GASTRO/SURGEON REFFERAL

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Teeth cleaner
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2013
Total Posts : 88
   Posted 3/3/2013 1:56 PM (GMT -6)   
Help! I need to find a superior Gastroenterologist/Surgeon in the Alabama/Georgia area. I'm getting such conflicting information In my area about my Reflux condition. Ent doc says surgery, Gastro's say no way! I'm a person of HIGH anxiety and I'm sure that is fueling my reflux problem but all this uncertainty and disagreeing on my treatment has me even more anxious and confused! I've had numerous test including ph and impedence studies as well as swallow studies and endoscopies trying to get a grip on what's going on with me. I have typical LPR symptoms and burning a few hours after meals if I don't take my Zantac. Even on Zantac I'm still clearing my throat. I also have a lot of burping after my Meals and throughout the day which has been diagnosed as Areophagia. I've had one ph study to show acid reflux so I changed my diet.
All other impedence studies have shown Little to no acid and up to 6 non-acid Events in 24 hrs. Very confusing. I'm looking for another opinion! ANY advice would be helpful! Thanks!

opnwhl4
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Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 4961
   Posted 3/4/2013 5:24 PM (GMT -6)   
I'll give Joy a shout and see if she can recommend someone.

Take care,
Bill
opnwhl4
Moderator: GERD/Heartburn
Nissen 6/06 and 5/09
#3 on 8/24/11

Teeth cleaner
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2013
Total Posts : 88
   Posted 3/4/2013 5:57 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks Bill! I appreciate the reply!

opnwhl4
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Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 4961
   Posted 3/4/2013 9:02 PM (GMT -6)   
Teeth cleaner

You are welcome.... Oh Welcome to Healing Well!

I sent Joy an email, but she has been very busy lately and may take a while for her to reply.

Take care,
Bill
opnwhl4
Moderator: GERD/Heartburn
Nissen 6/06 and 5/09
#3 on 8/24/11

couchtater
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 14475
   Posted 3/4/2013 9:46 PM (GMT -6)   
I'm here. :)

The best doctor I know for the surgery is Dr. V. John Bagnato. He's located in Macon, GA. I've been very satisfied with his work-the Modified Hill Repair. He said he created himself.

I hope he can help you.
Joy
Lupus, Fibromyalgia, Glaucoma, Asthma, Hypothyriodism, Sleep Apnea, Degenerative Disk and Facet Disease, and Allergies

When life throws you lemons....
Pick them up and throw them right back at them! :))

Teeth cleaner
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2013
Total Posts : 88
   Posted 3/4/2013 11:22 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Joy, Thanks for the information! I'm very confused about what to do about my situation. I'm so frightened about any kind of surgery
because I have been told by two Gastro docs that it would be a mistake for me due to the fact that I swallow to much air and I would have severe gas bloat! On one of my Ph/Impedence studies showed that I had over 400 burps in 24 hours!! I really don't do well with those test and they make me swallow even more air than what is normal for me. I also believe that my LES muscle is weak. My manometry's have ranged from 9.9 to 28. So....no consistantcy there! Anyway, I didn't mean to take up your time going into all that! Btw, did Dr. Bagnato do your surgery? You had mentioned that he created his version of the Hill repair. Do you know if there are long term studies on his procedure that proves its safety, longevity & effectiveness? Lastly, can you still burp after your procedure? If so, how long after the procedure could you burp normally? Thank you for taking time to respond to my post!

couchtater
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 14475
   Posted 3/5/2013 12:05 AM (GMT -6)   
I use to burp a lot too. I was told I had a third unproductive movement in my esophagus so I couldn't get the standard 360 wrap. Instead he did a 270 degree wrap. He also repaired my hiatial hernia and my weak LES. I was able to burp as soon as I woke up. The burping from my air swallowing gradually faded over time for me after the surgery. You body will adjust and be normal again.
Dr. Bagnato did my testing and surgery personally. From what I remembered he was trained by Dr. Hill personally and he was the first doctor to perform it in GA laproscopically. He was doing TIFs but he said his procedure had better results in the long run.
I've been very happy with the results.
Joy
Lupus, Fibromyalgia, Glaucoma, Asthma, Hypothyriodism, Sleep Apnea, Degenerative Disk and Facet Disease, and Allergies

