Three months after Nissen. Help!

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Nal
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Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 410
   Posted 3/9/2012 1:54 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi all. Well inwas doing great for quite a while after having my Nissen done dec 8. A few days ago I started getting severed chest pain and a feeling that food was getting stuck when I'd swallow and my stomach started burning. The did an endoscopy yesterday and said everything looked good. She did dialate the wrap some. Today I still have burning in my stomach, nausea, etc. some chest pain too. Is it too soon to tell if the diLation worked since it was just yesterday? I'm scared my Nissen is failing. I had it done dec 8. Thanks

Nancy

LocalGuy23
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2011
Total Posts : 620
   Posted 3/9/2012 3:01 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Nancy,

What were your symptoms before Nissen? And how much of that improved since having your Nissen?

Were the improvements instant? Did it take a few weeks, months?

Thanks.

Nal
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 410
   Posted 3/9/2012 3:54 PM (GMT -6)   
It took several weeks. I had stomach burning, chest pain, nausea. It was miserable. The chest pain improved after the surgery. However now my symptoms are coming back and I'm scared

LocalGuy23
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Date Joined Sep 2011
Total Posts : 620
   Posted 3/9/2012 4:11 PM (GMT -6)   
Nancy,

I had stomach burning also.

That went away almost immediately after surgery.

I'm 1 month post op but I still have a burning sensation in my throat and mouth :(

Everyone says to wait and give it time. But it's hard when you feel these symptoms and feel that it's not getting better.

I see my ENT this weekend....my surgeon the following thursday. I hope to get some answers or at least an evaluation of how bad it is.

dencha
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7185
   Posted 3/9/2012 4:32 PM (GMT -6)   
Nancy,
Sorry to hear you're struggling.  Could it be that you're not chewing your food as carefully as you once did?  After a Nissen you'll always have to chew your food thoroughly, or you can get it stuck.
 
Also, if you did get something stuck, it's normal for your wrap to complain for a while afterward, as it has been irritated.
 
Be gentle with it for a while and give it some time to heal.
Good luck!
Denise

LocalGuy23
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Date Joined Sep 2011
Total Posts : 620
   Posted 3/9/2012 5:57 PM (GMT -6)   
Denise,

What do you think is an appropriate time frame to heal from the Nissen?

2months? 6 months?

As you know, I'm at 1 month....

Thanks.

Faith224
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2011
Total Posts : 299
   Posted 3/9/2012 6:52 PM (GMT -6)   
Hey Maximus,

From all the posts I have read on this, I believe it takes 6 months- a year for healing, and then some additional time for fine tuning if I'm not mistaken.


Hope this helps

LocalGuy23
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Date Joined Sep 2011
Total Posts : 620
   Posted 3/9/2012 6:53 PM (GMT -6)   
i heard 6 months too. it's so long....

but i hope to feel better before then.

dencha
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7185
   Posted 3/9/2012 10:05 PM (GMT -6)   
Max,
Six months to a year.  As Faith said, "fine tuning" can occur after a year.  I had dumping issues intermittently through the year mark, and figured it would be with me forever.  Somewhere in the second year (I really didn't notice when...) I realized that it wasn't happening any more. 
It takes time.
Denise

LocalGuy23
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Date Joined Sep 2011
Total Posts : 620
   Posted 3/9/2012 10:36 PM (GMT -6)   
I wonder why it takes so long to feel better from this surgery.....

I know your insides are completely reaarranged but .......

I guess I read too many success stories and had my hopes too high

Virgogirl67
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2010
Total Posts : 130
   Posted 3/11/2012 12:28 PM (GMT -6)   
Same here, I keep hearing 6 months to a year to feel better, or to know the operation was a success.  However, I'm like Max, I heard so many good stories and simply cannot understand why things don't feel as successful for me as others. I am a little over 3 months in and still have issues.
 
Doctors are confusing and contradicting.  My surgeon says things will work themselves out into the 6 month to a year point.  My GI said, "sorry, but the longer healing is not going to improve symptoms, nothing is going to heal to make them any better than a few weeks out from surgery."  However, I don't think he was correct.  I was getting breakthrough reflux which seems to have gotten better.  Oddly,my lung burning had greatly improved, but is now giving me some grief. 
 
I think it is a roller coaster.  I also think the changes in my body can mimic things.  For instance, I am learning that some of what I feel is reflux is probably just the pressure that swallowed air has on my digestive system.
 
I also mistakingly thought having this surgery meant I can now eat the do not eat foods of reflux, which I cannot.  I also got realy lazy with eating smaller, slower meals, which causes issues.  You feel better and go back to your same habits, and your new body just does not dig that! 
 
I have to be real and true to myself that my eating habits and if I have a few drinks etc., I will still pay a price.  My mission is to find a diet that is kind to my newly constructed body (not just what foods, but how I eat them and how much).  Truly, I had to tell myself that I did not have this surgery so I can eat whatever the heck I want and prevent further pain and damage.  I think for me any way, the surgery was probably a success at stopping damage to the esophagus and lungs, but I am still responsible for being kind to my body for the surgery to have the best situation to function as intended. 
 

