Barb's partial fundoplication journey 12/17/13

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Heartogold
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2013
Total Posts : 31
   Posted 12/21/2013 7:17 AM (GMT -6)   
Wanted to post my journey in the same spirit of sharing that so many others have done before.

I did not have typical GERD symptoms, my issues were with waking up in the middle of the night sometimes choking on phlegm for the past 3 years, constant throat clearing and pain in my diaphragm area. Had an endoscopy in Sept which showed a hiatus hernia. PPI's did not work and most would call my symptoms LPR but the Bravo capsule did indicate acid sitting on my throat for long periods of time so believe I had symptoms of both GERD and LPR.

I had a colon resection in 04 due to diverticulitis (apparently it isn't uncommon to have multiple issues in one system of our bodies, mine happen to be digestive in spite of the fact that I eat healthy, exercise and am in good shape otherwise.) The colon resection went extraordinarily well and I was thrilled to find out that my surgeon also specializes in GERD. He did every test imaginable, 8 total I believe in order to fully understand my digestive system before recommending a partial fundoplication.

His pre-op diet is 7 days of liquids to deplete glycogen stores and shrink the liver-this makes it easier for him to move things around with the scope and makes for an easier recovery. I followed his pre-op diet plan and arrived for surgery on December 17th at 5:30 am. Was in my room after surgery by noon, had a lovely nurse who was very attentive though most of that day is a blur as I am hyper sensitive to anesthesia and pain meds.

First night and Day 2 were tough, almost vomited on several occasions, night nurse and next day nurse were not compassionate or responsive. Ran out of water, had to empty urine collection container myself, finally started just unplugging everything myself so I could go for walks. Very disheartening. Lots of burping, gurgling and sensation of liquids swirling around the wrap. Oh, and hiccups. Ouch. Was happy to be discharged at 2 to the care of my way more compassionate husband. Sent home with photos of the hernia repair and wrap which are really interesting.

Day 3 was not bad at all, actually felt pretty good, pain level about a 3. Went for a nice walk outside, was still burping.

Day 4, pain returned in earnest, up to a solid 8 and the hydromorphone I was sent home with did not help at all, just made me nauseous. My pain is in both shoulders and it is fierce. Walking as much as possible, got vicodin rx which isn't helping either. Realized yesterday on day 4 that I hadn't had a bowel movement since Monday so took stool softeners and am drinking smooth move tea. Don't actually feel constipated esp since I have not eaten anything solid in past 10 days but hoping that is what is causing the pain. Haven't burped at all in about 24 hours and it feels like the wrap is swelling.

It is early morning of day 5, still not sleeping at all as it is difficult to get comfortable. Body feels tight from not moving, neck and back are achy. Hoping it is warm enough today to get outside for an extended walk-from everything I've read here I believe it will help move the gas that is likely causing the pain.

No problem getting liquids down, taking very small bites and small amounts. Post op 2 week diet includes broth, strained cream soups, jello, pudding, cottage cheese, smoothies, yogurt, milk shakes. Bought a cheap but very effective juicer the Hamilton Big Mouth so juicing some veggie and fruit blends though not able to drink more than a 1/8 or 1/4 cup at a time. Have lost 10 lbs so far, don't want to lose more but will surely have no problem gaining it back. :)

Mcedge
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2013
Total Posts : 292
   Posted 12/21/2013 7:51 AM (GMT -6)   
Heartogold

I also had a partial (toupet) but I had typical gord due to a hernia

I had dreadful shoulder pain too. It lasted for a few days on and off. It would go away for days then I'd wake up with it again. I'm almost six weeks post operation and I don't get it at all now. Looking back I think it went in about the third week. I would put a hot water bottle on it.

I was told that it's not the gas but it's referred pain that causes it because they've messed about with your diaphragm.

Hope all goes well and you have a speedy recovery.

Maria

opnwhl4
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 4961
   Posted 12/21/2013 8:50 AM (GMT -6)   
Barb-

Welcome to the Wrapped Club!

As for sleeping, I found it much easier to sleep sitting up for a week or 2 after surgery. I fortunately have reclining ends on the couch as well as a comfy recliner.

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

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

Heartogold
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2013
Total Posts : 31
   Posted 12/21/2013 10:56 AM (GMT -6)   
Thanks Maria! Now that you mention it, have read before that the shoulder pain is referred. So glad to hear you don't have it anymore! Did any pain reliever help you when you had it? Heating pad helps a bit.

