Recovery at day 20 from Nissen

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Preshis
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2013
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 7/10/2013 4:05 PM (GMT -6)   
I had Nissen Fundoplication surgery 20 days ago and lately I've been getting a throbbing pain under my breast bone where the wrap is. It is just like reflux as it feels like a nawing burning pain. I still feel like I need pain meds. Is this normal? I've been trying to switch to children's liquid Tylenol since I can't swallow pills yet but I'm still in pain. Is it normal to feel like I still have reflux 3 weeks after surgery? I'm still eating soft food as swallowing feels tight and hard to go down.

opnwhl4
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 4961
   Posted 7/10/2013 9:29 PM (GMT -6)   
Preshis


Welcome to Healing Well and the Wrapped Club!
What you are experiencing is very normal. Peak swelling happens around the 2 to 3 week mark and the wrap doesn't function well when swollen. As the swelling subsides it will get better, but slowly.

Go easy on advancing your diet. If you go too fast the wrap will get irritated and swell again. This recovery takes a good 6 months to a year to heal from.

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

dencha
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7188
   Posted 7/10/2013 10:22 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Preshis,
Welcome to the Healing Well yeah yeah yeah Wrapped Club! yeah yeah yeah As Bill said, peak swelling of the wrapped site occurs between two and three weeks.  It's likely that the swelling is creating pressure, and thus, the pain.
 
Twenty days is still in the infancy of your recovery, which takes 6 months for most of the healing and a year for the rest.  It takes lots of patience and trust to deal with the recovery from this surgery.  If you can surrender, and follow your recovery where it leads, you'll do great.  You can't rush things, no matter how much you wish you could.
 
My surgeon told me that "the esophagus is a dumb organ, and it interprets all pain as reflux".  During recovery, many of the reflux feelings you get are simply the esophagus/brain interpreting pain as reflux. It is possible to have some reflux during the early stage of recovery because the wrap may be swollen and misshapen, which could allow for some acid to slip by.  My bet would be on the pain/reflux sensation, though.
 
I remember during my early recovery I stressed over reflux feelings, and was so worried that it meant the surgery was a failure.  It's a very common worry, but stop stressing.  It's a totally normal experience!
 
Glad you've joined the forum!  Be sure to ask any questions or express whatever worries you might have.  Here's a link to my early recovery journal:
 
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

Thruppennies
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2013
Total Posts : 19
   Posted 7/12/2013 3:09 AM (GMT -6)   
Glad I read this thread! I have been panicking about feelings of reflux (I'm 16 days post wrap today), although not as severe as I had before surgery, it does feel suspiciously reflux-like! I'll stop stressing now then, and give it some time.

My surgeon told me to stop PPIs immediately after the surgery, but I believe a lot of people stay on them and titrate down. I read somewhere that sudden withdrawal from them can produce a hypersecretion state, so maybe that's a factor too?

I'm still taking codeine for pain too... mainly around my ribcage.

Am supposed to be back at work in a few days, but am thinking I'm nowhere near ready. How long to most people stay off work for?

Kirsten

opnwhl4
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 4961
   Posted 7/12/2013 8:10 AM (GMT -6)   
Thruppennies

Welcome to the wrapped club!

I am a mechanic and I had to take 8 weeks off. It depends on what type of work you do. An office job may only require 2 to 3 weeks, but it all depends on how your body recovers from the surgery. This is a major surgery and takes time to heal from.

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 7/12/2013 8:13 AM (GMT -6)   
I was out for 3 weeks and I tried to go back I was in so much pain on my first day I lasted 10 min and went home again. I was out for a month all togeather the pain around your ribcage I guessing it is the left side completally normal some day I still have it and I am at 5 months now I still quite often take childrens tylonel. All I can say is it takes time and your will feel good one day and the next not so well. I was really sick before my surgery so the dr. said double the healing time. But hang in there stay strong and don't rush back or push it. you will know when you are ready. the best thing I have learned through all of this is what you do today will or may effect how you are tomorrow. stay well. :)

Preshis
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2013
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 7/14/2013 4:03 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks for the responses. I am also have gurgling a lot! Even after just drinking water. It's like it takes a long time for anything to go down. I tried to have some protein Friday night (cooked chicken) and thought I was going to get sick. The food was just stuck in my esophagus and I felt like I was choking for an hour! i won't try that again for a long time. ;(

Thruppennies
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2013
Total Posts : 19
   Posted 7/15/2013 2:50 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi All,

I'm a nurse, so not a sedentary job really, don't feel anywhere near ready to go back now (will be 3 weeks tomorrow), so think I'll be taking a couple more weeks.

Preshis, I know that feeling! I tried eating some pasta, didn't chew it nearly enough, thought I was having a heart attack with the pain in my esophagus!! I have that constant gurgling too.

Seems every time I eat soft food, I get a lot of bloating and pain, but am ok with liquids... do I need to take a step back with my diet and stick to the liquids??

Kirsten x

dencha
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7188
   Posted 7/15/2013 8:14 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Kirsten,
Do you have some diarrhea along with your gurgling?  I didn't have constant gurgling, but I did get it from time to time, and when it came, it was loud.  I remember sitting in a meeting and people were offering me food, as they thought they were hunger sounds.  I always knew that at some point after the gurgling started, I'd have diarrhea.  Fortunately for me, it wasn't immediate, so there was no problem with running to the bathroom.  The gurgling subsides with healing.
 
Are you taking small bites and chewing your food until it is a liquid/creamy consistency? If something you are eating doesn't chew completely, don't swallow it, as that's what will get stuck.  If something gets stuck, sip some warm tea or lukewarm water.  Eventually whatever it is will get down.  (I spoke with my surgeon about this, and he said that only once was it a problem for one of his patients.  A patient swallowed a large chunk of grisly steak, and he had to go in to remove it via endoscopy.  He said no steak or untoasted bread for about 8 weeks.)
 
Have you tried cooking in a Crock Pot or slow cooker?  Everything gets thoroughly soft after cooking it for hours and hours.  The flavors meld, and it's very tasty.
Pasta is one of those things that can be very hard to chew to liquid.  If you want an Italian dish, try crepe cheese manicotti.  It's easy to make and the crepe vs. pasta is a dream to chew and swallow. 
 
If you're chewing to a liquid, your mouth is acting as your blender, and solids shouldn't make any difference.  Anything that doesn't disappear on chewing, can be deposited in a handy paper napkin.  Don't swallow it.  Actually there is a huge variety of foods that chew completely, but it's trial and error.  I understand the pain of spasms when something goes down that isn't chewed completely.  Been there!
 
Whenever your wrap or stomach react to the next stage of eating, listen to them.  They've been through a lot, and need to be babied.  Try the chew to disappearance method and see how that works. The chicken may not have been tender/soft enough for you.  Experiment with what works.  You'll find something.
 
Preshis,
You're very likely still having swelling, which is making things harder to swallow.  I remember drinking water and having it sit at the wrap site and then slowly drizzle down.  Even now, if I chug water it can get backed up a little at the wrap site, but it's not a problem.
 
Remember to chew, chew, chew, and if whatever you're chewing doesn't disappear into a liquid/creamy consistency don't swallow it.  Small sips, no iced drinks. Listen to that stomach of yours.  If it's upset with you, try to understand it has been through a lot.  Your stomach was stretched and wrapped and stitched.  It has a right to complain!  Healing takes time, but it will happen.
 
Hang in there, both of you...it gets better!
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
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