When life throws you lemons....
Pick them up and throw them right back at them! :))

Teeth cleaner
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2013
Total Posts : 88
   Posted 3/5/2013 8:14 AM (GMT -6)   
I would live to hear about your whole experience! Besides burping, I have many other questions about your surgery experience. Did you post a diary? If not, do you mind talking with me via email?

couchtater
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 14475
   Posted 3/5/2013 6:31 PM (GMT -6)   
I had my surgery over 3 years ago when he was in albany, Ga. I had never met him before my first appointment in November. I had all of my records forwarded to him through my GI.
He scheduled to meet me on Tuesday and ran his own EGD on Wednesday. I came back one month later for the surgery.
I came in to the out-patient center that morning. They took me to the prep room where I changed into a very breezy gown and they inserted the IV. They ask a ton of questions then roll you to the pre-op room. More questions and some relaxation shots. Then into the OR. You're knocked out quickly. He did the surgery very quickly (40mins). I woke up in the recovery room hurting some and very thirsty. I couldn't get fully awake so they wouldn't give me anything until I was responsive. I had special compression boots on my legs and IV in my arm.
They took me to a room for 24 hours for observation. After I woke up I was given a liquid diet. The rest of the night I dozed off and on.
For 10 days at home I rested and slept in my recliner and stayed on the liquid diet. I would get hiccups if I overate. I had 5 small bandaid size cuts on my stomach and I only needed strong pain killers for 4 days.
On day 16 I returned to work (teacher) and continue the diet he gave me to follow.
Joy
Lupus, Fibromyalgia, Glaucoma, Asthma, Hypothyriodism, Sleep Apnea, Degenerative Disk and Facet Disease, and Allergies

When life throws you lemons....
Pick them up and throw them right back at them! :))

Teeth cleaner
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2013
Total Posts : 88
   Posted 3/5/2013 7:56 PM (GMT -6)   
When you say you woke up hurting, can you elaborate on that painfor me? What did it feel like to you? Was it Stomach pain like cramping or gas pains or another type of pain? Did you feel full in your stomach at all? Did you feel nauseated at all when you woke up or have any problems breathing? You said you needed pain meds for 4 days. What kind of pain were you having when you got home? I have very little tolerance to pain and nausea so this whole process really terrifies me! I hope I'm not troubling you with all these questions :-(! You also stated that you had to be on a liquid diet for a while...how long, and what did you drink to keep your energy up? I really appreciate your help with my comcerns!

couchtater
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 14475
   Posted 3/5/2013 9:05 PM (GMT -6)   
This was my very first surgery/hospital experience and I was terrified. I was scared of the pain and what was going to be done to me. If I wasn't at the end of my rope with GERD I would of ran the other way.

I was too out of it to really gauge my pain level when I woke up. I faintly remember muttering "hurt...thirsty" over and over. I wasn't nauseous at all. They put an anti-nausea patch on me & gave me a pill before the surgery. After I got home I had liquid anti-nausea and pain meds to help me. While in the hospital I only asked for the pain med while I was waking up. Once they gave me one shot of dermerol I was good the whole 24 hours.
The pain at home was mostly if I touched my stomach, laid on my side, bent over, or got out of the chair wrong. I would hold a pillow on my stomach to help me when I coughed or hiccupped. Those were painful.

I was basically a whuss when it came to pain, but the pain was very managable with the meds he gave me. I had phenagan and loratab.

He had me on a stricter diet than others here.
2 weeks-light liquids (broths, jello, tea, water, juice pops, ensure)
2 weeks-full liquids (puddings, thin soups, juices, thin grits, watery oatmeal)
2 weeks-pureed foods
2 weeks- soft solid foods
2 weeks- solid foods but save raw veggies, steak and soft breads for last.