Bill, will try sleeping in recliner tonight. Did you sleep on incline prior to surgery? Are you able to sleep flat now?

Mcedge
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2013
Total Posts : 292
   Posted 12/21/2013 11:11 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Heartogold

The only meds I took after leaving the hospital was paracetamol. It did help but of course it didn't kick in straight away then wore off after a couple of hours. I'm sure it did help.

Maria

opnwhl4
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 4961
   Posted 12/21/2013 9:50 PM (GMT -6)   
Barb-

I slept fairly flat prior to surgery, but had issues. Now I can sleep in any position I want without any issues.

When I had surgery to repair my torn esophagus I couldn't lay down at all for about 3 to 4 months. I stayed in the chair at the hospital for over 3 weeks.

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

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

Heartogold
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2013
Total Posts : 31
   Posted 12/22/2013 12:49 AM (GMT -6)   
Thanks Bill. Haven't slept more than 3 hours a night since surgery, mornings are the worse as the pain is harsh-woke up today shaking. Looking forward to sleeping flat again someday, hoping the chair works tonight. Tough day today, trying to stay positive. Appreciate the support.

Barb

Diaas2
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2013
Total Posts : 256
   Posted 12/22/2013 6:26 PM (GMT -6)   
I'm glad you made a journal! I'll be sure to read it and help where ever I think I can. It sounds like you are doing a great job so far getting things down in the time frame you are at after your surgery! I hope your pain levels improve and you are able to sleep more. How frequently do you feel nauseous? Every time you take those pain meds?

Post Edited (Diaas2) : 12/22/2013 4:31:12 PM (GMT-7)


opnwhl4
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 4961
   Posted 12/22/2013 7:05 PM (GMT -6)   
Barb-

Are you taking the pain meds are prescribed? Early on that can help you get more sleep if takenhen you want to sleep.

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

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

Heartogold
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2013
Total Posts : 31
   Posted 12/23/2013 6:38 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Bill.

Thanks for checking in. Finally got some sleep though missed Sunday night football and am now wide awake at 4 am. :) Took a warm bath, that seemed to relax me enough to sleep and kept the heating pad on low, woke up every few hours and took Tylenol then fell right back to sleep.

The pain meds have not been effective at all-Dilaudid (hydromorphone) or vicodin. They no longer make me nauseous but they also don't relieve the pain. I've found that Tylenol at least takes the edge off if I take it every two hours but that is double the recommended dose so trying to stretch it out. Definitely wishing I had something stronger that worked.

Feeling like today is better, still uncomfortable but yesterday even my hair hurt so grateful for baby steps. I'm having no problem swallowing or eating very small amounts. I'm just not hungry at all.

David, hope things are better for you today! Was right there with you yesterday, discouraged and I kept bursting into tears which is not something I do often. I hope your spirits are up today and you are able to focus on how far you've come and how much better things will be in the long run.

Thanks guys for checking in, hope you are both having a great day.

Barb

opnwhl4
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 4961
   Posted 12/24/2013 6:54 AM (GMT -6)   
Barb-

I found that taking Ibuprofen with the other pain meds helped them work better. I was given that at the hospital as well.

Be sure to stay hydrated. Even a slight amount of dehydration will make you feel worse.

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

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

stkitt
Elite Member


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 1/8/2014 12:49 PM (GMT -6)   
Posted by Barb  12/31/2013 5:42 AM (GMT -7)  
 
Good morning fellow wrappers. Had a partial fundoplication on Dec 17th, 2013, two weeks ago. Have no idea how to link the initial post to this one but it is here on the blog somewhere so won't repeat week 1.

( Edit - I pulled all your posts together - so you will find them all right here)

On day 7 post surgery which happened to be Christmas Eve, I called my surgeon's office to request a different pain med since nothing was working and the pain in both shoulders was excruciating. Because I was also having shortness of breath, he sent me to the emergency room to get a cat scan. (His office is over an hour away from where I live.) ER did chest x-ray, barium swallow to look at gallbladder, blood work (slightly elevated white blood cell count) and ct showed pocket of fluid near diaphragm. Sent home w Percocet for the pain.

Soon after waking up on Christmas morning, I was doubled over with abdominal pain, short of breath, dry heaving and feverish. My husband called 911 and I was rushed to the nearest hospital where they did a chest x-ray, more blood work. They kept me overnight and on the 26th, my surgeon insisted I be medically transported to him and the hospital where I had had the fundoplication.

