Glad surgery is over better than I thought

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Trixie58
New Member


Date Joined May 2013
Total Posts : 14
   Posted 7/10/2013 12:21 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi,
 
I am six days post op today. All in all I thought it went better than I thought. A few surprises along the way.  After reading Issaquah's post I think we had very similar experiences. Length of time in surgery was 2 hours. I had the patient controlled analgesic pump with Morphine for 36 hours. I did have an NG tube for 2.5 days and therefore had no oral fluids or ice chips for that length of time, which may have been the most challenging part beside being in ICU the entire time. I am pretty healthy so that surprised me but they chose to monitor my heart closely but they did take me down to do the esophagram the next morning. I did realize that you do have to be your own patient advocate because they tried to get me to drink the barium through a straw, which I had been told from the beginning that was a no-no and also tried to lay be flat on the gurmey when I had been told that I should never go below 30 degree incline for several months.
 
I have not used anything for pain since day 2. Every once in a while I will take Tylenol but that is more for muscle discomfort from sleeping in awkward positions.  I am able to burp, which was a great surprise for me. That made me very happy. I am still on all liquids which is tough but I understand that I had most of the work done on my esophagus so whatever I have to do, I will just do.
 
The straw thing has not been a big deal. I am able to walk around well. I have been walking in my neighborhood, or have gone to the store to purchase supplies. I was having no gas or bm in the hospital but they make sure your bowels are awake before you go home.  Since then I have been plagued more with diarrhea so I try to lay off two things; very cold drinks, and things that contain too much sugar.
 
Initially I had more energy than I thought that I would but I find that my energy comes and go's. Today I think I was the most fatigued but as I said, I have been busy and correspond with the office via email and phone.  If I had to work I could probably go back at post op day 12 but I would not suggest it. You don't know how your body reacts.  I am occasionally having a bit more problem when swallowing something. Perhaps too big a sip? But it feels like it wants to get stuck.  Something to mention to the surgeon at my post op visit on Thursday.
 
As I remember thinking when I woke up in ICU.....the worst is behind me. It is all healing now. The anticipation is the worst. DO YOUR HOMEWORK. Find the best surgeon who does a large amount of these surgeries. It is a complex surgery and you want someone that this is second nature to them. I am so glad that I did. I look forward to continue to heal and will let you know if my opinion changes but right now I am very happy that I did it and on the road to recovery.
 
Kindest regards,
Bea

Thruppennies
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2013
Total Posts : 19
   Posted 7/10/2013 2:21 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Bea,

Which surgery did you have? Was it open or laparoscopic?

Kirsten

Trixie58
New Member


Date Joined May 2013
Total Posts : 14
   Posted 7/10/2013 2:47 AM (GMT -6)   
It was done laparoscopically. Very, very little pain and have 6 small incisions.

opnwhl4
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 4961
   Posted 7/10/2013 3:12 AM (GMT -6)   
Trixie58


Welcome to the wrapped club!

You are the 1st person I have heard being told not to lay flat after this surgery. Did your surgeon give you a reason for this? My only restrictions besides eating was to not lift anything over 5 to 10 lbs for 6 to 8 weeks.

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

Thruppennies
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2013
Total Posts : 19
   Posted 7/11/2013 3:45 AM (GMT -6)   
I wasn't told not to lay flat (I'm 15 days post Nissen today!), I wonder why?

I am really shocked about you being in the ICU! My surgery was day case, no PCA's, no NG tubes... I've never heard of that for this surgery before! No post op esophagram either!

Has anyone else had this experience?

Kirsten

dencha
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7188
   Posted 7/11/2013 10:29 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Bea,
Welcome to the yeah yeah yeah Wrapped Club! yeah yeah yeah Glad to hear things are going well!  The 30% suggestion is very interesting.  Nobody told me that, but I found on my own that I was far more comfortable if I wasn't laying flat, so stayed elevated throughout the recovery.  I suspect it is for your comfort.
 
Hi Kirsten,
I had no NG tube or barium swallow post op, either.  There are a cohort of surgeons who want to be sure there are no leaks before allowing anything by mouth.  Many don't do that, though.
 
