Pain again- 7 yrs post Nissen

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New Member

Date Joined Oct 2012
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 10/3/2012 10:09 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello all! I am 7 years post Nissen (at age 21) and also had my gall bladder out a year and a half ago (age 26) due to gall stones. Before my nissen I swear I could spit stomach acid and it felt like and elephant Was sitting on my chest while i was having heart Attacks. The past few weeks I've been having pain at the base of my ribs (under my xyphoid process) , hurts most right after I eat and the pressure is back, but not a severe... More like my 3 yr old is sitting on me. I also had a decent 24 hour bout of acid in my throat that prompted me to find some Zantac laying around. Now feeling it around my chest, like mini heart attacks :)

Today I had an upper GI test/ barium swallow.... Icky :)

I don't have formal results but the PA taking the x-rays said everything looked good, and my nissen was still intact. He did see a little reflux but nothing big.
I would assume that after the nissen there should be NO reflux showing so the fact that I have been feeling pressure and the acid again would mean that the original nissen is not functioning properly.
I am thinking that maybe it has stretched out a bit? I have a gut feeling that I am going to have to have my nissen re-done.... If it is an option I would do it in a heartbeat. I had 7 years of bliss, no heartburn even through 2 pregnancies :)

Just wanted to see if anyone else has had both the nissen and gall bladder removed or had similar pain or situation? Or how you knew you needed a nissen re-do :)

Post Edited (Jessicaudd) : 10/3/2012 10:47:38 PM (GMT-6)

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2012
Total Posts : 74
   Posted 10/4/2012 4:07 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Jessica

Have you started eating anything different recently - new diet etc.?

I was about 4 years in after my wrap when I realised certain foods (in my case red onion) made me really uncomfortable.

Could also be a stomach bug going round that has hit you - I've been fortunate in that I've only had one since my op 9 years ago, but remember panicing at the time and thinking my stomach would blow up :)



Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 4961
   Posted 10/4/2012 9:17 AM (GMT -6)   

Welcome to Healing Well.
Even with the Nissen you will have some reflux. The wrap is to make us have "normal" reflux versus severe reflux. If it stopped it completely it would be near impossible to get anything into your stomach as well. Does that make sense?

As for your symptoms now, I am on board with Les. Have you had to take any antibiotics or switch and meds? Even OTC things can possibly cause this. As Les said, double check what you eat when this happens. Sometimes certain foods can be alright one day and cause reflux the next.

Take care,
Moderator: GERD/Heartburn
Nissen 6/06 and 5/09
#3 on 8/24/11

New Member

Date Joined Oct 2012
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 10/4/2012 10:41 AM (GMT -6)   
I took a mild antibiotic a few weeks ago, but they have never bothered me before. A for the food it doesn't see, to matter what I eat :(

Last night I was woken up at about midnight with intense spasms/cramping in upper stomach. Didn't have to use the bathroom, and was able to go back to sleep after 15 min or so.

All these symptoms are all to familiar. :(

I haven't had one once of heartburn or pressure in 7 years, and now I feel within a month it is coming back fast and with vengeance!

I know the tech said that my wrap looks intact, but could they stretch out?

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7188
   Posted 10/4/2012 8:37 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Jessica,
Sorry to hear you've having problems again.  As Bill said, you can still get some reflux after a Nissen, so it doesn't mean your wrap has failed.  It seems that your barium swallow will be concluding that as well.
Antibiotics can certainly set off your stomach, and create some resultant increase in reflux ymptoms.  I try not to take ANY because I always end up with a bout of gastritis, and gastritis can increase reflux episodes. 
I had my surgery over three and a half years ago, and because I have asthma and am extremely sensitive to ANY reflux, I my allergy/asthma doc wants me to continue to behave as if I have reflux in a couple of ways...I continue to take a PPI before dinner, and I sleep with the head of my bed elevated.  Better safe than sorry.
If you're having a bad time of it, you might consider adding some acid suppression to your routine for a couple of weeks until things get feeling better.  Be careful of what you eat.  Don't go to bed with any food in your stomach...wait 3 to 4 hours after eating.  Consider elevating the head of your bed again.
Once things settle down you can gradually get back into your more regular routines, but continue to watch out for reflux triggers. 
One other thing to consider.  Quite often after gallbladder surgery, people can get excessive bile, and even bile reflux.  Bile can create all kinds of stomach discomfort as well as nausea.  I don't know if that could be part of the equation, but you could discuss it with your doctor when you meet about the barium swallow results.
Don't panic.  It's very likely that you will get things straightened around and back to normal.  Can the wrap stretch over time?  Yes.  But it is intact, and that's important.
Good luck!
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.”

New Member

Date Joined Oct 2012
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 10/10/2012 7:20 PM (GMT -6)   
Went to the doc today to go over my barium swallow test, and he re introduced himself to me as "nice to meet you..." I was not impressed that he didn't look at my chart very thoroughly to see he was the one who did my .gallbladder surgery a year ago,.,. But that's beside the point...

He said everything looked good, but due to the symptoms that I am still having he wants to do an upper endoscopy and PH test (the new kind where you don't have to have the tube down your nose... Yay for technology!) he said that even though my wrap looks intact on the X-ray there still could be other problems with my wrap. He seemed to be in a hurry and never answered my question as to what the other problems could be if the wrap is intact.

Any thoughts?
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