Welcome to Healing Well! I see you've already met our #1 Nissen redo pro, Bill! He has given you some great information. I thought I'd add my positive feelings toward the Nissen surgery to his. I had my surgery in February 2009, and have been thrilled with the results. I had problems with the reflux creating increased asthma problems, and the surgery has done a great job of protecting my lungs.
I can tell you this...attitude is everything. If you can surrender to your recovery and follow its lead, it will be much easier for you. Those who struggle against what is, will find the recovery much more difficult. If you can listen to your body, and allow it to heal in its own sweet time, you'll do just fine. Go with the flow. Relax and accept your recovery for what it is. No matter how much you want to, you can't rush your recovery. You will heal and you will get back to your old self again. It just takes time.
I can tell you that I live my life completely normally, and eat whatever I like. Like you, I worried about possible negative side effects from the surgery, but have no problems at all. You will always have to eat a little more slowly and chew your food more completely, but that is actually a healthier way to eat for anyone.
It take a full 6 months for most of the healing and a year for the rest. I found there were improvements even into the second year. The first few weeks are the most difficult, but once you get those behind you, you'll have gradual improvements, and really begin to live your life quite normally.
Your surgeon may have a more strict eating protocol than mine, but I can say I was able to eat a wide range of foods, as long as those foods could be chewed to a liquid/creamy consistency. Even if your surgeon has you on liquids and soft foods longer than mine did, it won't be long before you're eating a more normal (though carefully chosen) diet.
Be sure to ask any other questions that my come to mind before your surgery. Don't worry...you'll do fine!
Nissen Fundoplication 2/09
"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.”