Just told I needed the NF Wrap

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MatthewR
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2013
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 6/13/2013 8:00 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi everyone first post here just told I needed the Nissen fundoplication procedure and just have a few questions if you guys would be kind enough to answer. First some background. I'm 28 male 225 lbs in pretty good shape have constant regurgitation after pretty much every meal for a few hours and some uncomfortable gas and belching. This has been happening for about 3 years now. My father and his sister both have Barrett's and had Esophageal cancer and have both had a Esophagectomy. If it wasn't for that I would not of went to the doctors. My first scoping about 2 years ago my local doctor said I had a hietial hernia and esophagitis lvl 1. Just put me on omperazole. Went to my 6th month check up and they were concerned and referred me to Dr. Peters in Rochester NY. He scoped me and attached a reader to my esophagus and did a few tests. Today was my follow up and he says my reflux was off the charts in the upper level. I have level 2 esophagitis and based on my family history he strongly suggests the NF. That's it for background just a few questions now.
1. Estimated recovery for my age and what to expect after and for months to come.
2. Estimated time off work( I'm a correctional officer. Light duty is available). Dr says as much as I need but usually 2 weeks and 2 months LD.
3. Anyone have a wrap done or heard of Dr. Peters and how they have fared
4. Diet restrictions food/alcohol
5. Pain after surgery and long term
6. Chances of wrap coming undone

Any comments would be highly appreciated thank you for your time.

dencha
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7185
   Posted 6/13/2013 9:32 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi MatthewR,
Welcome to Healing Well!  It sounds as if you're a perfect candidate for a Nissen surgery, and I suspect you will be extremely happy with the results.  I know Dr. Peters is extremely well respected in the area, and I would expect he has lots of experience doing Nissens.  I suggest you speak to someone in his office and ask how many he has done. This type of surgery takes lots of practice.  It's an art form, and the more experience, the better.
 
I'll try to answer your questions:
1. Estimated recovery for my age and what to expect after and for months to come.
I won't lie...this surgery has a challenging recovery.  However, it's very "doable", and if you read through the various threads here on the forum you'll find many who have a very uneventful recovery, and others who struggle.  A positive, accepting attitude is everything.  If you can surrender to your recovery and follow it where it leads, you'll do just fine.  People who struggle against it, and try to rush their recovery have the toughest time of it.  It takes a full 6 months for most of the recovery and a year for the rest.  That's not to say that you don't see improvement before that...you do. The first couple weeks are the most challenging, and it gradually improves from there. 
 
Here's a link to my early recovery journal, so you'll be able to read about one person's experience:  http://www.healingwell.com/community/default.aspx?f=45&m=2183443

2. Estimated time off work( I'm a correctional officer. Light duty is available). Dr says as much as I need but usually 2 weeks and 2 months LD.

Quite a few people go back after two weeks, but in my opinion that's pushing it.  You can do it if you have light duty, but you'd appreciate a few more weeks to recover from you major surgery (yes, laproscopic on the outside, but major surgery on the inside).  If you go back that early you'll be struggling for a while if you're like most people.


3. Anyone have a wrap done or heard of Dr. Peters and how they have fared

I had my surgery in February 2009 not far from Rochester.  I was referred about two years ago (by my asthma doc for a recheck of my surgery) to another surgeon at U of R, Dr. Thomas Watson.  I believe he works in the same office as Dr. Peters.  I was told that Dr. Watson "does all the Nissens" in the Rochester area by my primary care doc, and a highly respected ENT named Dr. Coniglio to whom I was also referred.  For me all the testing indicated that my wrap was intact and all was well.  You want to go to the surgeon that "does all the Nissens", because that's the one who has the most experience.  If I were to need a redo surgery, I'd go to Dr. Watson if he hadn't moved.  If Dr. Watson had moved and Dr. Peters was still practicing in the area, I'd probably go with Dr. Peters, although I can't really speak to his results, as I haven't really heard much about him.

4. Diet restrictions food/alcohol

Here are some links to diet information.  Each surgeon has his/her own eating protocol.  My surgeon turned me loose to eat anything that could be chewed to a liquid.  The main thing is to take small bites and chew, chew, chew.

 
 
 


5. Pain after surgery and long term

The pain is minimal.  There is referred shoulder pain that is sometimes more uncomfortable than the incisions.  This pain can be helped by walking.  I found the more I walked, the less my shoulder hurt.

I only took the narcotic pain meds for two or three days, and then maybe at night for a few more days after that.  Liquid Tylenol worked just fine for the pain.  Ice helped me with one incision that seemed to bother me more (I was coughing, so it caused more pain).  Most have no problem with pain.


6. Chances of wrap coming undone

After you have a Nissen you'll want to have anti-nausea drugs on hand at all times.  I carry then with me wherever I go.  Repeated vomiting and retching can be very harmful to the wrap--especially during the early months of recovery.  It is never good to vomit or retch repeatedly, even after you're healed.  I have vomited three times since my surgery.  Each time I vomited before I was aware I was sick.  Each time I took Compazine suppository anti nausea medication immediately and never vomited again.  Protect your wrap with anti-nausea drugs for sure.
 
Heavy lifting can damage the hernia repair and thus the wrap. Be sure to ask your surgery about lifting restrictions.
 
There is always a chance that the wrap can become undone.  However, most are so happy with the results of their surgery they would happily get their surgery redone if it should ever become necessary.
 
