new here and getting the repair surgery

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momtwo3danes
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2014
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 3/21/2014 11:05 PM (GMT -6)   
hi all,i am getting surgery soon for a large hital hernia..i have suffered with heartburn for years and currently take 40 mg of nexium..but more often than not I wake up with a hand full of puke still or that nasty burning taste I cant get rid of... smhair anyways the last few months I have been so sick with dizziness and nausea,throwing up and heaviness/fullness in my chest, so I went to get the upper endoscopy? (I think that's wat its called)and have a very large hital hernia and  very wide schtzki ring(whatever that means and they r setting me up to possibly have the Nissan surgery..i do have a few questions if anyone can help..i was reading over everyones diaries and wanted the anwcers to some questions.....thanks in advance..
1)I read... u cannot burp after surgery? is the gas buildup painful? will it regulate on its own after time?
2)is there a list of foods u will never be able to eat again or do u go back to normal after a few wks?my weakness is soda(I know lots of acid)
3)I take care of disabled kids and do a lot of lifing is that gonna be out of the question for months? I have read conflicting things on this...
4)does that tightening feeling after surgery cause u to feel like you cant breathe? I tolerate pain pretty well but cant stand feeling like I cant breathe...
5)my doctor has said the surgery may not help all my symtoms or it could...what has everyones experience been?
6)and any aftercare advise,like foods/liquids to have handy ect...thank u all for reading this..i am so looking forward to getting a decent nights sleep

Sleepyb
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2014
Total Posts : 27
   Posted 3/21/2014 11:47 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi momtwo3danes,
So, to answer some of your questions,
I have not been able to burp, but some can. Still the air does find it way out. Have had a few uncomfortable moments, but nothing bad. I use CPAP which makes things worse, and still, it's not bad.
It takes more than a few weeks, but at 5 weeks I find I can eat most foods. Lamb and steak are a bit of a challenge though. Some I've read have challenges with hot spicy foods, but I've had no problems with those. I don't drink soda, but that might cause some issues.
Sugeon said no heavy lifting for a month, and no situps or pushups for 3 months. You need to be careful and lift properly. That might be hard with children. That is a good question to ask the surgeon.
The day of surgery I had a little trouble taking deep breaths, but breathing normally was fine.
Had the full nissen and have had zero heartburn. Others are not so lucky, but they say 80% are symptom free for 10 years. Assuming that a % of those are obease and don't keep there weight under control. I think the odds are pretty good.
My favorite food during the first few weeks was top ramon boiled in beef broth with added bullion to make it salty. While it is boiling add an egg or 2 and mix. Doesn't sound good, but it is. And it slips past the wraps easilly.

Alcie
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 5005
   Posted 3/22/2014 9:03 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi, Mom.

Some people can burp, others can't, more can burp after a few months. I only started to burp after 4 years, still cannot vomit.

Lifting - if there's a lot to repair in the diaphragm you may be restricted from lifting more than a few pounds permanently. Ask your doctor!

I never had any trouble breathing. After a big hernia repair, they do usually want you to practice taking very deep breaths to get the lungs open again after the surgery.

Nobody can guarantee a total perfect outcome with this surgery. It's major surgery! But today most people do have at least a good outcome and can get off pills.

Stock up on broths and very soft foods that you like. I don't promote those bottled "supplement" drinks. They are just milk and corn syrup with some vitamins added. A cup of skim milk already has 8 grams of protein. You can get some liquid vitamins. Don't add chocolate. It just reacts with the calcium in the milk to form insoluble calcium oxalate, so you don't benefit from the milk calcium. I strongly prefer ultra-pasteurized milk. It lasts a very long time (while you can't get out shopping) and doesn't really need refrigeration until opened. It's sold in some countries as the only milk and just stacked on a table. I am lactose intolerant and use lactose-free milk, which is ultrapasteurized. Even if you are tolerant you can use it. It has the protein and calcium and tastes fine, just maybe a little sweet.

