My Nissen Journey- Surgery Friday August 9th 2013

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StephanieJean
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2013
Total Posts : 500
   Posted 8/5/2013 3:13 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Everyone,
My surgery for Nissen and small hiatial hernia repair is scheduled for this Friday. I am a 29 year old woman in otherwise great health. I started having uncontrollable reflux and regurgitation in April after living pretty much symptom free for many years. I guess that is the "silent" in "silent reflux."

I think that moving into a new home probably made my hernia worse and that is why my symptoms got so bad after moving.

I had all the testing done anyone could and would want to do and my gastroentrologist looked at me and said my only option to fix it would be surgery. My protonix was just masking a larger problem, and not really even working that well. I have horrible throat burn and I reflux water...everything really. The surgeon agreed with my gastro and now everything is already in motion. I just never really thought a sore throat could lead to this...

I am pretty worried, but I feel like using this forum and other's journals I am as prepared as I can be. I would appreciate the support of this community too, and hope that my journal can help others, just like yours have helped me. Especially if my wrap goes smoothly and I heal and can live life well again, I want to stick around and let you guys know, because I dont see enough of those posts. I think most people just get on with their lives. I want to be able to update people who are going through what I am going through.

So Hi everyone, Nice to meet you. I am Stephanie, and this is my journey.
Any questions or comments are more than welcome
My puppy Toby and I
VIEW IMAGE

TonyG
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2013
Total Posts : 254
   Posted 8/5/2013 3:58 PM (GMT -6)   
Hiya Stephanie!

I had my Nissen on April 30th after what seemed like reflux for most of my life. Up until my surgery I was taking Protonix 4x's a day with very little relief. Even brushing my teeth caused reflux. I've got to say, having the procedure was the best decision of my life. It's now August and I haven't had a bit of reflux or heartburn since.

The internet is a crazy place. As I'm sure you've already found, there's lots of information and advice and diets to follow. In short, surrender to your recovery and follow your doctors orders precisely.

Some things to note while you're in the hospital:
1. Hospitals don't have a "Post-Nissen Diet". Your surgeon will prescribe a clear liquids only diet for the first day or two. Hospitals think that means it's okay to put a Sprite or 7-UP on your tray with a straw. Don't do it! Water, broth, Jello, that's it. No straws for awhile. After that you should be on a full liquids diet. Soups, oatmeal, ice cream, yogurt, juice, etc.
2. Don't be afraid to ask for pain medicine. I woke up with a magic button (Dialudid) that I was able to push every 10 minutes if I needed it. I only needed it for the first two days. It was removed on the third day and I was on liquid Lortab after that. It's really all I needed and even after coming home I was only on the liquid Lortab for another 4 or 5 days and was fine after that without any pain meds at all.
3. Walk, walk, walk. Walking will help you heal faster and will help get your energy back. Don't sit in bed or on the couch and stare into the television. If you have any pain in your shoulder from the CO2 used during surgery (I'm assuming you're having the laparoscopic procedure) walking will help eliminate that.

My surgeon asked that I remain on the liquid diet until my follow-up appointment with him two weeks after surgery, which I did faithfully. As that date approached, I added soft scrambled eggs and mashed potatoes and didn't have any problems. Some people complained of constipation or violent diarrhea after getting home. I didn't experience any of that and attributed that to sticking to my diet and not trying to over-do any activity. Once released from that diet I was given the green-light to eat anything I wanted as long as I was sensible about it. Cut everything up into small pieces and chew like crazy. Swallow carefully. Nothing carbonated and still no straws. Bread was a little difficult and to this day peanut butter gives me a little bit of a challenge. I was able to go back to work 16 days after my surgery and am pain and pill-free. I've added carbonated beverages and straws back into my diet (in moderation as gas will tend to be a problem for awhile since you may not be able to burp for several months post-op) and pretty much eat anything I want these days.

Note that you'll feel worse before you feel better. The swelling around your wrap won't really start to go away until at least a month post-op. Your best bet is to just take it easy and don't rush your recovery. Your body will definitely tell you when you've gone too far.

Take care of yourself and you have my best wishes for a successful surgery this week!
-TonyG-
-TonyG-
Nissen Fundoplication April 30, 2013
Pain-Free, Reflux-Free, Sleeping on my back!

Bcolt
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2012
Total Posts : 63
   Posted 8/5/2013 5:26 PM (GMT -6)   
Tony G-
I was just popping through the page, (I'm having my op on Aug 8th) and your comment is ridiculously helpful!! cheers for that :)
Oh, and Stephanie, good luck with your surgery

StephanieJean
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2013
Total Posts : 500
   Posted 8/5/2013 6:58 PM (GMT -6)   
Gosh Tony, thank you for the great advice! I really appreciate that and its good to hear how well you are feeling. that is keeping me positive and motivated. I dont look forward to the CO2 it was the worst part of my other lap surgery. I also dont react to anesthesia well, but that is fully noted in my chart and I will be telling the anesthesiologist that as well.
Thank you Thank you!

