Prior to my surgery I'd been on high doses of inhaled steroids (Flovent 220mcg 4 puffs twice a day) with intermittent bursts of oral steroids from time to time. Because of this, I developed adrenal insufficiency, and a side effect of that was permanent skin damage. My skin is extremely thin and bruises and tears extremely easily. I never go anywhere without bandaids, alcohol wipes, and steri strips. This will never be reversed.
Because of this I wasn't a bit surprised when my surgeon told me that my internal tissue was extremely fragile. He said that he considered reinforcing the repair with mesh, but said that "mesh can create problems of its own", so he ended up putting in extra sutures to add strength.
I was very worried that my coughing would harm my wrap, because believe me, with a lung infection and asthma I coughed A LOT and SEVERELY. My husband would do lung PT on me to help move the mucous, which was helpful. My asthma doc had me cut back on my nebulizer treatments so the medication would work better after surgery.
It hurts a lot to cough with the incisions, and the one at the left rib area was painful for about two weeks. I found ice to be really helpful. I was told that it was the port where most of the surgical took manipulation occurred. I coughed a lot for about two and a half months.
And after all that, my wrap held, and my coughing didn't ruin it. You might want to share the "extra sutures" idea with your surgeon, although I suspect he/she will figure that out.
I stayed on oral steroids for quite a while (a month?) before I was gradually tapered off. Once your reflux is stopped, your lungs will be able to heal. When healing progresses, I expect you'll be able to taper without the trouble you're having now.
The sooner you can get the surgery the better. Your poor lungs are a mess. I know the feelings you're having. Sometimes it's just too exhausting to even cough. You can read over my early recovery journal. In it I do refer to coughing and lung issues.
Hang in there! It won't be long now!
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.”