First, I'm so sorry to hear of your swallowing issues. I had those too, along with incredible reflux for many many years and finally had the nissen procedure done in April. As slow as the recovery was, I'm glad I had the surgery. My quality of life is better than ever and I'm eating anything and everything now as if I never had reflux/swallowing issues.
Second, I'm not going to sugar-coat any of this because I don't believe it's helpful. That said, even laparoscopic, this is major abdominal surgery. Don't let anyone convince you otherwise. As someone that has had the surgery done, I will respectfully disagree with your surgeon (as I'm sure others will) that you will be comfortable enough and ready to go back to work after one week. In my opinion, that's downright silly. Due to a couple complications, my surgery was almost 5 hours long and I was in the hospital for a full three days following the surgery. Once I was home, I continued with the liquid pain meds I was discharged with. I don't think I was off of the liquid vicodin for at least 4-5 days once I was home. I was out of work for almost 6 weeks and happy to have all of that time to recover. Even with that, I found my energy to be completely zapped for the first few days before the lunch hour.
The key to a smooth recovery is to plan ahead. Read many of the posts on this forum and get as many of your questions answered as you can. As your surgery approaches, it would be wise to have meals planned and to have a caregiver (family or friend that can stay with you) go over everything with you so that they can help you while you're recovering. You'll find some food easier than others...we are all different. You HAVE to eat and you HAVE to keep hydrated. Not doing either will make your recovery much more complicated than it needs to be. Even if you aren't hungry or thirsty, you NEED to eat and drink. Yes, you will have pain, but it's manageable with medications and plenty of rest. Bottom line, follow your doctors orders, get lots of rest, and don't rush your recovery. Just because your surgeon says you'll be ready to go back to work in a week doesn't mean you will. 99% sure he/she hasn't had the procedure done and doesn't know what the recovery is like outside of what he/she has read the recovery "should" be like. You'll have both good days and bad days, for sure.
Hopefully as others respond you'll get more "good experience" responses versus "bad experience" responses. Mine was one of the "good experiences" and I know that not all of us that have had the procedure have been in the same boat. Everyone will have their own reasons as to why. Nine months later, all I have to show for my surgery is 8 scars on my belly. I hope that your recovery is just as smooth and uneventful as mine was/has been.
Please ask as many questions as you want!
Nissen Fundoplication April 30, 2013
Pain-Free, Reflux-Free, Sleeping on my back!