Will cough after NF go away?

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Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 505
   Posted 2/14/2014 4:28 PM (GMT -6)   
I am an 8 weeks post NF person. I'm mostly delighted but still have the most irritating cough, hacking, choking that I really hoped would be cured by this procedure.
I understand the coughing can take time to improve & I'm back on PPIs. Surgeon says a lucky 20% aren't helped with coughing at all.

At first - it was better. Then little by little it seems to have gotten almost as bad before NF.
This problem that found me & my family really disgusted does not seem to be abating.

Does anyone have a similar story? Does the coughing eventually clam down?


New Member

Date Joined Jan 2014
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 2/14/2014 6:03 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Cary. I'm asking myself the same thing. I am 24 days post op NF.  Before my surgery I had throat issues from reflux that occurred mainly while I was sleeping or leaning back and I had coughing and wheezing mainly in the mornings when I first woke up.  I still have some coughing and wheezing in the mornings. It's not quite as bad but significant enough to frustrate me. I still have some throat irritation.  I've been on ppi's for about 2 years through my surgery and my doc is having me stop the ppi's next week to see if I get any heartburn.  According to my doc, and many people on this site who have gone through the same surgery, it can take up to 6 months before you really know.  The healing process can continue up until one full year.  So, I'm staying cautiously optimistic but I am growing impatient as well.  You are almost a full month ahead of me. So, please keep me posted and let me know how it goes. Hang in there and I wish you the best and I hope we both heal.  Good luck. Mike.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 505
   Posted 2/15/2014 11:01 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Mike,

Yes, I understand patience is important. All my throat problems are cured, no more irritation or hoarseness. JUst have that irritating cough & some wheezing too, am coughing up mucous. I too have been on PPIs for 5 years, throttled up to 80MG/day pre-surgery. I am on 40MG now. I will give it to 6 months before complaining further or seeing GI again. I tried stopping PPIs, no heartburn, but bad taste in mouth returned. Not nearly as bad a pre-NF. I will be patient.

I had hoped to go off PPIs but know that 20% of us can't, ever. Good to know I'm not the only one.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2013
Total Posts : 186
   Posted 2/15/2014 3:24 PM (GMT -6)   
I am 8 weeks post op and I have not had a change in a lot of my symptoms. My pain spikes are gone since no more acid is getting to my esophagus or teeth. Other than that, I still have pain radiating from the scar tissue in my esophagus along with persistent post nasal drip and the cough resulting from both of those. My surgeon told me specifically that while he was looking inside me, he was stunned at how the outside of my esophagus was just as inflamed as the inside from years and years of acid saturating the esophagus, so I know that I specifically have a lot of scar tissue. I don't know how long to expect healing of that scar tissue to take, but I will certainly be waiting a while.
Right Temporal Lobectomy 4/5/12
Laparoscopic Nissen Fundoplication 12/17/13

Diagnosed with GERD, Eosinophilic Esophagitis, and Epilepsy.
Studying biomedical engineering to research a better fix to at least one of them.

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7188
   Posted 2/16/2014 10:18 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi CaryF,

It took nearly 3 months for my coughing to improve. My problem might be different than yours, though. My cough was asthmatic, and my lungs had been badly affected from the acid reflux. It took that longs for things to improve and heal. My lungs were 100% better after the healing took place.

I still take 40mg Protonix one a day. My asthma and PCP docs want me to take it to ensure that no errant reflux can bother my lungs. I'm very sensitive to reflux (my DeMeester score was actually low), and they don't want me taking any chances. I've also made the decision (on my own) to continue sleeping with the head of my bed elevated...once again, just in case.

My surgery was a complete success. Prior to surgery my lungs were in life-threatening condition, and I was on huge amounts of medication. Taking a PPI dose proactively is fine with me. If I ever need a redo, I'll gladly go through surgery again. In my case, I had no choice. My asthma requires that I avoid any chance of acid migration.

I hope your cough improves soon. Try not to lose hope. This recovery is a challenging one, and takes lots of patience and trust. I didn't know if it wasn't going to fix my problem, and waited those three long months without any improvement--then seemingly overnight, it improved. I hope you get the same type of results!

Best wishes,

GERD/Heartburn Moderator
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.”
Eckhart Tolle

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 505
   Posted 3/15/2014 10:51 AM (GMT -6)   
Thanks Allergydoc,

I gratefully welcome your thoughts. I'll try to describe my cough as best I can, & please ask away:

I have a chronic and constant, can be several times per minute at worst, feeling of a lump or strong tickle in my lower throat, the voice box area. I am a trained singer so I know little bit about the throat, diaphragm, breathing, larynx control, etc.

I clear my throat, a hacking process, when I feel this sensation and it is almost always non-productive, but can produce a little white mucous. Almost every morning I hack up a little white sticky mucous ball.

I can't swallow this throat lump away or clear it by blowing my nose.

I sometimes, 10% of the time, also experience difficulty swallowing as if the mucous is stuck at my voice box. I can also, 5% of the time, experience a choking sensation. I sometimes, 10% of the time, feel a gurgling at the site of my voice box too.

I have been to ENT, respiratory specialist, allergist & GI. I've had the Nissen which improved all my GI acid reflux symptoms except this coughing problem. I was especially delighted to get my deep breathing and associated control back. I was told by surgeon that 30% of Nissen patients experience no relief from this cough, even though online research says about 20% don't, seems like a lot to me.

I do have seasonal allergies. I have lived and traveled the world - so, climate & location don't seem to make a difference. This coughing has become incrementally worse for the last 5 years. It started about 7 years ago. If it makes any difference I have hemochromatosis & get regular phlebotomy for it. I have a good diet,
exercise fairly regularly & consider myself otherwise healthy.

I hope this helps. All great ideas welcome as this problem is ruining my singing opportunities, my family and I are both really done with this irritating and obnoxious behavior. It is only getting worse.

Thanks so much,
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