I only needed nausea pills for about a year to be safe. I only took them as needed. It took a full year to take all of them and that's with me getting gastroentreritis 3 times! :P
Joy
Lupus, Fibromyalgia, Glaucoma, Asthma, Hypothyriodism, Sleep Apnea, Degenerative Disk and Facet Disease, and Allergies

When life throws you lemons....
Pick them up and throw them right back at them! :))

Teeth cleaner
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2013
Total Posts : 88
   Posted 3/5/2013 10:07 PM (GMT -6)   
Did you feel a lot of gas pains from where they pumped you full of gas? From what I understand about the Hill procedure they stitch a portion of your stomach to your esophagus. Do you feel it pulling in there at all? Does your stomach feel wierd or does it feel normal again? Can you eat whatbyou want now?

couchtater
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 14475
   Posted 3/6/2013 12:00 AM (GMT -6)   
I didn't have any gas pains thanks to him draining the air out before closing. :)

I feel no pulling from the stitches. My stomach felt normal from day one. By month 4 I was eating whatever I wanted. :)
Joy
Lupus, Fibromyalgia, Glaucoma, Asthma, Hypothyriodism, Sleep Apnea, Degenerative Disk and Facet Disease, and Allergies

When life throws you lemons....
Pick them up and throw them right back at them! :))

Teeth cleaner
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2013
Total Posts : 88
   Posted 3/6/2013 4:11 AM (GMT -6)   
Lastly, was it painful to swallow when you first started drinking liquids after surgery? Have you had any trouble with food getting stuck going down? Are you completely cured from Heartburn? Once again, thanks so much Joy for answering all my nagging questions!

Wendy :-)

Good Days
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 146
   Posted 3/6/2013 1:54 PM (GMT -6)   
No, not painful. Just do it slowly.

Suggestions. Eat and drink slowly and only 1/2 cup at time every hour or so. This will keep the gas and shoulder pain away. No coffee for a couple of weeks and absolutely no carbinated drinks for few months.

Make sure your surgeon is a bariatric surgeon not a general surgeon. Ask how many he has preformed. I had the loose wrap also and this helped.

Best of luck,
Jayne

Teeth cleaner
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2013
Total Posts : 88
   Posted 3/6/2013 2:16 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Jayne,

You said you had the loose wrap? Was this the Hill procedure like Joy or another procedure? Who did your surgery? Can you still burp? Can you tell me about your experiences as far as pain after procedure and recovery? I'm considering surgery with Dr. Bagnato. I haven't heard any complaints about him yet. I'm a big chicken when it comes to surgery so I'm trying to find out all the information I can at this point.

couchtater
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 14475
   Posted 3/6/2013 6:40 PM (GMT -6)   
Teeth cleaner said...
Lastly, was it painful to swallow when you first started drinking liquids after surgery? Have you had any trouble with food getting stuck going down? Are you completely cured from Heartburn? Once again, thanks so much Joy for answering all my nagging questions!

Wendy :-)
You're not nagging. I had more questions than you when I was going to have my surgery. I liked to have drove Bill, Denise, and Kitt crazy.
If I didn't follow the diet he gave me the food would get stuck. I tried eating Raman noodles too soon and didn't chew like I was supposed to do and choked some. I did have a type of motility problem before the surgery and still do. I have to swallow a special way to prevent choking. The surgery did not do this.
I do not have any heartburn now. :)

Joy
Lupus, Fibromyalgia, Glaucoma, Asthma, Hypothyriodism, Sleep Apnea, Degenerative Disk and Facet Disease, and Allergies

When life throws you lemons....
Pick them up and throw them right back at them! :))

Teeth cleaner
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2013
Total Posts : 88
   Posted 3/6/2013 8:54 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks for being so patient with me. Was it hard to stay on the liquid diet for so long? I'm a small person only 5'3 and 118 lbs. I really don't need to loose any weight! What did you drink the first two weeks to keep up your strength? Oh yea, back to the burping issue....you stated that you could burp right away. I have to force a lot of my burps up because gas bubbles release in my esophagus for an hour or so after eating and they wont come up on their own causing pressure in my esophagus. I believe that the forced burps are causing gastric fluid to come up and that is actually what is causing my asthma to act up so bad right now. I'm a mess!

couchtater
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 14475
   Posted 3/6/2013 11:21 PM (GMT -6)   
I had any foods that could be poured through a mesh with nothing left behind the first two weeks. I drank mostly ensure, high protein Boost, muscle milk, broths, jello, fruit juice bars, grape juice, and very, very watery grits.
You can eat as often as you want but no more than 1/2cup of food or liquid per "meal". I was eating about every 1-2 hours. I only lost 20 pounds but it came back as soon as I could eat normal again.
Remember no straws during the healing time. They make you swallow air and cause pain from the gas pressure.

