after the nissen surgery?

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New Member

Date Joined Sep 2012
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 9/8/2012 7:36 AM (GMT -6)   
  Haveing surgery Tuesday, large haital hernia, with GERD, nissen.  what should I expect after surgery?? I have asthma like cough now. Will I cough then ? How do I do this without a lot of pain??what about meds I take now, does everyone crush them as I am suppose to do?? Thank you, Nano6

New Member

Date Joined Sep 2012
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 9/8/2012 7:42 AM (GMT -6)   
  I forgot to say mine is 7cm has to be repaired with the mesh just wanted to know how others did with this type surgery,thakns,, nano

Regular Member

Date Joined May 2012
Total Posts : 46
   Posted 9/8/2012 8:22 AM (GMT -6)   
Welcome Nano, and good luck on Tuesday.

My 2nd and 3rd Nissens were mesh repairs, so hopefully I can provide some insight for you. The coughing you have now might continue for a bit, but you'll find coughing is about the 4th most painful thing you'll do for a couple of months after surgery. (#1 is retching, #2 is sneezing, #3 is laughing) You'll likely want to talk about getting on a cough suppressant for a while following surgery.

That said, you are having MAJOR surgery, and should expect pain. Now everybody reacts to different pain medications differently. I discovered this time around that Fentalyn didn't control my pain at all. If the pain is out of control (meaning it stays extremely high, or is like a rollercoaster) you need to be vocal about asking for other drugs.

I am assuming you are having a laproscopic procedure -- The worst pain is probably going to be in your shoulders, and that pain takes almost 2 weeks to go away completely. You need to get up and begin walking around as soon as possible to help work the air bubbles out of your abdomen.

As for drugs you might be on -- don't crush them! Most capsules are time-release, and crushing them releases them all at once. The doctor and hospital should help you get prescriptions for either liquid, compounded, or dissolvable versions of your meds.

And, of course, we're here to help support you -- don't be afraid to ask questions.

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 9/8/2012 9:12 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Nano6,
Welcome to Healing Well!  You'll soon be a new member of our Wrapped Club!  I found this forum just before my surgery in February 2009, so I'm 3 and a half years post-op.  Here is a link to my early recovery journal.  It will give you an idea of one person's recovery experience.  I had my surgery because of reflux effects on my lungs, so I coughed more than a little:
I'm not sure how much information your surgeon will give you about eating, but here are links to two recovery eating plans:
Multifundo is so right about shoulder pain being the worst.  Before my surgery I couldn't understand how shoulder pain could be caused by a stomach surgery!  Some is caused by gas that is pumped into the body to make it easier for the surgeon to see, but I've heard that most is from stitches in the diaphram area. 
This pain will subside as healing progresses.  I was told in the hospital to get up and walk whenever I got up to go to the bathroom, which I did.  I was doing laps around the hospital floor in the middle of the night!  I continued walking around the house as much as possible, and as it was winter, as soon as I could, (fairly early) I started on my treadmill--very slowly at first.  The more I walked, the less shoulder pain I had.  There was a definite correlation.
You won't need the pain medication they give you for long.  Try your hardest to get a liquid formulation.  Unfortunately many of us found this harder than you would think.  While surgeons send their patients home on a liquid or soft diet, the seem to think swallowing a big pill isn't a problem.  If you get a pill form, either open the capsule and mix it with some applesauce or yogut, or crush the pill and mix it.  Be sure to have some liquid Tylenol, because you can switch to that very soon.  Save the narcotic pain meds for nighttime, when you'll notice pain more.
I found continuing to sleep on a wedge or elevated bed was more comfortable during my healing time.
As Multifundo said, while you'll only have 5 little slits on the outside, you will be having MAJOR surgery, and need to understand that your insides have experienced much more trauma.  Your upper GI tract will experience a very big revision, which will take a long time to heal.  Your body will have a lot of healing to do, and it will have to adjust to the revisions.
It takes 6 months for the majority of healing, and a full year for the rest.  It takes patience.  If you can surrender to your recovery and follow it where it leads you, you'll find it much easier to deal with.  You can't rush it.  You can't worry or stress it away.  It is as it is.  You will experience gradual improvement as you move toward the 6 month mark. 
At my 4 month mark, I was on vacation, and eating pretty much anything I wanted, although I took small bites, and chewed my food extremely carefully.  Even now, I need to eat more slowly and chew my food more completely.  The wrap that will be created to keep acid in your stomach, works both ways.  It also creates more resistance as food moves into your stomach than your wide open LES.
Stick around the forum and ask any questions that come to mind.  There is a lot of information and support here.  I stuck around to pay forward the wonderful support I received when I was in need.  I don't think there's another forum on the internet that is as helpful as this one.
Good luck with your surgery!  We'll be waiting to hear how it went, and welcome you to the "Wrapped Club"!
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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