How long does a Nissen last for?

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Reelen
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2013
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 4/18/2013 10:59 AM (GMT -6)   
Hey guys,

I'm new to this informative forum, but I was searching the answer to this question. How long can I expect the Nissen to last for? I am 24 years old and I worry if I would have to redo the procedure later in life. Can I expect 90% symptom free for the next 50 years? Or do the stitches degrade and have to be replaced every 15 years?

For a little background information about myself. I have acid reflux the worst that my gastroenterologist said he's ever seen after doing Bravo ph test. So I met with a surgeon and he said I am not a classical case for Nissen as I have a high amount of refluxes, but the refluxes themselves are not that severe. He did suggest for a Nissen though as I've had esophagitis in the past and he worries about barrett's. I also wouldn't mind myself as its pretty uncomfortable living with reflux. Here's the surgeon I found in NYC, that accepts UnitedHealth Care insurance - http://www.mountsinaisurgery.org/Chin.html. I'm not sure if he's the best, but he said he did the procedure roughly 80 times.

opnwhl4
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 4961
   Posted 4/18/2013 4:14 PM (GMT -6)   
Reelen-

Welcome to Healing Well.

Most surgeons say to expect about 10 years on average. I have heard of people going past 20 years and some less than 5 years. I believe it all depends on the skill of the surgeon, how much damage has been done by the reflux, how well the person heals after surgery along with how each person's body handles the surgery.
I have had 3 since '96, but the 1st was done incorrectly and I would still be on my 1st redo if it weren't for an esophagus tear. In order to fully repair my esophagus the wrap was incidentally torn apart requiring redo #2. Since that redo all is well and as long as my body doesn't freak out on me again I expect this one to last a good long time and when it needs redone I will have it done without hesitation. For me this was the best solution, but there are some other options out there.

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

Reelen
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2013
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 4/18/2013 7:59 PM (GMT -6)   
Bill,

Thanks for the quick response and sharing your story :-).

10 year expectation worries me. If I live to be lets say 74, I'd have to do a total of 5 surgeries. From what I've read on wikipedia, the Nissen seems to be pretty safe, but 5 times still sounds scary. What's your take on having multiple procedures in a lifetime? Is it pretty much understood for everyone that has a nissen most likely will need another one down the road?

opnwhl4
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 4961
   Posted 4/18/2013 9:35 PM (GMT -6)   
Reelen-

Yes it is basically a safe bet you will have to have it done again at your age. I had heard from people who had this surgery around late 20's to 30's and it lasted 20 years. There's just no way to say for sure how long it will definitely last. As I said, for me it was the best solution and I am sure I will have the surgery again at sometime as I am 42.
Since I have been through the redo precess it doesn't bother me to do it again because of the results I have gotten after surgery. I figure if I can survive the surgery and everything else to save my esophagus a redo is minor, LOL! I know, strange way to look at things.

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

Tarachriso
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2013
Total Posts : 88
   Posted 4/19/2013 7:18 AM (GMT -6)   
I am 29 and I just has this done in Feb. of this year. After reading this I am a little nervous.

opnwhl4
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 4961
   Posted 4/20/2013 5:27 AM (GMT -6)   
Tarachriso

No need to be nervous. I would expect with your age it would last longer because of less damaged tissue and ability to heal better. The 2 redoes were easier for me to deal with than the initial surgery. With the redoes they don't have to do as much to get the fundus loose, such as taking it loose from the spleen, and the hernia repair should be ok also. Even with all they had to do to save my esophagus when it tore the hernia repair was still good from my 1st surgery.

I think the 10 year time frame may also be an older number from when they were 1st doing these as a lap surgery. With all the training the surgeons go through now I think the time frame is conservative.

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

dencha
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7181
   Posted 4/21/2013 10:48 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Reelen,
I'm glad to see that you've gotten lots of good information and support from Bill.  There was one thing that stuck out in your post, and I thought I ought to respond to it.  You said your surgeon had done about 80 procedures.  That's not many.  I know that in smaller cities there are fewer patients, so it's harder to get the large numbers of Nissens that surgeons in large cities have.  Still, around here we recommend hundreds in small cities and a thousand plus in large cities.  My city has a population of about 250,000 and my surgeon had done 300+ surgeries. 
 
I'm not saying that it's impossible to get a good result from someone who has less experience.  However, your odds of a good result increase with the increase in the surgeon's experience and skill level.  A great surgeon who is generally very highly thought-of and skilled, may not have the required level of Nissen experience in particular.  It's really an art form that requires lost of experience. 
 
I just felt I had to speak to that issue, since Bill is doing a great job on the length of Nissen lifetime issue.  I've met a couple people here who've had Nissens lasting 20 years or so.  Still, if you need it, and are suffering (or your esophagus and/or lung health is suffering) does it really matter how long it lasts?  If your doctors are pushing you in that direction, I suggest you go with it.  It's not easy to get a GI doc to say that the Nissen is the right way to go.  They consider it a last resort surgery, as well they should.  I wish you well with your decision!
 
Good luck!
Denise
GERD/Heartburn Moderator
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.”
Eckhart Tolle
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