Glad you've joined the forum!
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

Ian Victor
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2013
Total Posts : 214
   Posted 6/13/2013 9:51 PM (GMT -6)   
Matthew-- Although my surgery isn't until August, I share your same concerns and questions regarding recovery. As you can see from Denise's post, recovery tends to vary among patients. I would imagine that because you are young, your recovery should be less complicated. I have read stories of patients who were eating normal diets within less than 3 months of their Nissen. I have also read stories of patients who struggled with their recovery. One common theme that I have noted is that the tightness of the wrap seems to drive the ease or lack there of of the recovery process. You want to work with a surgeon who is experienced in doing a loose wrap plication. Diet also seems to be very important during recovery. You don't want to rush the healing process by eating foods that will inflame or strain the LES. Also, I have read that you should be in the best physical shape possible for your surgery.

opnwhl4
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 4961
   Posted 6/13/2013 10:19 PM (GMT -6)   
Mattew-

I am sure he is up to date and doing the floppy wrap. This wrap is a bit easier to get back to normal diet from and still does a great job controlling the reflux.

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

MatthewR
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2013
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 6/14/2013 5:46 AM (GMT -6)   
Thank you guys for your responses. Ian I will make sure to lose a few lbs before my operation. Dencha, it's funny how things work out my local surgeon referred me to peters saying he is the best in the area at doing wraps. I was called by Rochester and they originally set me up to be going through Watson but I called them and had it switched over to peters based on local recommendation. Hopefully that's the right move. Thanks a bunch for the detailed response I surly will be following your journal closely

Gooserstein
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2013
Total Posts : 57
   Posted 6/15/2013 1:18 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Matthew,
I'm 27 and had the nissen done almost 7 weeks ago. It's definitely challenging. I would say that I'm currently about 95% my old self. The pain isn't a big deal after the first week. I had gas bloat mostly, which is uncomfortable and nauseating. This is better and better as my recovery progresses. The only thing that I have difficulty eating is raw vegetables and fruit. I know this will eventually get better.

For me, the first week of the recovery was a suck fest. Others will say it was a piece of cake. The initial recovery shouldn't scare you away though. It passes and you will get better.

I work as an ER nurse. I have no breaks at work and its highly stressful. I was able to work normally, but without heavy lifting, by week 5. Your recovery will depend on your body. We are all different. You may have to forgo alcohol for a while. I tried it recently but found I uncomfortable to swallow.

Good luck with your surgery.

Erica

dencha
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7185
   Posted 6/15/2013 1:33 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Matthew,
It's a great medical office, whichever doc you go with.  I'll be interested in hearing about Peter's bedside manner.  If for any reason you don't click with him, Watson would be a great choice, and is very easy to talk to.  Good luck to you!  We'll all be here to root you on...and welcome you to the Wrapped Club when it's done and you're recovering. I don't meet many friends here who live close enough to discuss local doctors with.  Wishing you all the best!
Take care,
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

MatthewR
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2013
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 6/16/2013 8:15 AM (GMT -6)   
Thanks goose glad that your slowly but surly recovering. Den I like peters so far he is a good mix of serious and funny and seems to know what he is doing. The office has been great I live in the binghamton area and they have condensed the tests and the appointments to suite me. I have been arriving early to all of them and had a 3 hour wait after my Barium test and they got me right in. In your case how long did it take you to get 100% back physically to what you were before the operation. Years after do you still feel some pain or feel off?

dencha
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7185
   Posted 6/16/2013 9:21 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Matthew,
I really found the recovery much easier than the horrible recovery I was prepared for.  Attitude is everything during recovery.  If you can accept what is and just let your body heal in its own sweet time, you'll find your experience is much more positive.  It is a gradual process, and takes several months.  The recovery can be a bit of a roller coaster at times.  Your recovery can be flying along and you overdo it eating something that was too challenging for your wrap, or not eating slowly and chewing your food enough, and you can irritate things.  You then have to back off your eating to an earlier stage for a few days until things start feeling better. 
 
We went on vacation at the beginning of the 5th month, which is a milestone for me.  I had a great time, and ate pretty much anything I wanted.  I did notice that some of the little quirks lasted longer than the 6 month mark (as we say, it takes 6 months for most of the healing and a year for the rest.).  I had some intermittent dumping, and I figured I'd always have it, which was not a big deal, since the surgery was well worth it, but sometime during the second year I noticed that it wasn't happening any more.
 
Patience is a prerequisite. Just go with the flow and follow your recovery where it leads.  Listen to your stomach/body.  You'll do just fine.
 
Glad to hear you like Dr. Peters.  It's important! 
 
I live my life completely normally.  I eat and drink whatever I want, and am extremely happy with the results of my surgery.  I do get some wrap irritation occasionally, when I overdo it--especially when I eat a lot of raw veggies several days in succession.  My wrap is made from my stomach, and even before my surgery I had a very sensitive/reactive stomach.  I don't think everyone has that same experience.
 
You will always have to eat slower and chew your food completely to ensure it doesn't get stuck.  Even a loose wrap creates a barrier that is more resistant than the LES, which is why it helps keep reflux at bay. Good luck with all your tests and appointments!
 
Best wishes,
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

opnwhl4
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 4961
   Posted 6/16/2013 9:53 PM (GMT -6)   
Matthew-

I hate saying this, but Denise has worded everything so well that "DITTO" on what she has said.

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

MatthewR
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2013
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 6/17/2013 8:53 PM (GMT -6)   
Thank you so much for your information Denise I read through your recovery journal and it has helped me tons with what to expect and what I'm in for. Thanks a million
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