Welcome to Healing Well! If you've had aspiration pneumonia, you should seriously consider surgery. I have asthma and it was made uncontrollable by reflux that was measured twice through a wired pH probe. My first DeMeester score was 4, and my second was just over 14. Both of those are considered in the "normal" range. Because of that, it was a real struggle to get my GI doc to believe my asthma was reflux related. That said, my lungs were in a dangerous condition and my asthma doc and PCP both were very confident that the reflux was causing my problem. Finally, mainly due to the heroic efforts of my PCP, my GI doc referred me to a surgeon. I had a Nissen fundoplication surgery a little over four years ago, and only wish I'd had it sooner.
Like you, I had fears of dumping and swallowing issues--mainly because of reading scary online posts. Over the four years I've participated on this forum, I've decided that many of those posts are written by people in early recovery who are panic stricken and afraid that they will always have the problems they are having in the early weeks. Of course a few are due to poor surgical skill, as this surgery requires an experienced skillful surgeon who has done many Nissen procedures.
From my experience here, it seem that most surgeons don't prepare their patients for the recovery. Either they just don't know what it's like, or they don't want to scare their patients away. That said, I was prepared for a horrible recovery experience, and was very pleasantly surprised. The recovery is a challenge, there's no arguing that, but it's very manageable, especially if you're prepared and have a good attitude. If you can surrender to your recovery and just follow its lead you'll do just fine.
I only wish I'd had the surgery earlier. I wasted several good years to being a very sick person. The surgery cured my lungs and I'm very happy with the results.
Here's my early recovery journal, just to give you an idea of one person's experience:
While there are quite a few people here who've had or are considering the LINX surgery, the Nissen fundoplication remains the gold standard for reflux control. I have never found a GI doc who recommends it, although they're obviously out there.
Good luck with your search for answers. Glad you've joined us!
Nissen Fundoplication 2/09
Allergy/Asthma"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.”