As soon as I was fully awake I let loose a good burp. :)

The reflux doesn't mess with my asthma anymore. :)
Joy
Lupus, Fibromyalgia, Glaucoma, Asthma, Hypothyriodism, Sleep Apnea, Degenerative Disk and Facet Disease, and Allergies

When life throws you lemons....
Pick them up and throw them right back at them! :))

Teeth cleaner
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2013
Total Posts : 88
   Posted 3/6/2013 11:53 PM (GMT -6)   
So there is there is pressure from swallowing? I don't know that I can afford to loose 20 lbs! I would be skin and bones!! Your information has been so helpful but there is still so much about this that scares the living heck out of me :-(. I have a big decision to make and very soon. I wont bug you anymore for now. If you can think of anything else that would be helpful for me to know let me know. Oh, I did want to ask you if you had to travel to see Dr. Bagnato? I will have to travel from Birmingham Alabama to see him. That's 3+ hours away. I was just wondering if It would be hard to travel after this procedure.

couchtater
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 14475
   Posted 3/7/2013 12:27 PM (GMT -6)   
That's just me because of my swallowing issues before the surgery.
If you drink high calorie drinks you won't lose much weight.

I traveled 5 hours to see him. From NE GA down to Albany, GA.
Coming back my father drove while I slept in the back seat surrounded by pillows to prop me up comfortably. It wasn't a bad trip for me.

I know where you're coming from on the terror, but believe me, he is the best surgeon you can get in GA. He has a wonderful bedside manner and you will feel like you're in good hands.
Ask yourself this in the consideration...do I want to keep feeling this way or do I want to get it fixed?
Joy
Lupus, Fibromyalgia, Glaucoma, Asthma, Hypothyriodism, Sleep Apnea, Degenerative Disk and Facet Disease, and Allergies

When life throws you lemons....
Pick them up and throw them right back at them! :))

Teeth cleaner
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2013
Total Posts : 88
   Posted 3/7/2013 1:35 PM (GMT -6)   
Joy,

Do you have a Gastro where you live you can see if you start having problems? Since I live in Alabama I'm concerned about who I would see here. Would you travel back to see Dr. Bagnato if any problems came up? also, I was reading some post last night about this procedure lasting 20yrs. What happens after that? Does it come undone or just loosen up?

opnwhl4
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 4961
   Posted 3/7/2013 2:30 PM (GMT -6)   
Teeth cleaner

A nissen is usually expected to last about 10 years before a redo, but can last 20 years or may last less than 10 years. I suspect it depends on each person's body and skill of the surgeon. Some come undone or just loosen up.

I had to travel about 3 hours for my redo. We timed it with me taking my pain meds just before leaving and it wasn't a bad ride at all.

Take care,
Bill

Yeah Joy, you were a terrible pain wink tongue wink
opnwhl4
Moderator: GERD/Heartburn
Nissen 6/06 and 5/09
#3 on 8/24/11

couchtater
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 14475
   Posted 3/7/2013 8:44 PM (GMT -6)   
If I need a redo I will gladly travel back to him, but there is some local surgeons I could use in emergencies.
My follow up was by phone, but he said if I had any issues I could see him personally. I also saw a local GI who watched me for a year after to be sure I was okay.
Joy
Lupus, Fibromyalgia, Glaucoma, Asthma, Hypothyriodism, Sleep Apnea, Degenerative Disk and Facet Disease, and Allergies

When life throws you lemons....
Pick them up and throw them right back at them! :))

Teeth cleaner
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2013
Total Posts : 88
   Posted 3/8/2013 5:26 AM (GMT -6)   
I appreciate all of your help Joy! I will keep you posted on what I end
up doing. I see my Gastro today and hope he can advise me on what to do at this point. I'm having bad problems with my anxiety over all this and can't figure out if the anxiety itself is mking it worse or if i'm actually getting worse. Wendy :-(.
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