barring serious issues) than in the hospital.
It's good that you're gathering as much information as possible.  Being educated on the subject will enable you to better handle the surgery and recovery.
Best wishes,

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 4961
   Posted 1/23/2012 11:45 AM (GMT -6)   

My post op is quite similar to everyone's. I was released the 3rd day after my lap nissens and had to stay 7 days after my open nissen. With my first the pain wasn't too bad in recovery, but after my first redo it was horrific. That can be because they had to do so much to undo the original and it took about 5 hours too. It's funny because with my open surgery I don't remember as much pain as either of the lap ones. But then again I had to be taken back to surgery 12 hours afterwards because my BP wouldn't come up and I don't remember hardly anything until 1.5 days after my surgery. But remember I just had some major surgery to repair an esophageal tear 6 months prior and it had only just healed completely about 6 weeks before I had my last redo.

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

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2012
Total Posts : 35
   Posted 8/9/2012 1:03 PM (GMT -6)   
Starry, I have a huge type 4 paraesophageal hernia and have been to 2 surgeons. One said he would do the repair with a lap procedure and the other said he would only do it with an open procedure. It sounds like you had it done with a lap procedure. Any suggestions for me? I am 58, have had this a long time (at least 8 years) and have 2 teen kids still at home that I need to taxi around everywhere. I want the quickest recovery time, yet want the best results. Who did your surgery and where do you live? I am so scared!

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Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 639
   Posted 8/11/2012 8:28 PM (GMT -6)   
I went home the next day also. The first 2, I woke up fine, felt great, had coffee before I left. I opted out of the pain meds via iv. So I only asked for a tylenol for the ride home. I woke up from my 3rd horribly nauseous. The nurse gave me the max dose of zofran in my iv which didn't work. I kept dozing in and out, when I would wake up I would ask for more nausea meds. She finally gave me the patch behind my ear. No pain meds with that one either.

~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~

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2010
Total Posts : 372
   Posted 8/12/2012 1:56 AM (GMT -6)   
My surgery was 10 years ago, so probably hospital stays were a little longer, as Nissen's were still pretty new.  I was admitted on a Tuesday morning, and had surgery on the same day.  I was discharged on a Friday afternoon.  I remember coming partially awake in the Recovery area doubled over in pain because my abdomen was sore, and someone gave me a shot in the hip, and that was the last that I knew for awhile.  I also remember having problems breathing in the middle of the night, and no one seemed to know why.  Then, a nurse came on early the next morning, and discovered that someone had put the nose piece to the oxygen in upside down!  Outside of a really dry throat, and the tubes driving me nuts, I guess that I felt fairly good during my stay in the hospital.  I don't think that I even had to spend much time laying down when I came home.  I wasn't given liquid meds, but pills to take.  I remember being on a soft diet for a brief period of time.  They even had me on this from thursday on at the hospital.  I was on a 5 lb lifting restriction for about a month. 
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