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ihategerd
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2013
Total Posts : 14
   Posted 1/23/2013 4:46 PM (GMT -6)   
I have been suffering from GERD for over 6 years now. I have been referred to a very good surgeon in Denver and I feel I can trust him but he would like to do the TIF rather than the Nissen since my hernia is not large. I recently saw an ENT (ear,nose,throat) doctor and she informed me that the reason I have constant ear issues, sinus infections and recently had an awful case of bronchitis and then pneumonia is all due to the GERD. I was not a happy camper to say the least. I have tried to do my best to keep the GERD from getting worse but I guess there is no stopping it. So my issue is this. I was told that the TIF procedure is easier to bounce back from and less chances of complications later. I have also read this. Also, my Insurance (Kaiser) will not cover the TIF but they will cover the Nissen. I am scared to death about all of this. I have had abdominal laporscopic surgery before and it wasn't the worst thing I have gone through. I am just a nervous nelly and I only have to much sick time to use. I am 36 years old and in decent shape so I should heal up well but I can say all this and still be scared to death.
I know I need to get this done but would much rather have the TIF or should I ? Anybody have any advice? Should I fight for the TIF or just go with the NISSEN?

Alcie
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 5004
   Posted 1/23/2013 6:04 PM (GMT -6)   
Welcome to the forum, ihategerd.

Look up some of the threads on outcomes from TIF vs Nissen. You can put all sorts of terms in the search box at the top of the page. It's not scientific information, just the opinions of us patient posters. My doc, tops in the field in my area, said they don't do the alternatives to the varieties of Nissen because the outcomes just aren't in the 90% and higher they get with the Nissen. That said, there are some very happy people in the forum who had TIF.

I would trust the doc since a bunch of posters here had asthma and other breathing problems from GERD and are pleased it's gone since surgery. Has the surgeon done a LOT of TIFs? What is his good outcome rate?

Insurance is important since this surgery can be well over $60k. I wish they would cover whatever was right for the individual patient, but since they don't I would have to consider cost.

drtinsac
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2012
Total Posts : 458
   Posted 1/23/2013 9:00 PM (GMT -6)   
You may want to look into LINX too then, from what I've read those lucky people bounce back quite quickly.. even eating steak the next day :|

I am on day 7 after nissen and i'm doing a lot better. 3 weeks off is what I got from work, which I think may be a bit long but it beats having to go back too soon.

shrtcak81
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2013
Total Posts : 165
   Posted 1/23/2013 10:16 PM (GMT -6)   
LOL, yea I saw that NoDoubtLove ate steak after the surgery! I'm looking into the Linx too, assuming I'm a good candidate. But I probably won't rule Nissan out because I'm pretty desperate for relief! ihategerd - I understand you being nervous though. Just remember that a lot of the people you read about on here that had negative outcomes are here because of it. You won't read about the good outcomes as much since those people are done with the message board LOL

ihategerd
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2013
Total Posts : 14
   Posted 1/24/2013 10:13 AM (GMT -6)   
The surgeon I have seen is well known in Denver and has been on the team to help design the TIF. I guess I am just nervous about the fact that I won't be able to vomit again or burp and that the recovery is going to be just awful. I am a very anxious person and I tend to have anxiety attacks. This will have to be one of those things I will have to deal with. I wanted the TIF because I have read that it is easier to recover from and isn't quite as tight but from what I have read here there is the floppy wrap now. So I will have to talk to my surgeon and see what he recommends. I do trust him. So I don't know why I am so nervous.
I am hoping to get my procedure approved and done in the March. So wish me luck Kaiser has been a real pain in my backside and the fact that I live 100 miles from the surgeon and have a full time job and a 4 year old doesn't help. Thanks for everyone's input.

Alcie
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 5004
   Posted 1/24/2013 10:43 AM (GMT -6)   
Any possibility of getting a relative or friend to come in for a couple of days? Can you get a neighbor to shop for you for a couple of weeks so you don't have to lift? Will your insurance cover an aide to help with cooking for the child for a few days? You can survive on Boost or something you prepare and freeze for yourself.

I wouldn't demand any specific procedure. Let the doc decide what is best for you. It's not important to eat steak the next day. It's critical to get treated for your specific condition. What's the best outcome? What will last the longest?

None of these treatments are guaranteed permanently. Try to relax, but trust that you are no different from the rest of us. We were scared stiff too.

ihategerd
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2013
Total Posts : 14
   Posted 1/24/2013 12:55 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks, appreciate the info.

drtinsac
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2012
Total Posts : 458
   Posted 1/24/2013 3:07 PM (GMT -6)   
In my case, I only realistically had the choice of a Nissen. My ENT thought LINX was a potential deathtrap, and said TIF was still a newish procedure and didn't have the proven track record for LPR.

I would consider carefully which option you choose. Since you have a TIF pioneer there, he should be in a good position to advise you of how others have done who had your symptoms and anatomy.

I "settled" on Nissen because my ENT said it wouldn't interfere with my active lifestyle, it was convenient in that neither LINX or TIF could be done (not to mention be paid for) at the university I'd been going to. AND I figured --- there are so many people who receive Nissen, that if it's not permanent, there will be a huge need for a fix/update etc. in the future, or perhaps better more refined methods for long term revision.

And above all else, I figured that I would not delay the surgery since it was my last best hope, and none of us know how long we are going to be alive. I wanted as many days as possible to be reflux free.. if it only lasted 10 years, then at least I'd have a good stretch and can deal with it down the road.

ihategerd
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2013
Total Posts : 14
   Posted 1/24/2013 5:52 PM (GMT -6)   
So some good news today. My primary care doc happily sent in a referral for me to see the surgeon I have chosen. I have seen him before and hear he is the best so lets cross our fingers that the surgery is approved by my insurance. Wish me luck....!!!
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