Diarrhea post fundoplication

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New Member

Date Joined May 2012
Total Posts : 13
   Posted 5/1/2012 3:20 PM (GMT -6)   
I just found this forum and you look like a knowledgeable bunch of folk.

I started having the most horrible diarrhea 3 weeks post op. I'd been eating soft food just fine, no bloating; really, everything looked positive. Then I had a smoothie from the smoothie store and got the most horrific diarrhea. I'd have a good day on clear liquids then a good day with just crackers and toast then, shazam!, an explosion. One day I had 30 bowel movements in 4 hours. (that's the night I went to the ER for IV fluids - stopping twice by the side of the road).

It's now been two weeks and I'm still having diarrhea. I can't pin it to any particular food, or an amount of food or time-of-day-food-was-eaten.

The gastro doc has tested me for everything and it's not any one of the Bad Things They Test For.

Yesterday I just ate some oatmeal for breakfast and some toast for lunch. This morning - oatmeal then, about 4 hours after eating I had two quick bowel movements.

I've lost 16 pounds since March 27 and I'm afraid to eat.

Anybody got any words of wisdom?


Forum Moderator

Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7188
   Posted 5/2/2012 10:00 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi ChevyVan,
Welcome to Healing Well!  Many here have been through recovery from a Nissen, so we understand.  At 3 weeks post-op, your poor stomach is in the midst of adjusting to a very difficult surgery.  Your outsides are healing, and evidence of your surgery are disappearing.  Still, on the inside, your GI tract has been through a lot of trauma, and is complaining loudly.
I suspect that at 3 weeks you've started introducing some new foods into your stomach, and it's not happy.  There is something called, "dumping syndrome" that can create the problem you're having. It's a common side effect of stomach surgery, and is a temporary bump in your road to recovery.  Hang in there!
Here's a link to an eating guide to help your digestive tract:
If the things you are eating are already less challenging than those suggested, take note of the emphasis on eating less sugars.  Hopefully you'll find some help with your eating decisions, and can get things back to normal.
Glad you've joined us!
Happy healing,
Words of wisdom by Eckhart Tolle:
"Whatever you fight, you strengthen, and what you resist, persists.”

“Worry pretends to be necessary but serves no useful purpose”

“Accept - then act. Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it. Always work with it, not against it.”

New Member

Date Joined May 2012
Total Posts : 13
   Posted 5/2/2012 10:20 AM (GMT -6)   
Thanks for the info! The diarrhea has really been depressing and energy-sapping.

This pdf certainly lays out a sensible-looking eating plan.

But what about if I'm just not hungry? It's been over 6 hours since I ate a small bowl of oatmeal and I don't feel like I could eat if you paid me.


Forum Moderator

Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7188
   Posted 5/2/2012 10:43 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi ChevyVan,
You don't have to sit down and eat a meal...just nibble a little throughout the day.  Don't forget to be sipping water or decaf tea. Stay away from sugary drinks, as they can add to the problem. 
Your hunger will increase as you progress through recovery. If you really think about what's been done to our stomach and upper GI tract, you can probably understand why you're not hungry and are having this difficulty.
Just push through this...one day at a time.  Don't look to the future and project the way you feel into it.  This is now.  As you heal things will get better.  Around here we always remind each other that this recover takes a full 6 months for the majority of the healing and a full year for the rest.  I even found improvements into the second year.
It will get better!

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2012
Total Posts : 69
   Posted 5/3/2012 8:11 PM (GMT -6)   
As long as it's not being caused by an infection (which it sounds like you've been tested for), you can try some Immodium. Works like a charm! Half a tablet usually enough for me. And it doesn't taste too bad to chew. I had a lot of diarrhea too, I think it was just my body's reaction to liquids only. It really had nothing to do with what type of food I ate.

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7188
   Posted 5/4/2012 9:00 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi GerdyGirl and ChevyVan,
My dumping didn't start until I was eating solids.  It definitely seemed to be related to what I ate, and sometimes sugar was a trigger.  Other times, it was when I ate something that challenged my wrap.
Fortunately in my case my diarrhea was limited to certain parts of the day...it might occur more in the morning, and maybe an occasional episode during the day.  I wasn't constant, though.  Once it was done, it was done.
I could always tell when it was coming, because my stomach would make a LOT of loud gurgles, indicating the dumping of food.  I would be forewarned.
All this became less frequent as I healed, and sometime during the second year post-op I realized that it wasn't happening any more. 
Happy healing to both of you!

Post Edited (dencha) : 5/4/2012 9:36:24 AM (GMT-6)

New Member

Date Joined May 2012
Total Posts : 13
   Posted 5/4/2012 9:24 AM (GMT -6)   
The SECOND YEAR????? Oy.

Yeah, it seems to me that dumping is the answer. I get the loud gurgles --- so loud that the cats jump off my lap. I think it began with a really sweet smoothie that just pissed off my whole system so it refused to process anything for two weeks.

Then, I was given the standard "diarrhea diet" recommendations --- jello, gatorade, etc. Dumping explains why my system rejected jello!

So, I've had 3 Good Days now --- I've been careful not to eat too much, not much sugar, added protein and/or complex carbs and/or fat with every meal. And no drinking until 45 min after the meal. If during, then it's 4 oz or less.

It's a challenge, that's for sure!

I'm really annoyed that the doctors didn't say anything about this. My surgeon even told me 2 weeks post-op that I could start eating anything!

