First, thanks for
your very kind words. I know how much it meant to me to find positivity when I
was looking for information and support. It seemed like everywhere I looked
online there was another Nissen horror story. I've discovered that if I
approach a challenge with a positive attitude, no matter how difficult, it
makes it more bearable and easier to handle. I just can't get into the
"poor me" mode. It just makes me feel worse!
Now for my marathon answers...by now you know I'm not a woman of few words...
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS:
1) have any of you
who have had the Nissen contracted the flu or had to "vomit"? I know
you can't barf after the surgery, but what happens
I was told that I wouldn't be able to burp or vomit,
and I can do both. I can't actually make myself burp, but my stomach burps
itself. This started right away, and at first I was worried that my wrap was
too loose...but no, it's just right.
In the four
years since I had surgery, I've vomited twice. Both times the vomiting snuck up
on me and I had no nausea to warn me that it was coming. It was a little harder
to get the first bit out, but once started I vomited normally.
important to try not to vomit if you can, as it's hard on the wrap. I took
anti-nausea meds as soon as I knew I had a stomach bug, and didn't vomit after
the first time each episode. I found Compazine suppositories to be the best,
but I have a script for Zofran as well, which is a small dissolvable tablet. Some people find phenegran to be a good
option. Once wrapped, you should always have
anti-nausea meds handy.
I was told
by more experienced members here that if you suspect food poisoning once wrapped,
a trip to the ER to get your stomach pumped is in order, but I’m not sure
anyone has done that. I haven’t actually
heard of an incident like that, but hey…it’s good to keep tucked in the back of
your mind, just in case.
healing period when the wrap isn’t firmly established, vomiting and retching
are very risky. It’s important to ask
your surgeon for anti-nausea drugs. I
got the pills from my surgeon and the suppositories from my PCP who knows I
have a very sensitive stomach.
2) what did your doctors say about the life of the wrap? I've heard everything
from it not working, to a 10 year lifespan.... I'm at a loss for what to do at
Generally studies mention a ten year lifespan only in
that most studies follow up with people at the ten year mark. Internet forums aren’t really the best place
to get an idea of wrap lifespans, since most people who search for information
and post online are those having problems.
There are many “wrappers” who have the surgery and go on their merry way
and don’t post a single online comment.
forum, the longest lasting wrap I’ve heard of was 20 years. This is the thing. You’ve got a bad problem
that can be helped by surgery. If you
don’t have the surgery you’ll be suffering with reflux. Which is worse—the risk of having a redo, or
suffering with reflux? My asthma doc has
a wonderful quote by St.Thomas Aquinas that he uses when he or a patient has to
decide to do something that may seem risky:
“If the highest aim of a captain were to
preserve his ship,
he would keep it in port forever.”
Sometimes we have to take risks in life when the potential benefit
is great. Just weigh your options. I took the risk (and after seeing so many
scary posts online, it wasn’t easy to do) and benefited greatly. I would have a redo without a second’s
hesitation if I needed it.
3) does your life get back to normal. I mean, do you feel normal internally
after all the healing is done? Can you drink alcohol and go out with friends
and light up the town every once and a while? I work out of a suitcase a lot
and find it hard to eat mindfully when on the road, especially in Europe.
husband and I go out to eat all the time, and have lots of fun with our friends
and family. I have two boys—one 30 and
one 35, and they like to party with us!
I’m not a heavy drinker, but I enjoy beer, wine, and an occasional mixed
drink. My favorite is beer, though!
I can eat whatever I want at restaurants
without any problem. I remember watching
people who were able to eat spicy foods, etc. before my surgery and think that
they didn’t understand how lucky they were!
Now I’m one of them.
I do have a
sensitive stomach, so have to be a little careful because of that, but it’s not
at all related to my wrap.
4) I have a small hiatal hernia as well and wonder if others have the cronic
hiccuping and burping that I have. Literally I often burp and hiccup at the
same time. Kind of like a spasm. Does anyone else have this, and will it be
fixed by Nissen?
you with this one…I’m sure somebody else will be by to share. I do know that some people get hiccups early
in recovery due to irritation of the diaphragm, but it goes away with healing. I'd guess that the hiccuping and burping are reflux related and once healed, will be resolved by the surgery.
5) after the surgery, can you sleep normally again? Im not able to sleep on my
left side as advised because my LES just opens and the reflux comes right up.
I'm elevated 6 inches and it doesn't do much, even with stacking the
pillows.... Sleeping is not great for me
Because of my asthma (and the fact that small amounts
of reflux are possible even after surgery—just “normal” amounts—if the wrap was
tight enough to keep reflux to zero we wouldn’t be able to swallow) I still
sleep with the head of my bed elevated.
It’s just a precaution. I sleep fine, though. BTW stacking pillows isn’t that great for you
pre-op, as it can put you in a position that puts pressure on your stomach and
can cause more reflux.
sleep flat after their surgery and happily sleep in all their old favorite
6) gas .. Bloating after Nissen. I tend to be in meetings for full days. I
worry about having tremendous pains from potentially holding in my gas. Is this
something to worry about?
first few weeks bloating can be a problem.
Most bloating resolves gradually over the first year of healing/adjustment. My stomach was able to burp itself, which is not a bit uncommon. I never really had bloating problems to speak of, even in the early healing days.
If you can burp even a little after surgery you won’t have any problem with
bloating to speak of—every once in a great while, I’ll get some bloating, but it’s
not enough to be a problem. Even people with bloating problems in the beginning don't have the problem after they heal.
time I had a bloating episode was in August when we were toasting our younger son’s engagement. I had two glasses of champagne, which,
apparently is pretty aggressively carbonated.
I find that if the gas gets ahead of the wrap flap’s ability to burp
itself, the gas pushes it tightly so it can’t escape. This is extremely rare.
great to avoid gas when eating gassy veggies.
I used it a lot during my first year when bloat is more likely. I really never use it now, even when eating
chili, broccoli, etc. Gas-X is a handy
thing to carry if you can burp a little post-op. It helps get the gas out.
7). If you need a redo on the Nissen, can they do it laproscopically? Or would
you have to get the open procedure
Because of all the coughing I did early in my recovery I was very
fearful that my wrap would be damaged and I’d need a redo. I’d always assumed
that they had to be done as an open procedure, but my GI doc said that they could
be done laproscopically. That was a
relief. Still, Bill, a moderator here,
had an open procedure and found it very easy to recover from. That was another relief! Either way I’d do fine.
Good luck with your decision! It's wise to search out all the information you can. Glad you've joined the forum...it's a great place for information and support!
Happy New Year!