People who had the Nissen for LPR/breathing problems (NOT for heartburn)- how is your breathing now?

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irrationalwoman
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2013
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 10/3/2013 10:41 AM (GMT -6)   
I have straight LPR- constant trouble breathing, worst right after I eat, when I lie down, and when I try to exercise. I do NOT have issues with painful reflux- I would estimate that I only get heartburn a few times a year.
I'm eligible for surgery, but it all seems so scary, and I'm worried it won't work well enough for me. I would like the Nissen to enable me to have a more active lifestyle and better quality of living.

Those of you that had the Nissen for breathing trouble:

How did it work for you?
Was the experience worth it?
Once everything healed, are you able to be active- things like running, swimming, sports- without trouble breathing?
Can you give me a percentage of how much better your breathing is since the surgery?


Thanks for your input :)

TheSiXness
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2012
Total Posts : 541
   Posted 10/3/2013 11:19 AM (GMT -6)   
Can't tell you right now... Will be having the nissen on the 9th for the same reason though.
-TheSickness-

StephanieJean
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2013
Total Posts : 500
   Posted 10/3/2013 11:48 AM (GMT -6)   
Well, I had the nissen because of reflux, although I didn't have traditional heartburn symptoms. No one ever told me if there was a difference between that and LPR, but I had more throat and voice problems which is what prompted me to go to the doctor in the first place, so I will chime in here.

One thing I did not expect from the surgery that happened pretty quickly for me is that it was so easy and awesome to breathe! I just feel like I can take a nice deep breath and I dont rasp or cough like I did before. I always blamed allergies, but I guess it was my reflux all along. I am only about two months out so I cant say any more than that really because I have not started running again, but I can tell you that I already feel such a big difference. A difference I did not even expect!

couchtater
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 14475
   Posted 10/3/2013 2:46 PM (GMT -6)   
I had it done for that several years ago. I'm doing great and my lungs are not inflamed anymore.
It will take about four months to feel like doing any serious exercises. However you can do walking to begin with.
If I didn't have these other conditions I would be doing a lot more.
Joy
Lupus, Fibromyalgia, Glaucoma, Asthma, Hypothyriodism, Sleep Apnea, OA, Depression, and Allergies

When life throws you lemons....
Pick them up and throw them right back at them! :))

lajenner
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2013
Total Posts : 349
   Posted 10/3/2013 8:43 PM (GMT -6)   
I also had it for similar reasons. I feel fine from the surgery, but my lungs and throat will not allow the active lifestyle I prefer, yet. The pulmonologist said minimum 3-6 months before that will happen. At least I know I am on my way, with the nissen completed. You can read my journey to see how I have progressed so far.
Laurie
GERD (Nissen Fundolplication Sept. 2013)
IgG, IgM Deficient
Chronic Pain caused by Degenerative Arthritis,
Asthma, Chronic Sinusitis, Allergies,
Chronic Kidney Stone Disease, Depression/Anxiety

dencha
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7188
   Posted 10/3/2013 9:09 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi irrationalwoman,
Welcome to Healing Well!  I had my surgery in February 2009, and although I had reflux symptoms, they weren't severe like so many who opt for the surgery. In fact, my reflux was mild enough to make it difficult to get referred for surgery.  Whenever I had the PH monitor test, the numbers were within or close to the normal range.  That said, I was getting enough reflux to create havoc with my lungs. 
 
I have asthma, and my lungs were extra reactive because of it.  Reflux had made my lungs very unhealthy.  My PCP said that it was a "life threatening condition".  I had a lung infection when I had the surgery, and it continued after my surgery.  It took a full two and a half months for my lungs to improve after surgery, but they improved tremendously. 
 
I do have asthma--I've had it since I was a child.  But now my asthma is controllable with normal amounts of medications.  I am taking a tiny fraction of the medications I had to take before surgery, and the medication is actually working, which it didn't before surgery.  In fact, I was taking such high doses of inhaled steroid to try to counteract the effects of reflux, that my skin has been permanently damaged. It is extremely fragile and offers no protection whatsoever.  What would be a scratch on someone else ends up ripping through the skin and requiring stitches.  I'm most often covered with ugly bruises as well.  I just wish I'd had the courage to get my surgery years earlier.  Oh well...better late than never. 
 
I consider my lungs to be 100% better post-Nissen, and am very happy I had the surgery.  It has improved my quality of life and health tremendously.
 
Glad you've joined the forum!  Good luck in your search for answers!
Best wishes,
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

lajenner
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2013
Total Posts : 349
   Posted 10/3/2013 9:48 PM (GMT -6)   
Denise, your words are very encouraging. Your story of prescribed medications and their long term side effects is so important for all to pay attention to.

I consider myself well educated and informed on my medical issues. But, I took prescription acid reducers for over 30 years without considering the long term effects. Duh! That is a big problem with otc's, herbs and supplements, as well.

