I sent a link to this thread to a friend from Toronto who used to participate in this forum. Hopefully she'll be able to give you some specific information regarding the area in which you are living.
General non-invasive (laproscopic) surgeons are fine with the surgery as long as they are highly experienced. I suspect you could call your surgeon's office and get a better estimate of how many he's done (that is more satisfying than "Oh, so many").
If, as you say, the surgeon you're seeing is the best Nissen surgeon in Toronto, I'm sure he has tons of experience and it's the right choice.
Have you had all the prerequisite testing? If you've been referred to a surgeon I suspect you really need the surgery.
You said that the reviews have been mixed...that may be because this surgeon, as renowned as he is, might not have the greatest beside manner. If he is well known and is a skilled Nissen surgeon, you can live with some poor bedside manner.
Be sure to stick around the forum if you have the surgery...we'll be here to support you through your recovery.
Best wishes with your appointment! Let us know how it goes.
PS...As far as questions, it's an individual thing. A member from another forum came up with this list. It's way too many to ask in one appointment, and you should sort through the questions and consider which ones suit your needs, but at least it's a start.
What is your background? How many fundos do you do in a month? open or lap?
What interested you about this type of surgery?
Can you please explain why you believe I need a fundo. (Break this into several questions, if need be, such as, Can you please explain why you think my diaphragm needs repairing during the fundo.)
Will you do a full wrap (lap Nissen) or partial wrap (lap Toupet)? Why?
What muscles will be affected? How will that affect my mobility afterward? And for how long?
When can I go back to work?
Will I be able to resume my workout routine and weight lifting? When?
What is the biggest risk I'll take in having this surgery?
What is the hardest part of the surgery, for you?
What might cause my fundo to fail? What are the chances that this will happen?
How often do you have this (whatever the failure is) happen? (HOPE the response to this is a tiny fraction of the whole, "because I do a good job of assessing up front whether this is an appropriate solution.")
Do I need any other tests before the operation? (Often you'll need a chest x-ray and blood test right before. NOTE: An experienced Nissen surgeon will want an endoscopy, barium swallow, manometry, 24 hour PH monitor, and sometimes a stomach emptying test)
When will I meet the anesthesiologist? (And who will he/she be?)
What drugs will I receive? (This should include pain meds and anti-nausea drugs, not just whatever your anesthesiologist gives you.)
Who else will be in the OR? (VERY important if you'll be in a teaching hospital. Also, it's good to know what sort of nursing crew they allow. NOTE: I told my surgeon that I wanted HIM to do the surgery, not his resident. He told me that his resident would have to be there and assist. I said that was fine, as long has HE did the actual surgery.)
What other doctors will see me at the hospital, besides you and the anesthesiologist? (Again, especially important if you'll be in a teaching hospital.)
How long does the surgery take? about how long will I be in the recovery room?
Can you give me post-op diet guidelines?
When will I be able to sleep on a level bed?
What medications do I need to stop taking? When? (Be prepared with a list of medications and supplements you take.)
When can I resume taking the meds (assuming you're told to stop them, of course)?
When will I need to return for follow-up appointments after surgery? Can I schedule them now?
At what point post-op will my care be transferred back to my GI doctor?
What might cause you to give me an open, even though we're planning on a lap?
Show me where the incisions will be (both for lap and open).
How many stitches will you put in my diaphragm?
What should I do if I have problems after I'm released from the hospital? (Try to get a fix on what is urgent and what is not and whether you can reach your surgeon easily, especially outside of office hours.)
Check whether your surgeon will be at work for the 4-6 weeks following your surgery. If vacation or holiday time-off is coming up, you need to know that so that you can then ask who will be available for back-up and what their credentials are.
Is there anything else I should know that I've not already asked about? (This is an attempt to be sure that your surgeon isn't "forgetting" to mention something to you.)
If I have more questions, how can I contact you? (If the surgeon is NOT receptive to this, you've got the wrong person!)
Finally, include questions re: related health issues you might have -- from a bum knee and the abuse it might take during this to diabetes or whatever. You don't want to emerge from this experience in worse shape on another front!
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.”