Post Edited (StephanieJean) : 8/5/2013 6:02:10 PM (GMT-6)


opnwhl4
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 4961
   Posted 8/5/2013 7:26 PM (GMT -6)   
Stephanie-

Welcome to Healing Well.

Have a look though our resources thread at the top of the forum for Denise's recovery journal if you haven't already. That is a very good one, we also have a few others on who have a recovery thread going and gave a lot of good information there.

To add a little to Tony's post, Please remember that you may feel a lot better at about 1 week or so and then get worse about the 2 week mark. This is normal and usually the peak time for swelling. Expect about anything during this time from feeling you are refluxing to strange pains. While the wrap is swollen it doesn't work very well, but as the swelling goes down it settles in and that's when the results really start to show.
This recovery can be long, but so worth it in the end.
A lot of surgeons don't have a real grasp for what the recovery is like since they haven't been through it themselves. We are here for you anytime you need some support. Don't hesitate to ask us anything here, we have all had questions about this surgery.

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

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

StephanieJean
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2013
Total Posts : 500
   Posted 8/5/2013 8:17 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Bill, Thank you! I read Denise's recovery journal. It was really helpful. The most I am taking away from this is to really just relax and stay calm during that two week mark. I know that is probably where I will have the most problems. Thank you!
I appreciate your help. Its nice to know I have people here to freak out to if necessary when I feel strange or not healing fast enough or stuff like that! :)
Stephanie <3

StephanieJean
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2013
Total Posts : 500
   Posted 8/6/2013 11:34 AM (GMT -6)   
Today is Tuesday and Surgery is Friday. I called the hospital for precert and they said I am good to go for Friday. I am just waiting on my FMLA paperwork from the surgeons office to give to my employer for my time off of work.

How much work did you guys miss when you had surgery?

keith k
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2013
Total Posts : 14
   Posted 8/7/2013 5:46 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi SJ,
I had my surgery on a Thursday, and was back to work on Monday. Now, I'm a very light-blue -collar worker, so I work more with the computer than with my hands.

Every day is better, and now that I'm at the 13th day, I forget that I had the surgery at times. 4 days ago, bending over and tying my shoes was excruciating. Today, I tied them, walked away, and then later I had the thought, "Hey, I forgot to scream."

For a reference as to me and my healing potential:
48 year old male.
15 pounds over ideal weight. (Now only 5!!! Thank you Nissen.)
15 years of meds.
Food used to get stuck about once a month. Usually a nice puking session would fix me right up.

I'm only a short way on my journey, but I think I'll be much happier in a few more weeks.

Keith K.

StephanieJean
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2013
Total Posts : 500
   Posted 8/7/2013 9:32 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Keith!
I am glad that you are doing so well. I am surprised you went back to work so quickly. My followup appointment is two weeks after the surgery and I don't plan on trying to even think about going back until then. I guess I am also expecting the worst though. Maybe i shouldn't be!

Luckily I work sitting at a computer all day, so I might want to come back sooner than later, Sitting around at home probably will only make me feel more lazy and tired.

Are you having problems eating or swallowing? Anything odd you think I should be prepared for?

keith k
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2013
Total Posts : 14
   Posted 8/7/2013 11:50 AM (GMT -6)   
Hey SJ,

I still have problems swallowing unless it's fairly small or chewed up. The problem with post-nissen, is that you get so hungry from the small meals, that it's very easy to take too big a bite. The best advice is to make it so that you can't. Buy soft food.
Mashed potatoes
Egg salad
Potato salad
Macaroni salad
Macaroni and cheese
Chicken pot pie
Yogurt

Keep us posted.

Keith K.

TonyG
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2013
Total Posts : 254
   Posted 8/7/2013 2:31 PM (GMT -6)   
Stephanie,

I, too, have a desk job. I was out for a total of 16 days. I was going crazy sitting at home and must have read a hundred books and watched every cruddy movie Netflix had to offer, but I think it was for the best. Even at 16 days I was surprised at how tired I was by mid-day the first few days but it didn't take long to get back into the swing of things.

Good luck to you!
-Tony-
-TonyG-
Nissen Fundoplication April 30, 2013
Pain-Free, Reflux-Free, Sleeping on my back!

StephanieJean
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2013
Total Posts : 500
   Posted 8/7/2013 2:58 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks everyone!
The time is ticking by at work, and tomorrow is the day before surgery. I can't help but feel terrified, but I think it would be worse without all of you giving me advice and letting me know that you are doing so well.
I appreciate each and every one of your posts.

AnotherDay
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2012
Total Posts : 20
   Posted 8/7/2013 4:44 PM (GMT -6)   
Stephanie,

I'm 28, and I had my surgery in June, and I was texting, reading, and walking the same evening. The fear of the unknown was the main reason for my nervousness, in reality I had nothing to fear. When I came round my first thought was, oh it's done then. I was far more worried than I needed to be, but on the day of the surgery, I was fine.

Chris P.
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2013
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 8/7/2013 6:58 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi I am Christine,

I had a partial nissen fundoplication on 24th July through the NHS in the north east of England and I am so pleased that I had it done.

