Should I get a Nissens Fundaplication Surgery or Not?

If you had the chance to go back in time and not go through with the Nissens Fundaplication, would you?
Yes - 25.0%
No - 75.0%

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New Member

Date Joined Aug 2012
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 8/21/2012 7:17 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi, I have been suffering from heartburn with years now. I am 20yrs old and I don't watch my diet & only take my Nexuim when I think of it. I had a test done 1yr & 1/2 ago to test my acid levels and I was told I had GERD and I would be getting a Nissans Fundaplication. I was waiting untill today for a date and I will be getting it next week.To be honest I can manage as long as I keep a bottle of Gavison near. I am just worried about the other dieases you can get from contant acid reflux. I have read some horror stories about the sugery too. about not being able to swallow properly, or bloating and not being able to vomit or burp. That would drive me insane. I am in college I eat crap all the time, I can't imagine being on a liquid diet. I used to try things to relieve my heartburn but nothing worked so I gave up. Im also worried about how long the recovery time is? I am due back to college the 10th of Sept.. my surgery is the 28th of Aug.. Will I be alright for college? I guess what I am really asking is if you had the chance to go back would you still get the surgery or would you try manage your symptoms?

New Member

Date Joined Aug 2012
Total Posts : 16
   Posted 8/21/2012 4:34 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi there I had a Nissan done 4 weeks ago tomorrow I had put up with my symptoms for 20 years ,I had just been given tablet after tablet ,and nothing ever worked I used to vomit in my sleep ,I also had my gall bladder out at the same time and have to say I feel fantastic the surgery is amazing upto now I have no pain no heartburn n feel really good less anything is about to change I would say go for it as it fab ,n as u stated earlier bein left this can cause serious things ie cancer of the osophegus so I would consider getting the surgery ,as for college I took two weeks of work and think you would be fine goin to college but will say u get very tired half way thru the day .if you go or it I wish u luck n hope u feel as good as I do . Sue x

Regular Member

Date Joined May 2012
Total Posts : 46
   Posted 8/21/2012 5:53 PM (GMT -6)   
Welcome SophIRE,

I had my third Nissen on July 24, and returned to classes on August 20. That was pushing it... I do not think 2 weeks is enough time. You will likely still be battling just the side effects of general anesthesia at the two week mark.

As for the surgery itself, I usually still recommend it. But, from your post I question whether you are a good candidate right now. Your inability to follow a medical regiment might put your recovery in danger. Having a good outcome is tied to taking it really easy on your system in the first few months of recovery. You will need to avoid toting around textbooks, eating anything that taxes your system, and will need additional rest to allow your body to heal. It just doesn't sound like this is a good idea for you right now.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2010
Total Posts : 638
   Posted 8/21/2012 10:55 PM (GMT -6)   

I have not had any surgeries, but have to say, I agree with MultiFundo's comments. You should probably consult with your GI Doc and determine how serious your issue is but if you are going to have the surgery, you are going to have to be diligent during your recovery and to me, it sounds like you may not "be at that point" in your life yet.... I have two girls, already graduated from college and I know what the college life is like and can say that I bet that it would be very difficult to adhere to strict protocol at this time.

Best luck to you with you decision.
DX with Lyme and Erlichosis in January 2010. January-August: Biaxin and Amoxicillian. September 2011 - ? on Rifampin and Zithromax. Symtpoms mostly neuro and have 20 small lesions on brain.

New Member

Date Joined Aug 2012
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 8/25/2012 3:12 AM (GMT -6)   

Why have you had 3 surgeries? When I had mine I expected it to last forever. Recently I had an gastroscopy and the doctor said that the fundlipication was unravelling and not functioning. Went back to the surgeon who doesn't seem very happy with that suggestion.

1 week prior to the gastroscopy I started to develop left shoulder pain similar to the experience from gas after the op. It seems to be getting worse. I'm not sure what to do.

Regular Member

Date Joined May 2012
Total Posts : 46
   Posted 8/25/2012 9:36 AM (GMT -6)   
I am so sorry that your wrap may be failing Smokie,

I needed the second surgery about 8 years after my first one because of a massive failure. I had the first one in 2000, when there were very few doctors doing the laproscopic surgery, and the techniques were pretty new. Some data suggests a very high failure rate by the 10 year mark from those original surgeries. In my case, it looks like the original surgeon did not properly close off the hole in the diaphragm, allowing the stomach to re-herniate to over 50%, and the wrap to eventually tear apart.

I went to a completely different surgeon for #2 -- specifically an expert in redo procedures. That second procedure was pretty necessary.

After about a year an a half, it looks like the mesh repair to my diaphragm began to tear at the back of the esophagus. That little tear allowed a small hernia to pop back up, and every time I ate I began tearing the diaphragm a little more. I went back to the same surgeon, who was already securing the stomach and mesh using a new technique. He was grateful I came back because it gave him a chance to see what works and what doesn't. So, surgery #3 included a new mesh repair with surgical rivets, a renewed wrap with 4 running stitches, and a anterior gastropexy (my stomach is sewed to the abdomen now).

I STRONGLY recommend looking for a surgeon who *ONLY* does redos. Most surgeons who claim to do them do them very infrequently and are not clued in to the issues presented by a patient who's body continues to reherniate or tear the wrap. Some will suggest things like installing a feeding port (even temporarily), beginning with an open procedure, or planning on lengthening the esophagus without really investigating first. My surgeon spends half of his time doing research on how to improve the surgery.

You may need to travel, but I beg you not to allow just any surgeon to cut you open again. I actually went to several doctors, got several recommendations, and made lots of phone calls before I picked. And, I even ended up firing a surgeon after we got through all of the testing because I lost confidence in his approach.

A sobering fact is that each successive surgery had a longer recovery and a larger failure rate going forward. However, I attribute the larger failure rate to sub-par surgeons doing the redos.
Diagnosed with GERD 5/99 -
Lap. Nissen 7/00;
Lap. Nissen w/ Mesh Repair (>50% Herniation) 4/10;
Lap. Nissen, Rivet Mesh Repair & Gastropexy 7/12

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7188
   Posted 8/25/2012 10:03 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Smokie,
I TOTALLY agree with Multifundo.  Don't go back to same surgeon if you don't absolutely have to.  A redo is more challenging and complicated, and to ensure that it's successful and fixes your problems, you need a surgeon that is highly skilled and experienced in redos. 
 Medical centers in larger cities have more experience with problems, and will ensure you have a successful result.  You can research which centers are rated highly in GI treatments.  If you can travel, great.   Or if you live in a large enough city to have a great GI/thoracic surgeon with lots of experience, that will work, too.  Consider researching and then interviewing several surgeons if at all possible.
If you are planning on staying on this forum and looking for more support and responses, I suggest you start your own thread with an appropriate title on the main page.  Here's the link: GERD - Heartburn
Good luck with your search for answers!
Best wishes,
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.”
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