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7188
   Posted 5/4/2012 10:33 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi ChevyVan,
When I say in the second year, I'm not talking about what you're going through.  I'm talking about an occasional reaction to my wrap getting irritated...it was very seldom, but I'd always hear it coming up with that loud gurgling.  When I was at a meeting people would offer me food, interpreting it as extreme hunger!
It is maddening the way surgeons are so cavalier about this recovery.  I really think it is based on ignorance.  Sadly, they really don't know what we go through once we see them for a quick follow-up.  Perhaps we should recommend that they visit this forum!  They probably wouldn't take it seriously anyway.
So that's why it's great to have a forum like this!  People who don't have any other Nissen cadets to talk to must stress greatly about what they're experiencing!
It sounds like you've got a plan.  Hang in there...the frequency will gradually decease as you heal.
Best wishes!

New Member

Date Joined Nov 2017
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 11/29/2017 1:33 AM (GMT -6)   
Hello all,
I'm new to this forum, I found it by googling for answers to some things I am experiencing since my recent fundoplication surgery on 11/13/17.

I am having random bouts of diarrhea. My surgeon did let me know this may happen. However, was not clear why, he just said "it happens to some people & can last for weeks up to a year."

From what I have read on this forum, I believe it is referred to as "dumping syndrome".

It seems to me, again, based on what I've read on this forum, that it is typically due to certain foods & possibly over eating. Although I over ate a couple times because I was so hungry & I definitely regretted it, it was hard to tell if I was full until it was too late. The diarrhea episodes mostly seem to happen when I am active. By active I mean any type of activity where I am up & active for more than 5 to 10 minutes.

For example, today I went grocery shopping to buy the soft foods I am now allowed to eat, I was 'out & about' for about 3 hours total. My stomach was slightly upset within the 2nd hour, by the time I got home there was a storm going on in my stomach, so I took 2 gas x & within a 1/2 hour or so started having diarrhea, that was like water. I had diarrhea 3 times in less than 2 hours. I know Imodium would stop it, but, I was constipated for 3 days (until this morning & that was after I took Miramax twice), so I am afraid to take it. Although diarrhea is pretty miserable, I have been severely constipated a few times in the last few months, which is not normal for me, so I would rather have diarrhea than be constipated as to me, that is much worse, at least I can get some relief with diarrhea. Even after 3 bouts of diarrhea, my stomach was still upset, although it seems to be calming down & so far is just gas now, my stomach is still making loud gargling sounds. Just fyi, I only had 1 danimals drinkable yogurt this morning & a glass of apple juice, as well as a cup of water this evening. I felt good all day, until I was 'out & about' this evening. Also, when this happens, I feel nauseous afterwards so I typically take a zofran, I also have promethazine suppositories but mainly use those when I am nauseous but do not have diarrhea.

I am hungry right now but am afraid to eat anything.

Is this normal? What can I do to prevent it, other than less activity? I will most likely be released to go back to work on 12/11/17 & am concerned about this because I will be up & down, working 8 hours a day Monday through Friday. My job will expect me to be "on point" now that I've had this surgery, as I have been out alot since August when I got really sick with an abdominal infection & gastritis, which put me in the hospital for 4 days, due to the severe pain & on medical leave for a month & a half, as my belief was that it'd be life changing & I'd feel much better, after the 1st 4 weeks.

From what I've read on this forum, it actually takes 6 months to a year to completely recover from this surgery, which I was completely unaware of. I also read that I should only be eating 1/4 to a 1/2 cup of food each time I eat, 4 to 8 times a day, which I was also unaware of. I was told I can eat whatever I want at 5 weeks after my surgery (as tolerable), but, that doesn't necessarily seem to be true, although it hasn't felt any different swallowing & hot/cold food or drinks haven't hurt my chest or bothered me at all, I am extemely nervous to eat potatoes, meat, bread, chips, salsa or green chilé at 5 weeks, even though I am so looking forward to it, as those are some of my favorite foods.

I didn't even need pain meds right after surgery, just a heating pad for the intense shoulder pain, which I was aware would most likely happen, so I honestly thought recovery would be fairly easy & quick. I have only used the prescribed pain meds maybe 3 times & Tylenol about the same amount, typically when I've over done it, food or activity wise. I really only use either when it really hurts.

Last, I was on 80 mg of prontonix & 600 mg of zantac, per day, had a hiatal hernia & my esophageal sphinxter was essentially non existence, prior to this surgery.

Any thoughts, suggestions or input is very much appreciated!


dee76 idea

Post Edited (dee76) : 11/28/2017 11:38:21 PM (GMT-7)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2014
Total Posts : 1462
   Posted 11/29/2017 8:01 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Dee:

I can give you some suggestions that I used while recovering. First of all, you are extremely early in your recovery and perhaps are expecting too much, too soon. You have just had major surgery less than three weeks ago, and your digestive system right now is angry. It's a shame, but most people are unaware of how slow the recovery can be, and they don't expect minor setbacks along the way. Activity is good, but you can't push yourself and I'm not sure that has any bearing on the diarrhea. As far as the "dumping syndrome", a lot of the soft foods that you want to eat contain a lot of sugar and it's too much for your system to handle right now. I also had issues with dairy products. I found that eating the 6-8 small meals (more like snacks) a day was really a big help. Also, don't drink a lot of liquid with your meals or snacks, as that tends to move the food through your system too quickly. It's going to take time to resolve itself, and it won't happen overnight. Everyone is different, but there was no way that I would have attempted to eat the foods at five weeks that you are mentioning. My surgery was 100% successful, but I still watch what I eat and there are still foods that I avoid. I don't drink any carbonated beverages or alcohol, it's not worth the extra gas that it provides. I went back to work after 2 months, and for only 1/2 days the first week. I hated to do it, but for my own peace of mind I wore Depends at work for a while until I felt comfortable about bathroom issues. And yes, it was 6 months for me until I started to feel better, and about one year until my "new" normal.


BTW, the posts you are responding to in the Forum are over 5 years old and there probably won't be a lot of activity.
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