What's the latest you can eat/drink without refluxing significantly? Before and after op if relevant

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Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2012
Total Posts : 75
   Posted 2/21/2012 12:44 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi, thanks for all the useful anecdotes on this site and wisdom from the sages that's helped temper both outlook and pessimism for the nissen's.

I'd love to know the answer to the above question to get a brief idea of this particular aspect of reflux - both acid and non-acid. How many hours before sleep do you have to stop eating/drinking? I guess i'd define "significantly" as enough to cause you to wake or not get refreshing sleep.

If you had the nissen's, please let us know what your latest eating/drinking was beforehand too and perhaps how long approximately it took you post-op to get to that stage. Also it'd be useful if you specify whether you sleep lying flat or on some kind of incline, thanks!

Eagerly awaiting replies

Regular Member

Date Joined May 2011
Total Posts : 296
   Posted 2/21/2012 12:56 PM (GMT -6)   
I usually sleep at 11:30pm-midnite

I usually do not eat later than 7pm. I usually strive for earlier than 6pm.

Then I drink only water, until 10pm.

I do sleep in a reclined bed. Sometimes I get a bitter taste in the morning other times I do not. It just depends if I slide down from my bed.

I do not have a Nissen though.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2011
Total Posts : 1604
   Posted 2/21/2012 1:28 PM (GMT -6)   
I've not had the op either. I'm usually OK if I have my main meal between 5 pm and 6 pm, then a snack around 9.30 pm, giving me a minimum of 2 hours before lying down (usually it's nearer 3 hours) on my tilted bed. Occasionally (haven't pinpointed any reason and most days and evenings don't vary much intake wise) I can tell as I'm going to bed that things aren't good and I take some Gavison, but it makes very little difference. I take my ppi in the evening also - taking it in the morning didn't work for me and left me waking with terrible nausea.

New stuff: GERD, Recurrent cystitis/Overactive bladder
Lifelong stuff: Food allergies/intolerance, eczema, asthma

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2011
Total Posts : 90
   Posted 2/21/2012 5:16 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi. I had the op in august. I had the full wrap and a hernia repair. Before the op I had volume reflux, repeatedly, every night. It got so bad that even sat up on an inclined bed wasn't cutting it. I tried not to eat after 8, earlier would have been better but with work and a little person to mind... I would go to sleep say 11.30. And I would have water only after 8.

Since the op my stomach is smaller, but I can eat whenever I like and the bed is blissfully flat, down to two pillows! I waited until id had my two week post op but secretly I think it was instant. Best thing I ever did for my gerd and quality of life, I felt relief within days. The recovery has its challenges and is not easy but you sort of know it's temporary whereas gerd was forever, if that makes sense.

Hope that helps you


Elite Member

Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 14475
   Posted 2/21/2012 5:35 PM (GMT -6)   
Before surgery I coughed almost non-stop. I had to tilt my bed 10 inches. My lungs were in terrible shape due to acid eating at them. I rarely had burning, but did have almost "blacking out" spells when the food would get stuck in my hernia. I didn't eat after 6pm.

It's been two years since my surgery. I don't cough anymore from acid. The spells are gone. My bed lays flat. I can eat anything and anytime I want.

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2012
Total Posts : 75
   Posted 2/21/2012 9:14 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks for the replies so far everyone, reading them eagerly :)

daddypig said...
Since the op my stomach is smaller, but I can eat whenever I like and the bed is blissfully flat, down to two pillows! I waited until id had my two week post op but secretly I think it was instant.
Hmm, to be honest I suspected that this should be the case, unfortunately (for those without any notable early improvement). Despite reading about the role of recovery and that the wrap is initially misshapen etc, I can't imagine that the majority of a wrap's success shouldn't be perceived early on. I mean how much inflammation can there be?

The reason I ask is that I'm not sure how much reflux to tolerate early on at the expense of going for a re-wrap to improve/tighten it. I use the word 'early' relatively - eg I've read opinions stating to give it beyond 6 months and even years to gauge its success. I'm starting to wonder whether that really is valid and just false reassurance passed on from the surgeons, ultimately doing a disservice to yourself in losing the potential benefit of a better wrap. I'm not concluding here folks, just thinking aloud.

Daddypig can I ask you more about your case, you sound similar to me (volume reflux). Do you know the underlying cause (eg was the problem in the stomach, the esophagus, the LES), what your manometry/pH/EGD showed and whether the surgeon told you about the tightness of your Nissen? If you had such a reduction in volume reflux early on, I'm guessing it was pretty tight, and if so, did you also have a lot of the corresponding difficulty swallowing early on?


Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2012
Total Posts : 75
   Posted 2/21/2012 9:18 PM (GMT -6)   
Just to add to the above, are you able to belch/vomit?

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 4961
   Posted 2/21/2012 11:52 PM (GMT -6)   

I gave myself at least 3 hours of time before laying down after eating prior to nissen. After nissen, I hate to admit it but I do sometimes eat and lay down and go to sleep. No problems for me.

As for bur/vomit. I can burp, but cannot physically vomit. I haven't been able to vomit with any of the 3 nissens I have had. S I keep anti nausea meds with me at all times in case I get nauseous. Dry heaving hurts!

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

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2012
Total Posts : 75
   Posted 2/22/2012 5:27 AM (GMT -6)   
I seriously, seriously envy you, almost to the point I hate you! :)

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2011
Total Posts : 90
   Posted 2/22/2012 2:01 PM (GMT -6)   
Oops Im worried I am not going to make you feel better, but will hide behind Bill... I can burp and had the norovirus just last week. Touch wood the wrap held fine.

My tests showed acid off the charts in my esophagus and the spikes were related to reported reflux symptoms. Volume reflux, choking several times a night. It didn't matter what I ate, I got it. I could make it worse, curry or something, but it was always there. I am 37 and neither fat nor skinny. My surgeon did a great job, the burping makes me think it was not too loose, not too tight, just right if that makes sense. My cause was a combination of an ulcer on the valve, broken les and a hernia.

Have you had it? Sounds like it. How far out are you?


Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2011
Total Posts : 656
   Posted 2/22/2012 3:03 PM (GMT -6)   
Hey there,

No Nissen here (fingers crossed for soon!). The "golden rule" of GERD is to wait 3-5 hours before laying down after eating, depending on the person. One of our members, Bruce, doesn't eat for 10 hours before bed. I personally can get away with 3 if I've only eaten something light, but I usually wait the full 5 hours just to be safe. It's a lot easier for me though, because I work a few hours at night, so I eat dinner and by the time I get home from work, it's bedtime. If you're having trouble with not eating before bed, try doing an activity that you like to fill those hours.


Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2011
Total Posts : 95
   Posted 2/22/2012 7:51 PM (GMT -6)   
Before Nissen it didn't matter how long I went without eating before bed. I am a stomach sleeper and woke up choking nightly. Kept Tums on nightstand, bed elevated, bland diet, etc. Now I sleep all night except once or twice to the bathroom. I tend to have low blood sugar so generally have a snack about an hour and a half before bed.

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