I had dangerously unhealthy lungs for 6 years, and was on high doses of steroids that has left my skin thin and fragile--tearing and bruising extremely easily. Why? Because my GI doc wouldn't refer me to a surgeon for a Nissen fundoplication, but even more, because I was fearful of the surgery and didn't push for it. I understand not being sure...wishing it was easier. Believe me. I get it.
A good GI doc will know which symptoms are best suited for a Nissen fundoplication. Unfortunately, GI docs don't seem all that knowledgeable or comfortable wiht atypical symptoms like LPR/asthma.
It is true that a Nissen fundoplication is major surgery and it does make a change in your upper GI tract--creating a barrier between the esophagus and the stomach. It is not true that it can be compared with amputation of your leg. That's a ridiculous statement.
Your LES is still in place when you get a Nissen, but the top of your stomach is wrapped to create a flap to keep stomach acid and food where it belongs. It is true that a Nissen is not to be taken lightly, and shouldn't be done unless necessary.
That said, a Nissen can be a life-saver and can improve your quality of life tremendously. I was lucky to have a PCP who was persistent and pushed both me and my GI doc. I should have helped him, but wasn't sure I wanted it. It's a scary decision, but an important one. Because of the Nissen surgery, my lungs are again healthy.
My guess is that the surgeon you saw is not comfortable or confident with her ability to do it. The most important thing you can do is research your surgeon and find one who is highly experienced in doing Nissens.
A great, wonderful, outstanding, prize-winning, highly decorated surgeon isn't enough. It has to be a great surgeon who is highly trained and experienced in doing the specific Nissen procedure. It's an art form and one that has a learning curve.
Make phone calls, get referrals, ask the surgeon how many Nissens he/she's done, what is the success rate. Call around and see which surgeon people refer to do the surgery. When you start hearing the same name over and over, that's probably the surgeon you want. Don't be afraid to interview more than one surgeon. This is the most important part of getting a Nissen.
I switched GI docs, and saw two surgeons before I got my Nissen. It took several years to finally get to that place. Persevere...don't give up. You know how you feel. Don't let anyone scare you away.
PS...what was your 24hr PH monitor DeMeester score? Did you have high levels of reflux? Just wondering.
Nissen Fundoplication 2/09
"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.”