LocalGuy23
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2011
Total Posts : 620
   Posted 3/11/2012 1:49 PM (GMT -6)   
It's weird cause at one month post op I feel like I have no eating issues. It makes me wonder if the surgery was done too loose

Virgogirl67
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2010
Total Posts : 130
   Posted 3/11/2012 5:36 PM (GMT -6)   
max, I felt that at 6 weeks, like out of nowhere I was able to eat whatever i wanted withough choking it back up.   So, same thing, I wondered if the wrap was loose.  Also, at that point I started getting that breakthrough reflux.
 
The surgeon was worried so she did a barium swallow with liquid and also a pill.  The radiologist said it looked like the wrap was in place, but the pill did go in my stomach pretty fast.  He said reflux is a mysterious thing.  That I can have a good Barium Swallow; that sometimes the valve can relax later, so barium test is not always a golden standard.
 
Like I said in my earlier post, I am starting to realize that because I could eat whatever I wanted without choking, I think what I do is eat too much, too fast.  Back to my normal habits.  The dietician after surgery warned me with this.  She said our culture is very much eat fast and too much, which is terrible for our digestion.  I think I am experiencing problems because I am not sticking to the guidelines.  I think all of us Nissen Fundo peeps have to learn to eat several smaller meals per day, and chew well, as well as watch the things we eat for the rest of our lives. 
 
My problem is a very stressful job and I am in and out of my car most days, meeting with clients.  No set schedule where I can create a healthy eating routine.  I'm working on it, but have not found solid solutions to my crazy long hours and unstructured work environment. 
 
Max, you will start to realize over time that the sensations you are feeling will continue to change.  When they did my barium swallow the radiologist said "boy, you have a huge air bubble in your stomach."  Causes weird sensations until it works it's way out.  I think that is what i feel most of the time.
 
Work in progress!!! 
 

LocalGuy23
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2011
Total Posts : 620
   Posted 3/11/2012 8:50 PM (GMT -6)   
virgogirl,

so you thing you may have affected the wrap by eating too much? I mean, I really don't over eat as I was never a big eater to begin with. It seemed like the majority of people on the site get back to their normal eating habits within a month. I feel like I'm pretty much at normal with regards to food. I don't know if that's bad or good. I just know the burning sensation in my mouth/throat never really subsided with is huge downer. As I am waiting to see if it gets better, I'm seeing other doctors to see if they suspect it to be something else, maybe an autoimmune disease or something. But I'm in the process of seeing an ENT, dentist, and dermatologist. Here we go with the round of doctors again. I thought I was done with this but I guess I'm not. My pcp is clueless so I'm kinda of doing this on my own.

As far as other things goes....I'm about 35 days post op, been back to work for about two weeks, and been slowly exercising again with no heavy weights.

I don't know if I'll ever get better but I just have to keep going on....

Virgogirl67
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2010
Total Posts : 130
   Posted 3/12/2012 5:28 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Max,
 
I sorry to hear about your throat issues.  I do have throat issues different then before surgery, but not as bad as yours sounds.  For me it is as if there were reflux/acid slipping through, it is now gravitated to the top part of my esophagus.  Many of my friends and co-workers continue to tell me my voice has changed, in person and especially when they call.  My clients have to ask if it's me they are talking to, so I know something impacted my throat after surgery.
 
When they did the barium liquid, the radiologist did say the barium was going in my stomach, but taking it's time; however, the pill went right into my stomach?
 
I wonder if you are drinking any thick, or acidic drinks or food that are staying in your esophagus too long and irritating it?  I don't feel anything is getting stuck, but they did say things move slower, so my guess with my issue is just as I state, things may linger and irritate.  When I say I eat too much, it's like like true over eating, but it is not the 6 small meals they say is best to eat.  It is usually a couple larger meals a day and I eat them in a hurry because I am usually hungry by the time I finally get to eat. 
 
I wish you luck.  I know what you are saying.  Having a chronic illness or issues with health is just exhausting and frustrating!!  I'm trying to do what I can to see if it is something I can modify myself.  If things do not improve I will go back to the surgeon.  I go to my GI in a couple weeks.  Good Luck!

Dave234
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2011
Total Posts : 338
   Posted 3/13/2012 10:40 AM (GMT -6)   
It seems like you both are in the same position as I am. I'm about 4 months out from surgery. Some days I feel great, but other days I feel that old lung-suffocating reflux and upper chest (just beneath throat) reflux again, as if I never had the surgery and it was back full force.

I do notice that, if I overexert myself in ANY way, it gets worse. I'm not even talking about exercise anywhere remotely near what I used to do. Well, that combined with eating too much, too quickly. it's almost as if, when I don't think about what I am consuming, I end up doing the same old stuff, which, after a few days, causes these feelings again.

