How can you tell if the wrap is failing?

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New Member

Date Joined Aug 2012
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 8/25/2012 9:31 PM (GMT -6)   
How can you tell if the wrap is failing. I had a fundlipication 4 years ago. I recently had to have a gastroscopy and the endoscopist said that the fundlipication was not function and stitches were loose.

I feel ok except for a rumbly tummy and a bit more wind than usual. The worst thing is an excruciating pain in my right shoulder.

I went back to the surgeon who has offered to do barium swallow tests, although he doesn't seem too keen. He said he wouldn't do surgery based on a couple of weeks symptoms, and in fact as I don't have heartburn or acid reflux at the minute didn't believe that the wrap was unravelling. He said he didn't know what was causing the shoulder pain and told me to take anti inflammatories.

I would certainly prefer not to have any further surgery if it is not necessary and can put up with the tummy and wind problems, but the shoulder pain is really terrible.

My questions are
1. Could the shoulder pain be caused by an unravelling wrap
2. Will a barium swallow test give a definitive answer on the status of the wrap
3. Is there anything else I can do

Thanks for your help.

Regular Member

Date Joined May 2012
Total Posts : 46
   Posted 8/26/2012 6:26 AM (GMT -6)   
The gold standard for checking the wrap is the endoscopy, though even that is inconclusive. When my stomach was herniated to over 50% with nearly no wrap left at all, all the endoscopy showed was a '"defect" at the site of the wrap.

An upper GI/barium swallow would be helpful to see if you are actually refluxing right now, since it takes months of reflux sometimes before you start feeling it. But, it cannot give you a definitive answer.

Another possible test that might help is a CT with oral contrast, which might actually catch a herniation, but is unlikely to clearly outline the wrap itself. It really depends on whether your initial surgery was necessitated by hernia or by a weak LES.

The only way to "see" the wrap is through surgery. Having gone through this three times, I can tell you that during each of the redo procedures, not one doctor gave me an accurate reading on the wrap itself. Some overestimated the failure and some underestimated it -- both by very wide margins.

As for the shoulder pain, I just don't know. I would hazard a guess that it is unrelated to this surgery.
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
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