I am 32 years old and just visited the surgeon again today to see about
*another* redo. I went through my original procedure and the first redo without any online support, but figured I might reach out and see if I could help others or possible skim a little advice out of others. :)
I had life-long reflux without even knowing that there was such a thing as life without heartburn until I collapsed in 1999 after drinking a glass of wine as a freshman in college. (I know I wasn't 21 yet -- guess that was my punishment.) It turns out that I had 2 bleeding ulcers by then, and a rather large hiatal hernia. I lived for a year on 40mg of Prilosec and 4 doses of Propulsid each day and was still suffering reflux. So, in 2000 I had a Nissen at a hospital that was an early adopter of laparoscopic surgery.
Everything was great for 8 years. Then, very suddenly, I found myself dry heaving after almost every meal. Granted, I had ballooned up to 220 lbs and was probably not eating very well, but I didn't think I did anything so terrible as to cause such a sudden onset of symptoms. So, I found myself a new gastro, who promptly told me "lose some weight and everything will get better."
80 lbs. later, nothing was better. I found a surgeon willing to attempt another laparoscopic procedure, and flew to him to have my second procedure in 2010. Turns out I had more than 50% herniation -- don't think losing weight was going to fix that.
Since that surgery, I suffer from occasional dumping syndrome and have not been able to tolerate super thick foods (bread, rice, etc.) or any meat at all. In January, I began having lower chest pains, right by the stomach, which gets worse after eating and when lying down. My newest gastro got a bit worried and sent me for an Upper GI and endoscopy. Guess what? Looks like some herniation and signs of erosion again.
I don't even know what to eat anymore. I'm basically a fat-free, sugar-free, vegetarian who can't handle raw vegetables, bread, rice, or anything acidic. Try to find *that* on the menu.
The first surgeon I saw last month told me that I'm too young to be in this position. I ran from him. Too young? That's helpful. I'm back to the second surgeon, who is willing to go in and see what he can do. He's already doing a refined procedure on new patients and thinks I will get better results if he anchors the stomach.
Here's hoping I don't lose my esophagus before my 33rd birthday.
Post Edited (MultiFundo) : 5/3/2012 1:21:26 AM (GMT-6)