From what I understand, this causes two things to happen. First, it leaves bits of food above the wrap, irritating it and fermenting as it sits there. Second, it just plain irritates the wrap. I am thinking (hoping, praying) that each time I have one of these fallbacks, it's because I'd been pushing my eating a little too far, which is okay because it gets the new stomach used to additional foods.

My advice? Stop with the exercising. Eat puddings and stuff, grind up your food in a food processor. Do this for a few days. It will improve after, let's say a full seven days.

Pretend you have just gotten back from major surgery. This time you have to make yourself relax.

I'm just like you, always worried that I messed something up. My wrap hurts right now. I feel reflux. But just two days ago I did not. What's the reason? I'd been babying myself, and then I felt so good that I decided I could eat whatever I wanted, and I could move a table and stuff.

Same thing happened when I swam 25 laps at the pool and ate salads for a week after 3 months. I eased off of everything, took a big step back, and felt GREAT.

You've had major surgery. Ease off of everything. Please let me know how this works for you, because I'm no expert; but my surgeon told me all this. Don't eat coconut, pineapple, raw foods.....just eat puddings, jello, soups, crackers, etc. ease off the hard cheese....

Luana63
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2012
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 3/13/2012 11:13 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi,

I have had two Nissens. I had the first one in september 2010 and after 5-6 weeks, felt great and was eating normal foods. In fact, I was eating foods I hadn't been able to eat in years because of the reflux, like spaghetti. I felt awesome. My chronic cough from the throat irritation was gone and I began to get my energy back.. This went on for about 6-8 months and then my symptoms began to come back. I was seeing a critical care pulmonologist for my lungs because the lung damage I got from aspirating the acid was really bad. Nothing was working and he was just about ready to send me to the National Jewish Research hospital in Colorado because he didn't know why none of the medication was not working. I happened to mention to him that I was having a lot of heartburn. He sent me right back to the surgeon that did my Nissen. The surgeon reluctantly sent me for a BRAVO test. While inserting the BRAVO, he could see that my stomach had a small herniation again and that the wrap was slipped. He was very disappointed.

Once he got the results from my BRAVO, and they were normal, he was confused but sent me for a barium swallow, which showed the hiatal hernia. The first hiatal hernia I had, pre-Nissen was large, but this one was small. He scheduled me for a 2nd surgery 5 days later due to the urgency for surgery since I was aspirating the acid.

After my 2nd Nissen, I was good for about the first week in the hospital and the first week at home and then symptoms began again. My surgeon sent me for another barium swallow; normal, and a CT Scan, also normal. He said he did not know what to do with me and that I may just be "one of the small percentages" that nothing works for. My pulmonologist would not accept that and sent me to a new surgeon that specializes in repairing failed Nissens. This new surgeon has told me that he believes I'm aspirating bile and not acid. I never knew there was a difference, but there definitely is. I am now waiting to be scheduled for a endoscopy, manometry and a BRAVO type test that detects bile. The new surgeon told me that none of the tests I have been given will detect bile.

I have a continuous bitter, burning and tingling sensation in my mouth pretty much all the time. My lungs are worsening and my sensitivity to smell is heightened, therefore, causing me more asthma attacks, so I have to stay home pretty much all the time. I have been diagnosed with Chronic Bronchitis, Emphysema, Chronic Asthma and Bronchiectasis. I'm not sure what the plan is if they verify that I am aspirating bile but I got the impression that it is another surgery. I don't know if any of this information will help any of you, but definitely, if you are having acid reflux, you might want to have them also rule out bile reflux at the same time so that you don't have to go through this too.

Virgogirl67
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2010
Total Posts : 130
   Posted 3/17/2012 2:29 PM (GMT -6)   
Dave, thanks so much for your post. I completely believe what you are saying. I won't have reflux for a while and I will feel much better, but there will be times I push myself on what, and how much I eat. Or I will have a couple glasses of wine, and then I suffer for a few days - even on Nexium, something I so badly want off of! The air bubble in my stomach is truly annoying. I know it works it's way out (unfortunately the wrong end), but I think I introduce too much air back into my stomach through exercise, or pushing the limit on what I am eating etc. Another thing, I do think there is a connection with eating too many carb related foods. They digest into simple sugar quickly, creating the by-product; gas. I think, for me any way, I had this false impression that I would have this surgery and then be immediatly back to my pre-reflux days of 12 years ago; eat what I want, have no issues with the G.I. track etc. I think us wrapped people certainly need to continue to modify our diets to find what our body decides is acceptable. Same with exercise. I am getting ready to go back to Irish Dance and it scares me, but my surgeon did say she wants me to do what I have always done and I think she will approve. For me, it is taking a lot to come to the realization that I had to limit what I ate and drank prior to the surgery, but that does not mean post surgery is a free for all. I just have to realize modifying my diet (how I eat mostly, and sometimes what I eat) has to be part of my life forever if I want to feel my best.
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