Bea,
I'm also surprised you ended up in the ICU.  Did you have a pre-existing condition that created that need?  Glad to hear you learned the ins and outs of straws before your hospital stay.  Seriously, wouldn't you think the hospitals would be up to speed on those things?  It's always best to be your own advocate.
 
Again, glad you're doing well.  Thanks for posting your experience.  I'm sure it will be extremely helpful to many others who are seeking information.  Keep posting!
 
Happy healing!
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

Trixie58
New Member


Date Joined May 2013
Total Posts : 14
   Posted 7/14/2013 1:17 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi,

Sorry for the late answer but I was busy over the last few days.

Okay, as for why I ended up in CT ICU, I have a minor heart condition that has never been a big deal but I had an episode during surgery that won me the visit to ICU and they chose to monitor my heart the entire time in hospital.

I went to the surgeons office on Thursday (7 days post op) and saw the doctors associate and she removed my staples. I did have a laparoscopically surgery. She said that I was doing remarkable but she said she wanted me to continue with elevation at 30% for awhile since mine is a partial wrap and did not want me to reflux. It is his standard but the other surgeon made it sound like they do that for most, if not all patients.

For those of you contemplating surgery; I found it most beneficial to get a really good surgeon that does tons of these procedures. I stopped using pain meds at day 2. By day 5 I stopped using Tylenol. My diet was advanced to soft diet by day 7. (More on food in a moment) I was working from home (2-3 hours on the computer) by day 6. I went into work for 3 hours on day8. I did not feel I was pushing myself at all. I walk every morning around my neighborhhod and that helps a lot with moving that gas/shoulder pain out.

I have not had any nausea, have only minimal bloating, but my stomach rumbles a lot!! As far as food....I announced prior to surgery that I should have had stock in Dunkin Donuts, I loved donuts and coffee. I have found that many processed foods high in sugar give me extreme diarrhea. Too much sugar period will give me diarrhea. Since getting the green light for soft foods I haven't tried too many things because food just doesn't have the same taste. It is hard to describe
But I love to eat but nothing tastes the same. Perhaps it is I am a bit anxious about eating cause I feel things feel like they are getting stuck at the wrap? The doc on Thursday said it is totally normal at this point so I try to find things that I like. My portion size is pretty small but probably not much smaller than what I had before surgery because 85% of my stomach was always in my chest and I would have a hard time breathing and get serious bloating and pain.

I am of average weight and have lost 7 lbs. as of today. Hopefully not much more if I can get the diarrhea under control. Knock on wood today has been much better, but I am also trying to avoid sugar (which seems to be in everything) and making my own smoothies, soups, and meals so I can control salt and sugar.

I had purchased the liquid Lortab, Colace, and Zofran (Zofran alone was $101.68) but have not needed them. I'm glad that I have the Zofran in case but I have nausea but thankfully it has not been an issue. I am able to burp a little bit still sounds 1000% more ladylike than I did before. Energy level is pretty good. Far better experience than expected but now I think it is going to be trial and error with food and I am learning NOT to rush it with my diet.

Kind regards,
Bea

opnwhl4
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 4961
   Posted 7/14/2013 10:51 AM (GMT -6)   
Bea-

Good to hear all is going well. Of all the people I have talked to and the 3 different surgeons for my own nissens your surgeon is the 1st I have heard of recommend not laying flat. Myself I slept in a recliner, so I can see why they would want you to. It's easier to get in and out of also.

Fiber will help with the dumping. Keep patient with your diet and all will go well.

Kirsten-

I had an NG tube with my 1st and 3rd nissen and was in the ICU with my 3rd. I had a barium swallow with all 3. The use of an NG tube varies widely by surgeon and what all was involved with the surgery. The more difficult the surgery the more likely to have the NG tube to keep pressure out of the stomach.


Take care,
Bill
opnwhl4
Moderator: GERD/Heartburn, Kidney disease

Nissen 6/06 and 5/09
#3 8/24/11
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