I understand that a partial is probably an easier option for recovery than a full wrap but I have been instructed to adhere to the same diet regime. I have just moved onto soft foods from liquids and everything seems ok. I have been out walking each day and have gradually increased the distance.

The decision to just do a partial was made on the operating table but I was forewarned that this may be an option.

The only problems that I have had are a few pains in my left shoulder, in fairness, it is discomfort rather than pain.

So far, it has not been as bad as all the reports I have read on line leading up to the op ( this is the only site that I have found positive reports). My only concern is that a partial may be less effective. Has anyone out their had a successful partial wrap?
Chris

StephanieJean
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2013
Total Posts : 500
   Posted 8/7/2013 7:18 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Christine,
My surgeon told me my nissen is a loose floppy. I am not really sure what that means.

opnwhl4
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 4961
   Posted 8/7/2013 7:50 PM (GMT -6)   
Chris-

Welcome to Healing Well and the Wrapped Club! We have several members who had the partial wrap and are doing very well.

SJ-

The floppy wrap is a newer technique that surgeons have been using. They used to just size the wrap with a bougie and sometimes that was too tight or too loose. The surgeons using the floppy wrap generally have been doing these a long time and have developed a feel for how the wrap should be. At least this is what my 2nd surgeon explained to me about it.
It has made for less post op problems with burping and allowing some to vomit while still controlling the reflux. Mt 1st was done with a bougie and was done wrong and too tight. My 2 redoes were done as a floppy wrap and I can tell a world of difference.
As AnotherDay said, getting up and walking soon helps a lot with getting the recovery process started. Even with my esophagus tear surgery(thoracotomy) they had me up and walking within 24 hours and that was with 2 chest tubes, an NG tune, and catheter. It helps ease some pains as well.

AnotherDay- Welcome to the Wrapped Club too! I don't think I have welcomed you yet.

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

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

StephanieJean
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2013
Total Posts : 500
   Posted 8/8/2013 8:28 AM (GMT -6)   
24 Hours to go!

I think the thing I am most afraid of is that I will go through all this pain and this surgery and have it not work for some reason, or end up with chronic pain. I just want to feel good. It has been years since I have felt good.

Has anyone used carafate after their wrap? I still have like a years supply left and wasnt sure if it helped or not.

opnwhl4
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 4961
   Posted 8/8/2013 9:25 AM (GMT -6)   
SJ-

Deep breathe.....relax smurf

Please stay away from the "what ifs". This will cause huge anxiety. You and your surgeon have gone through everything and determined you are a good candidate for this surgery, so there is no reason to believe it won't be successful. Now you need to head into this with a positive attitude and believe this is your solution.

The carafate may help early on while your esophagus is healing. It won't hurt to use it.

We will be here waiting to welcome you to the Wrapped Club! yeah yeah yeah

Do something that you enjoy and is relaxing tonight.

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

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

txman4102
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2013
Total Posts : 90
   Posted 8/8/2013 9:31 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi SJ,
 
I am so excited for you. I wish my surgery date was tomorrow. I meet with my surgeon on Monday and then my partial wrap should be scheduled in the near future. I think waiting is the hardest part. I work with a RN and she has been scoulding me to stay positive. She says that a positive attitude will make a big difference in recovery. I hope you document your recovery here so we can track your progress.

StephanieJean
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2013
Total Posts : 500
   Posted 8/8/2013 9:45 AM (GMT -6)   
Thanks a lot Bill. I have been trying to be positive about it. Pesky Anxiety and Panic disorder makes it harder though, but I have a good support system. Just sometimes I cant stop my mind from racing and thinking things even if I know they aren't rational.
Thanks for the tip on the carafate, I just filled it again.

txman4102- I will be documenting as much as possible for as long as possible. The journals and posts here are reassuring and helpful to me and if I can add to that great pool of knowledge and experience and help others going through what I am going through its the least I can do.

GC1pink
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2012
Total Posts : 532
   Posted 8/8/2013 12:54 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi StephanieJean,

Just wanted to wish you all the very best for your surgery tomorrow!

StephanieJean
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2013
Total Posts : 500
   Posted 8/8/2013 1:18 PM (GMT -6)   
THANK YOU! you are so sweet
GC1pink said...
Hi StephanieJean,

Just wanted to wish you all the very best for your surgery tomorrow!

StephanieJean
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2013
Total Posts : 500
   Posted 8/9/2013 5:50 AM (GMT -6)   
Well today is the big day. Surgery is at 11 am Ohio time. I am trying to stay calm and optimistic. Thank you all for your support and well wishes and I will check in as soon as possible!
-stephanie

Baza
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2011
Total Posts : 513
   Posted 8/9/2013 6:01 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Stephanie, good luck for today! Hope all goes well for you and no more Reflux! All the Best.Barry

opnwhl4
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 4961
   Posted 8/9/2013 11:19 AM (GMT -6)   
SJ-

Well you should be in the middle of your surgery about now. Praying all goes well and will be waiting to welcome you to the Wrapped Club!

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

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