Sorry to hear you're having so much trouble. Actually the Nissen continues to be the gold standard for stopping reflux, so it's not such a bad thing that your insurance company is pushing you in that direction. I have a suggestion for you. Call the National Jewish Hospital in Denver and see if you can talk to someone who can provide you with referrals to Nissen surgeons. Here's the link:
They are the number 1 respiratory hospital in the country, and believe me, many people who walk in their doors have lung issues caused by reflux. I would suspect that they have local surgeons that they know are the most competent in doing Nissen surgeries.
Don't give up, and try not to let it get you down. You'll find a great doc to do the job. It doesn't have to be the best in the world to do a fine job. It just has to be someone who has had plenty of experience, with at least 300 or so Nissens under his/her belt. Ideally in a city like Denver they've done many more than that, but know that a skilled microsurgeon with enough experience with Nissens can do a fine job even if they've done hundreds rather than thousands of Nissens. My surgeon, in a small city, had done around 300, and he did a great job.
Good luck with your search! Try googling Denver Nissen surgeons in the Google box at the top right hand corner of this forum site. You might come across an older post with helpful information.
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.”