More tests and another surgery scheduled to possibly remove gallbladder. Surgery #2 was at 5:30pm on the 27th but gallbladder was not removed. Surgeon found abscess near diaphragm, drained it and I was put on antibiotics with a drain.

4 more days and nights in the hospital, grateful for caring nurses who got me through it but this has been an ordeal. Finally released yesterday and happy to be home. Going in for blood work this morning, back down to surgeons office Thursday to hopefully have drain removed.

Has anyone had any experience with having an abscess after fundoplication?

Barb

stkitt
Elite Member


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 1/8/2014 12:51 PM (GMT -6)   
Posted by dencha on 12/31
 
Hi Barb,
You're the first abscess post-Nissen that I've heard of. So sorry to hear you had to go through so much! I'm just very glad that you and your husband acted quickly and got you medical help right away. That's not something to play around with. I'm glad you posted your experience, so others can learn from what you went through.

This is why, while many, many pains can be normal post-op, it's always best to contact your surgeon's office if your pain is persistent and/or severe. I'm very glad it all worked out well. Be sure to take it EXTRA easy, as going through two surgeries is even more challenging than one!
Happy healing, AND
Happy New Year!
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

stkitt
Elite Member


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 1/8/2014 12:53 PM (GMT -6)   
Posted by Bill 12/31 2:14 PM
 
Barb-

Glad you got to the hospital and your surgeon was looking out for you. While I haven't heard of an abscess before I did have a hole in my stomach that didn't start leaking until the 4th day after surgery. I had been home 1 day and I was almost 3 hours away from the hospital.

My wife drove me back there and my surgeon was waiting for me in the ER. I lucked out and just had to stay NPO for another 3 weeks, vs them going back in and closing the hole. I had to have a CT scan every day or 2 to check to see if the leaking area was getting larger or smaller.

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

stkitt
Elite Member


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 1/8/2014 12:56 PM (GMT -6)   
 Posted Yesterday 1:51 PM by Heartogold
 
3 weeks post fundo, 10 days post 2nd surgery to drain abscess.

Thanks to Denise and Bill for responding to my post about an abscess, wasn't sure I should post because I don't want to scare anyone but infections are a possible complication of any surgery. Was fortunate mine was strep rather than staph or mrsa which are much harder to get rid of. Any indication of infection should be dealt w immediately, extended pain, shortness of breathe, even slight fever.

My surgeon said he rarely has patients require pain medication after week 1 but from what I had read here, the shoulder pain is not uncommon so really didn't think anything was seriously wrong. Grateful he heard shortness of breathe when I spoke to him-hope this post helps someone else avoid what can a huge complication if not addressed promptly.

With 2 surgeries in 10 days, my recovery is different than most and certainly delayed. Not much energy, hard to keep spirits up and eating very small amounts. Luckily not having issues w wrap, very few problems swallowing.

Heartfelt wishes to all for a happy new year.

Barb

stkitt
Elite Member


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 1/8/2014 12:58 PM (GMT -6)   
 Posted Today 9:10 AM (GMT -7)   by Diaas2
 
It sounds like all things considered, you are doing well. What about the rest of your symptoms? How are they? You're lucky to be able to swallow so easily.

Heartogold
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2013
Total Posts : 31
   Posted 1/11/2014 3:40 AM (GMT -6)   
Having a rough night, antibiotic got caught in my wrap but the pain and spasms have lasted for 6 hours. Pain has returned to my shoulders, stomach is very noisy. Drank tea, walked, used a heating pad, no relief.

I am 3 and 1/2 weeks post fundo-is it normal for the wrap to swell at this point? This is the worst it has been since surgery.

David, how are you? Just read your post, sounds like things are very slowly improving for you. I'm amazed at what you're eating, still just eating super soft foods here and ready for some texture and flavor. How are your other symptoms?

I've only had things stick a few times and it is usually my large antibiotic capsule. Before tonight it took about 20 minutes for it to go down the few times it has gotten stuck, tonight is the first time it has persisted. Still have some phlegm in my throat, less than before surgery but will wait 6 months-1 year before passing judgment-sounds like it is one of the last symptoms to resolve for most. My voice was gone after two surgeries but is finally coming back-everyone says I sound better when they talk to me. Haven't had heartburn but didn't have much prior to surgery and am being super cautious about what I eat and eating small bites, chewing for eternity. Eating is such a chore, don't want to bother with it but trying to eat every few hours to get energy levels back up. Going to look for some protein drinks tomorrow.
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