Swallowing questions after Nissen

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Wilmariley
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2013
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 11/4/2013 8:54 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello,
New to the group. I am 2 weeks post Nissen surgery ( plus repair of large hiatial hernia both by robotic lap.)
After reading a lot of posts, I think I am doing well. I have been following the soft mush diet, walking a lot etc.
just wondering if anyone has any useful tips for those times when food is hard going down. This is happening less now the last few days then durning the first week but still happens and still can be painful. I have tried taking water to help whatever feels slow going down, but the water comes back up in my mouth. Is this something gas x helps with?
Also, when can wine or champagne be tolerated?
Thanks in advance- great to have this forum as a resource as I don't know anyone who has had this surgery.
Thanks,
Rileywilma
 
Added clarifying info to thread title..

Post Edited By Moderator (dencha) : 11/4/2013 8:16:15 PM (GMT-7)


dencha
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7180
   Posted 11/4/2013 9:15 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Wilmariley,
Welcome to the Healing Well yeah yeah yeah Wrapped Club! yeah yeah yeah At two weeks, you're close to the time of your wrap's peak swelling, so it's typical to be having swallowing problems.  Warm water or tea works best at relaxing the esophagus, and helping things get past your swollen wrap. Sips are the best, as they don't introduce a lot of liquid into the esophagus, but encourage additional swallows that help push the food though and into the stomach. 
 
Two weeks is too soon for wine. It's very acidic, and if things are being held back at the wrap site, you don't want to introduce wine.  If it sits there, it's sure to irritate your wrap.  You will be able to drink it again, but it's best to wait a bit.  Once your swallowing is going better, it will be a better time to start a few sips.
 
Be sure to sip water (never iced) when taking medication as well.  If meds sit at the wrap site, they can be very irritating as well.
 
You should stay far, far away from champagne for a good long time (months to a year), and when you do drink it, I wouldn't recommend more than a few sips or maybe a small glassful.  My last experience with bloat (and it rarely happens) was 3 and a half years post op when I drank two glasses of champagne to celebrate my son's engagement.  Champagne is aggressively carbonated, and it's worse than beer or soda.  I can drink beer without a problem, though.
 
Here's a link to my early recovery journal.  Hopefully it will provide you with some helpful insights:
 
Glad you've joined the forum!
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

lajenner
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2013
Total Posts : 349
   Posted 11/5/2013 9:07 AM (GMT -6)   
My surgeon allowed alcohol at 2 weeks post-op. I did enjoy some wine, but had crackers with it to prevent stomach upset. By the 4th week, I didn't get the stomach upset with wine. At 8 weeks, I can now enjoy my favorite beverage, beer. :)

I had to keep reminding myself to slow down, especially at 3 weeks when I really started to feel better and tried more and more foods. You have to wait patiently for the food to go down. Chewing, liquifying each bite in your mouth is key to swallow properly at this point in your recovery.

It will get easier!
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

Wilmariley
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2013
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 11/5/2013 11:14 AM (GMT -6)   
Thank you both! I did go back and read your journal Denise and related to many of your experiences. I too have that mucous problem that comes as a result of drinking water in an effort to pass something that is stuck. I will try a little sip. I also try standing.

Before surgery, we were very active socially, going to dinners, parties, and always having one glass of champagne at dinner time. That is all I have drank for the past 30 years and really enjoy it. I do worry about being able to eat with people without chocking or grossing everyone out. The first time I had the food stuck, it scared my husband. He said my face went white and he thought he would have to do the hemlich on me. Thank god he didn't try...

I which I could "feel" the wrap as everyone reports. I have no idea at what spot it is located on my body. When I had my very large hiatial hernia, it felt like a fist between my chest. That is why they did the surgery. The GERD didn't bother me as much even though the Bravo test showed my reflux was severe. Dr. Also said my hernia had attached itself to my diaphragm and so he had to detach it. Maybe that is contributing to my swallowing? Going for my post op in2 days. Sure Dr. Will tell me everything is normal and try my diet coke. I know, I have a lot of bad eating habits!

Noodles, even soft flat ones, don't work for me. Ditto for avocado, mashed meatloaf.
Otherwise I feel fine, lost 10 lbs. which I wanted to lose and hope to be playing golf in Jan. we will see!
Thanks again. Welcome suggestions as I don't know anyone who has had this surgery.

lajenner
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2013
Total Posts : 349
   Posted 11/5/2013 11:58 AM (GMT -6)   
Way to go on the weight loss! You are probably still bloated and swollen around the middle. Even the my scale said I could fit into a size smaller jean, my middle didn't agree with that, unless they were low cut.

I don't feel the wrap, either, unless something gets stuck there. I don't think I ever really did, either. I went back to my mungo jumbo glucosamine tablets this week, split in half. I was doing ok, then one got stuck yesterday. I choked it up. yuk! I'm going back to the liquid today. I did have a lot of pain with breathing, I assume was because of the diaphragm healing. I, too - had a very large hiatal hernia.

Pasta bothered me, too, at that point. Unless I really liquified it in my mouth. It's gross, but that's what had to be done. You can try those foods, again, just try small bites and concentrate on chewing at least 10 times for each small bite... even something as soft as avocado.

I sure do understand your concerns about going out with others, especially involving a meal. At 8 weeks, I'm ready for it. At 6 weeks, I still avoided those occasions. Truthfully, I could have done it, especially if I knew exactly where we were eating and what was being served. I would have to know there would be things on a menu I could eat. I skipped a lot of social functions since surgery, but there will be plenty more to enjoy.

It's easy to get distracted and attempt to swallow something we shouldn't. That would be the hardest part about eating out with friends. Like I said, I'm now ready at 8 weeks post-op, but it will still take concentration.

By January, you will be doing great and golfing. I'll be in Mexico for a week, with a large group of partiers. I hope to enjoy it all.
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

Wilmariley
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2013
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 11/5/2013 8:36 PM (GMT -6)   
I have my post op in another day and the one question I am going to ask my Dr is; is it better to eat foods that I know are safe for me (swallowing) or should I be trying new food items to "condition" my wrap. I have a feeling even though I am doing the safe way now he is going to tell me no restrictions. I do agree with you that eating is more work than pleasure at this point. My husband is getting used to no conversation during dinner!
Enjoy Mexico....I'm jealous!

dencha
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7180
   Posted 11/5/2013 8:49 PM (GMT -6)   

Hi Wilmariley,

 

Some sips of wine are fine, but if what you're eating is sitting at the wrap site, you don't want to end up with wine sitting at the base of your esophagus.  (BTW, your wrap is right about where your breastbone is.) 

 

Champagne isn't recommended right now.  You will not enjoy the bloating that will likely occur afterward.  I suggest that if you go out to eat (which I did very soon after my surgery) always order a glass of water, no ice, and tea (if you like it).  That way if something gets stuck you'll be prepared to help it through the wrap.  You'll get a few spasms, but they pass quickly.  No big deal.  Just remember to take small bites and chew, chew, chew!

 

Tea/a warm drink is great for relaxing the esophagus and promoting a good swallowing reflex.  Remember that your esophagus has also been traumatized.  You have to understand that it needs to adjust to the changes that were made.  Choose foods that are easy to chew.  Pasta wasn't good for me, either, except for something like crepe manicotti.  Anything made of hamburger caused irritation to my wrap, in the beginning.  Others don't have a problem with it, but I definitely did.  Pasta and noodles are often a problem.  Here is an eating guideline that you might find helpful:

http://www.upmc.com/patients-visitors/education/nutrition/Pages/diet-after-nissen-fundoplication-surgery.aspx

 

Hang in there!

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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