Many do everything they can to avoid doctors and surgery, especially. I am thankful for websites like this and volunteers willing to moderate the forums.
Laurie
GERD (Nissen Fundolplication Sept. 2013)
IgG, IgM Deficient
Chronic Pain caused by Degenerative Arthritis,
Asthma, Chronic Sinusitis, Allergies,
Chronic Kidney Stone Disease, Depression/Anxiety

irrationalwoman
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2013
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 10/3/2013 10:41 PM (GMT -6)   
Denise- your story gives me a lot of hope! I never had any trouble breathing my entire life until I was around 21 or 22 years old (I'm 28 now). For me, it was a slow onset of troubled breathing that started in the gym and progressed to my every day life. Never got heartburn, but I noticed the times I had the worst trouble breathing were when I had an "achey" belly.

I've been tested for every allergy and have none, so my pulmonologist ran the asthma test on me several years ago and told me that I seem to have severe adult-onset asthma, but it's so poorly controlled with inhalers that he suspected it was related to acid reflux, which sent me down that path and finally found me my answers (like you, my ph tests were almost average, but were off enough to make me a candidate for surgery).

I'm thinking more and more that I should go ahead with the Nissen. I want to run and swim and be active again, and maybe with this I can!

dencha
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7188
   Posted 10/4/2013 10:09 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi irrationalwoman,
My PCP pushed for 6 years to get me to a surgeon. My GI doc wasn't impressed with my PH monitor/DeMeester scores, and kept telling me that my lung issues weren't GERD related.  I went along with that without a fight, because I'd read so many scary posts online, and was fearful of the surgery.
 
My lungs got worse and worse.  I was coughing constantly, and got multiple lung infections.  Even simple allergy/sinus-infection induced bouts of asthma were made SO SO much worse due to the reflux effects.  I ended up taking tons of steroid inhalers and even prednosone, and nothing worked at all. 
 
My PCP and asthma docs both wrote letters and called my GI doc, telling him of their concerns and suspicions.  My asthma doc didn't have the personality to push back, but my PCP sure did.  He continued to push me toward surgery, and finally, in desperation, sent me to a surgeon himself.  The surgeon did his own testing and said I was a good candidate for the surgery (I'm sure based mainly on his respect for my PCP's opinion.)
 
Since I had researched quite a bit and had even found this forum, I knew the importance of finding a skilled, experienced NISSEN surgeon.  Not just ANY surgeon would do.  It needed to be a surgeon who'd done hundreds and even better, thousands of Nissen surgeries.  It's an art form, and even an acclaimed surgeon who hasn't done enough Nissens isn't good enough.  My daughter-in-law is a PA and she had earmarked a brilliant surgeon for me, and another surgeon said no...and steered her toward a surgeon who specialized in the Nissen fundoplication.
 
Because of that, I went back to my GI doc with the information from the surgeon.  At that point the GI doc scheduled another PH monitor test, which came out just barely over "normal".  I think he realized that my PCP was serious and very concerned about my lungs. He told me after the test that "probably a few good reflux episodes in a day could create problems with your lungs" and gave me two choices...continue to take medication for the reflux, or he could set me up with a consultation with the surgeon he uses. 
 
It was a simple choice.  The medication wasn't doing a darn thing, so of course I chose the surgeon.  By now (6 years into my lung nightmare) I was willing to take the chance.  I knew that the surgery might not fix the problem...I was more than willing to have it anyway. At least it could be ruled out!  People at this forum (most of whom have gone on their merry way) were extremely positive about their outcomes.  I made an appointment with the surgeon and had the surgery 3 weeks later.  Even the surgeon had concerns about my low DeMeester (PH) score, but said he'd do the surgery on the recommendation of my doctors.
 
The rest is history.  I struggled after the surgery, but knew that my lungs hadn't gotten so damaged in a few weeks and it would take time for them to heal.  It  was almost like magic...it was May, and during my worst pollen season, and suddenly I no longer needed the nebulizer treatment!  It was wonderful to be able to breathe and not have to cough up gobs of mucous constantly. 
 
Of course hindsight is 20-20 as they say, and I wish I'd done it before getting all the steroid skin effects/adrenal insufficiency.  My adrenal glad is back to normal again now that I'm not filling myself full of steroids. I'm a happy camper!  I can breathe again, and most of all, I'm not coughing coughing coughing.  My PCP was thrilled with the outcome.  I really have him to thank for my recovery.  He was the one who persisted and made it happen.
 
Good luck with your decision!
Take care,
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

marko99
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2013
Total Posts : 59
   Posted 10/4/2013 11:06 PM (GMT -6)   
wow denise that was an awesome story, with a very happy ending. I hope I one day soon will be writing a story with an ending compared to your. I am 24 days post op, and slowly getting better, finding issues I didn't know I had. But now I can eat Tomato soup. YEA.
Nissen Surgery 9-10-13
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