Nissen fundo recovery concerns - 3 weeks post op

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burnfree
New Member


Date Joined May 2012
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 9/16/2012 5:07 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi

I'm 3 and half weeks post nissen. I'm a 31 year old female who has lived with GERD for 10 years since having gallstone complications/gallbladder removed. I have been on 20mg nexium for the 10 years. I was always a great candidate for the drug - as long as I was on it I wouldn't have any real symptoms - I could eat almost anything I wanted but as soon as I missed one dose it was all over. Suddenly this year my reflux dramatically increased. I was on a very limited acid-free, minimal fat, bland diet and taking up to 80mg of nexium a day with no real relief so after 10 years of being warned against the fundo I decided I would give it a shot. I've been trying to eliminate nexium for a few years cause it causes so many health problems with no luck.

On the upside post surgery I don't think I've had any reflux at all! I do have a constant uncomfortable feeling similar to reflux but no acid taste in my mouth, feeling in my throat so I think it's just swelling.

I know it's early days and I thought I was recovering well. So far the recovery not been as difficult as I expecting however I'm starting to have some concerns and stressing out a little.

So far I've been on a very bland diet (similar to the acid-free diet I was on prior to surgery - no tomatoes, no vinegars, no garlic and onions, no pepper, no chocolate, etc) however my surgeon has mentioned that I should be able to eat acidic things. I've tried eating some chocolate (to increase my calorie intake) and a little tomato but have found that it irritates me - similar burning feeling to reflux but confined to my stomach. My surgeon thinks it may be gastritis (which I've had previously but thought it was only related to my gall bladder as recent tests were negative). He does not think it is related to the surgery and has recommended I go back on nexium and see what happens. This has devastated me. I am very worried I've been through this surgery for nothing and will continue to need nexium anyway. So I was wondering if anyone has had to return to their PPI's post op for a short period of time or if anyone has had gastritis after their nissen? I would like to know if it's possible that it's just the swelling around my wrap which feels like burning / gastritis pain or will this be indefinate return to nexium? Or has anyone had gatritis type symptoms of burning irritation and burping when eating acidic foods post fundo - did this clear up and how did you manage it?

My only other real concern is how exhausted I am. Although I'm trying to eat as often as possible it's difficult to get a lot of calories in on a liquid / puree diet at a half cup at a time. My surgeon is worried I'm not getting enough food in. At most I can only fit in 1/2 cup of food in at any one time - I wait an hour and half and then eat more. Is this normal for this point in my recovery? No matter how often and what liquid foods I eat I have such little energy which driving me mad.

I'm a naturally nervous person and my surgeon has made me doubt my recovery progress quite a bit so any feedback from those with experience is appreciated.
Edit: I fixed your smiley face. :)

Post Edited (burnfree) : 9/17/2012 1:59:43 AM (GMT-6)


stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 9/16/2012 11:03 AM (GMT -6)   
 
Hello and welcome to HealingWell and the GERD forum.  I have not had the Nissen but many of our members have and will be along to share with you.  I did have major bowel surgery 4 weeks ago and I can share with you that it takes time for our bodies to heal and to get back the strength we had prior to surgery.
 
Allow your body to tell you when you need to rest and take a nap as I do nearly daily.  I just went on a 3 day vacation ( nothing strenous) but I was disappointed as every afternoon about 4 PM my stamina just pooped out.  It only took a nap back at the hotel ( about an hour long) and I would be ready to continue on with our plans.
 
My hubby also reminded me that I am not a kid anymore - tongue
 
I wish you a full recovery and I will be thinking of you.
 
Kindly,
Kitt
~~Kitt~~
Moderator: Anxiety, Osteoarthritis,
GERD/Heartburn and Heart/Cardiovascular Disease.



"I am not afraid of storms for I am learning how to sail my ship" ~ Louisa May Alcott

burnfree
New Member


Date Joined May 2012
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 9/17/2012 2:00 AM (GMT -6)   
Thanks kitt. You're so right I need to rest more often. Sadly your hubbys comments apply to me also!!

Sparklingsoul
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2011
Total Posts : 11
   Posted 9/17/2012 7:54 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi, I'm also 3+ weeks post fundo. I had to take Aciphex again, but I am happy, because before surgery I was taking 1-2 Aciphexes AND 1-2 Axids a day. I see this as a major improvement.
 
I'm also eating very small portions (1/2 cup) each hour and am very tired, too. My doctor said to eat more protein and make sure I'm well hydrated. I have been getting protein from lactose-free yogurt and milk, blenderized egg salad, blenderized meatloaf (with plenty of beef broth to moisten it), and blenderized chicken with chicken soup.
 
