Well since they go through your ribs expect a lot more pain. The chest tube stays in until your lung will stay inflated and there is no longer a certain amount of drainage. I have nerve damage on both sides now from the 2 thoracotomies I had. The nerves run right along the top of your ribs and are very easily damaged.
I did have an NG tube after my thoracic surgeries. Usually you have to stay in the hospital longer for this surgery also.
I can't say if it's more dangerous or not, but thoracically they have to deflate your lung during the surgery to get in there. As I said before I now have diminished lung function on my left side from that thoracic surgery. I have had all three surgeries lap,
open, and thoracic if I have a choice I will go with the
open surgery then lap and lastly thoracic.
My 1st thoracic was a lap thoracic and that still was a bear when it came to pain.
My 1st redo was done lap after I had a lap nissen done incorrectly almost 3 years prior. That's how I know they can do redo lap without any problems. I would still be on that redo if they hadn't torn my esophagus during a routine EGD for barretts. The reason I had my last redo
open was because it was only 6 months after my thoracic surgery to fix my esophagus and he knew there would be a lot of scarring.
I understand your surgeon is top notch, but him saying the only way is to do it thoracic isn't true and is the most painful route. The surgeon who did my last redo usually does them thoracic because he is first a thoracic surgeon and learned it that way 1st. He even told me that it is the most painful, but that's the type of surgery he does the most and is more comfortable doing it that way.
You will still have pain getting up, but will also have pain using the arm where they go through the ribs. It takes about
6 months or so for the ribs to reattach to the cartilage if the get dislodged.
I know I paint a nasty picture, but I do want you to hear the truth about
this from someone who has had it done.
I would seek out a surgeon who specializes in nissen redoes.
opnwhl4 Moderator: GERD/Heartburn
Nissen 6/06 and 5/09
#3 on 8/24/11
Post Edited (opnwhl4) : 6/13/2013 9:52:12 PM (GMT-6)