I'm having some major problems with upper GI gas...my doc just put me back on a full liquid diet for a few days + ativan for hiccups (50 a day).
 
Like you, I really worry about the long-term results. At least I have no more reflux!

burnfree
New Member


Date Joined May 2012
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 9/18/2012 2:14 AM (GMT -6)   
Thanks for your comments spaklingsoul. I'm trying to increase my food intake to each hour although it causes some pain at times. I have managed to put on a kilo in the past 5 days so I'm hoping with a bit of extra food my energy levels will pick up!! Fingers crossed!

I've been eating loads of protein as veggies seem to make my already intense gas even worse so I've pretty much cut them out only eating bits in chicken soup etc not as a whole meal by themselves (not so healthy but it's only short term I hope). The easiest protein boost for me has been eggs. Even when I'm spasming I can get down a soft boiled egg. Also I've made up a runny shepards pie with lots of stock and extra gravy to help get it down - good for a bit of an iron boost and feels more like a real meal. Hopefully your not on a full liquid diet for long. Wishing you all the best.

eLaReF
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2012
Total Posts : 74
   Posted 9/18/2012 3:05 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi

It's a while since I had my wrap 9 years ago, but remember eating and feeling quite wierd for 5 weeks after the op.

I'm in the UK and was told to strictly follow a bland strict diet of soft food (I had mainly soup). After 6 weeks I had my post op check and was told I was fine to eat whatever I wanted, just told to chew properly and not eat too fast ( I remeber that night having what seemed like the finest pizza of my life!).

The only thing I now have problems with is red onion, everything else is fine - others will stress this too, but really try to chew your food properly and eat slower when you get the all clear to eat normally again from your clinician.

Hang in there.

burnfree
New Member


Date Joined May 2012
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 9/18/2012 3:16 AM (GMT -6)   
Thanks for your comments elref. It's so reassuring to hear from someone who has been through this.

Just curious how are you now 9 years post op? Have you ever had problems from the wrap in that time?

Also were you on PPIs before the surgery and did you have to keep taking them?

Post Edited (burnfree) : 9/18/2012 3:22:32 AM (GMT-6)


Stormienite
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2009
Total Posts : 186
   Posted 9/18/2012 6:25 AM (GMT -6)   
You're still way early in your recovery and should still be eating small bland meals easy to swallow and digest. It actually took me several months before I could eat normally again. Remember your stomach has gotten smaller. Experiment. Stay away from those foods that irritate you. Eventually you'll be able to eat whatever you want just take it slow.

eLaReF
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2012
Total Posts : 74
   Posted 9/18/2012 6:26 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi

Can't remember what PPI's I was on back then, but like you if I didn't take then for a day I was in agony. Also, the dosage I needed to combat the reflux was also rising hence the option for surgery.

I had a full wrap and have had no refux symtoms since just after my op (as you are having now) - so have not had a PPI since, although if I do get bloated after I overeat I dwill occasionally take an antacid to ease this.

I can't vomit or burp, but this hasn't really caused me any problems.

The only thing that still causes me a problem is when food gets stuck if I eat too fast or don't chew. Not sure if this is the same for everone, but it's a very odd and unpleasant feeling for me which is difficult to describe. This happened to me quite a bit in the early days of eating normal food post op, so please remember to properly chew your food and eat a bit slower.

Hope things work out.

Les.

burnfree
New Member


Date Joined May 2012
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 9/20/2012 5:00 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks for all your comments so far. So much more reassuring than my surgeon.

I have started on some liquid nexium but am seeing no significant difference and have become groggy from them which I never found in the 10 years i had previously been on it. Considering not bothering with it.

I was also wondering how long it takes to increase the capacity of my stomach. I'm up to 3 and half cups of food a day but was wondering how long it will take to be able to eat a more substantial 'adult sized' meal.

Also for anyone whose had bad gas and bloating how long does this take to subside?

dencha
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7181
   Posted 9/21/2012 12:29 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi burnfree,
First, at around 3 or 4 weeks post op, you're at the very beginning of your recovery.  Laproscopic surgery is very deceiving.  While your outsides haven't been affected much, your insides have been through MAJOR surgery.  Things have been pulled an moved and wrapped, and stitched, and repaired.  Your upper GI tract has been dramatically revised.  It will take time for your body to heal and adjust. Being tired is very understandable, so as Kitt said, listen to your body, and rest when it says it's tired.
 
I would suspect that the reason the PPI didn't help is because the irritation is at the wrap site.  At your point of recovery, the wrap is swollen, and that can cause some of the foods you eat and drink to be stopped at the wrap site.  They sit there, fermenting, and waiting to go down.  In the meantime they cause irritation, which mimics reflux.  The esophgagus is a "dumb organ" and it interprets all pain as reflux.
 
Your stomach isn't accepting much because of the swelling.  The fundus of the stomach (top part that was used for the wrap) is the part of the stomach that tells the brain that it's full.  The brain interprets the swelling as fullness, which is why you fill up extremely quickly at this point.  At your stage of recovery, I was only eating a third to at most a half a cup of food at a sitting, and maybe less.  I lost 15 pounds before my stomach started accepting enough food to stop losing weight. It's very normal to lose weight during this recovery.  Don't worry...you'll gradually begin to be able to eat more.  Honestly, I don't remember when I could eat more normal portions, but probably around four or five months post op.  It's a gradual improvement over 6 months.
 
Around here the rule of thumb is that it takes a full 6 months for most of the healing, and a full year for the rest.  I had one quirk (occasional dumping) that lasted into the second year and then finally disappeared.  I figured I'd have that one forever when one day I realized it wasn't happening any more!
 
Listen to your body.  Surrender to your recovery, and follow it where it leads you.  You can't rush this.  It is as it is.  Everyone is different, and yet some aspects of recovery seem universal.  Glad you've found us!  It's a great place to receive information and support from others who've been through what you're experiencing.
 
Best wishes!
Denise 
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.”

clairesy
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2012
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 10/1/2012 7:41 AM (GMT -6)   
hi all.i had the nissen fundo done in sept last yr.Its been just over 12 months since my op and i am still having major troubles with eating. When i eat food it is 'sometimes' ok although i still find i have to chew things very carefully and cant eat a substantial amount due to only having half a stomach. However a lot of the time i am getting terrible pain while swallowing. Food seems to be getting stuck somewhere and the pain it causes sends me feeling terribly sick. Sometimes i have to run the to the toilet around 5 times during meals...the pain gets that bad i get a sudden feeling of sickness come over me and although i cannot throw up(one of the effects of having the op in the first place)...any food thats trapped in my esophagus will sometimes fly back up and out as im dry reaching over the toilet with pain. i also get a slimy substance that comes out off my throat when food gets suck,im not sure what this is.I am also still struggling to gain any weight....i lost over 2.5 stone after the op..it took me from 8 stone 9 ..to 6 stone 5!!!! although with the help of food supplement drinks of my doctor i very slowly climbed up to 7 stone 9 ..but since ive stopped having the supplement drinks im back down to around 7 stone 5 now :(
Ive been back to the surgeon numerous times and hes run some tests on me...an endoscopy didnt show anything wrong, but after the last test (a swallow test) it showed a narrowing at the wrap site.He said this could due to twp things.. either the wrap being done too tight or because i have a lot of scar tissue.
I am scheduled to have a balloon inflation on the 15th of october this yr...can anyone tel me please what happens during this and what are the chances of it working for me...is it painful what can i expect after they have inflated it..I am so scared that im doomed, and that i am going to have more surgery :(

Post Edited (clairesy) : 10/1/2012 7:45:07 AM (GMT-6)


dencha
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7181
   Posted 10/1/2012 10:37 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi clairesy,
Welcome to the Healing Well yeah yeah yeah Wrapped Club! yeah yeah yeah I am very sorry to hear that you're struggling still.  First, I must tell you what I'm sure you you already know--what you're going through is not a bit normal.  I am certain that you can find relief, but you may need a second opinion from another surgeon who may have more experience that this one has.  I'm assuming you live in the UK, which adds a little difficulty, as I have no idea where to suggest you go for medical attention.  There are other members of the forum who are from the UK, and they may have a recommendation regarding where to go.  I know it can be tricky.
 
Your stomach is not half its size due to the Nissen.  Unless you had a different procedure, with time your stomach stretches back to its original size.  By your stage of healing (even much earlier) it should be right back to its normal size.
 
What you're going to have is a dilation.  It's pretty commonly used when a wrap has been made over-tight and is causing swallowing problems.  The balloon will stretch the area and try to release the tight spot so food doesn't get stuck there anymore. 
 
If you give your surgeon opportunities to help you, and he/she doesn't provide complete relief, please research alternative health care options and get to the bottom of what's causing your problem.  You have given your healing plenty of time to resolve these issues, and since they're still with you, your doctors are responsible for getting things fixed so you can become healthy and have a good quality of life.
 
This forum is a good place to receive support and information from others who have been through the surgery and recovery.  I suggest you start your own thread on the main page and in the topic describe briefly the problems you're having.  You can even copy and paste your first post into the new one to introduce yourself.  Here's the link to the main page: GERD - Heartburn
 
Good luck!
Denise
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.”

Post Edited (dencha) : 10/1/2012 10:40:26 AM (GMT-6)

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