Carria5
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2014
Total Posts : 39
   Posted 3/22/2014 9:31 AM (GMT -6)   
Hello,
I'm 2 months post-op so my wrap is still healing...
1) I don't burp like I did prior to surgery but I do have air that comes up. I also have hiccup-like things that happen instead of burps (it does the trick).
2) I completely gave up all carbonated drinks and feel better for it. I don't think I will drink soda again.
3) I started to lift my 2 year old son again after 4 weeks post-op.
4) I had a hard time breathing after my surgery but that was due to developing pneumonia at 2 days post-op.
5) Too early for me to tell.
6) My food staples are yogurt, pudding, mashed potatoes, and apple sauce.
Hope this helps!

dencha
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7181
   Posted 3/22/2014 11:05 AM (GMT -6)   
momtwo3danes,

Welcome to Healing Well! It's a great place to be both pre and post surgery. There are many here who have been through the surgery, and can provide understanding, information, and support. As far as your questions go, I'll try to give you my take on the answers:

1)I read... u cannot burp after surgery? is the gas buildup painful? will it regulate on its own after time?

Most doctors will tell you that burping is impossible after surgery. In fact, some people can't burp at all after surgery, while others find they can. One thing is true...you can't make yourself burp the way you can pre-Nissen surgery. Your stomach will make burping decisions. If you can burps you'll have small ones at first, and bigger burps after recovery.

I was told I wouldn't be able to burp, but had small releases of air the first day post-op. During the first three months, the likelihood of bloating is highest, and it generally begins to gradually resolve after that. Even after full recovery and the ability to burp, you might have an occasional bloating episode, but they become more and more rare.

This is the thing. The way the wrap works, is that the fuller your stomach gets, the tighter the wrap becomes. Therefore, if the gas gets ahead of you, it can block off the escape route via burp, and you'll have to wait until the gas can make its exit out the back "door".



2)is there a list of foods u will never be able to eat again or do u go back to normal after a few wks?my weakness is soda(I know lots of acid)

There are foods you will need to stay away from as you heal, and in the early months to first year. As time progresses, you'll be able to tolerate many of them. I didn't drink any soda for at least a year, but I can drink it now (5yrs post op) without much trouble. Generally I can burp out the additional gas from carbonation. I have no problem with beer, either. Champagne is too carbonated for me. I still never use a straw.

I'd say going back to some foods will take longer than a few weeks. This recovery takes 6 months for most of the healing, and a year for the rest. Some people just let soda get a little flat, and then can manage it even earlier on. It's trial and error. In the beginning you'll have some wrap swelling, which makes it even harder to get the gas out, so it's not recommended at all.


3)I take care of disabled kids and do a lot of lifing is that gonna be out of the question for months? I have read conflicting things on this...

During the first 6 weeks most surgeons limit lifting dramatically. This is an issue you'll have to discuss with your surgeon. I have grandkids and I do plenty of lifting of them but the oldest is three and a half. I'm not sure of the time frame and limitations for lifting on the job. Bring a list of questions with you when you talk to the surgeon.

4)does that tightening feeling after surgery cause u to feel like you cant breathe? I tolerate pain pretty well but cant stand feeling like I cant breathe...

No, not at all. In fact, with the amount of acid reflux you're describing, you're more likely to have breathing issues due to reflux! There is no "tightening feeling" after surgery, once the swelling is resolved and reduced.

5)my doctor has said the surgery may not help all my symptoms or it could...what has everyones experience been?

It depends on the symptoms. First, remember that your surgeon will only be working to create "normal" amounts of reflux, like what people who don't have GERD experience. Everyone gets reflux once in a while--just not enough to create the types of problems you're struggling with. If your surgeon made the wrap tight enough to allow zero reflux, you wouldn't be able to swallow food and get it past the wrap.

The majority of people either have all their symptoms resolved, or the majority of them, and the improvement they experience is significant. If you've been through all the testing and it's determined that you're a good candidate for the surgery, you can expect to have enough improvement that you'll be very happy with the results.

If you're getting nighttime regurgitation, you'll find immediate improvement.


6)and any aftercare advice, like foods/liquids to have handy etc...thank u all for reading this..i am so looking forward to getting a decent nights sleep

This is something to ask your surgeon. Mine had me on liquids the day I was in the hospital, and soft foods coming home. I was on soft foods until Day 6, when he allowed me to eat "anything that can be chewed to a liquid", but did say no steak or untoasted bread. I chew, chew, chewed my food, and only swallowed things that basically disappeared in my mouth. Your surgeon will tell you what food requirements he/she will expect you to follow. It seems that there is a pretty big variety of eating protocols.

Generally it is a good idea to get some liquid Tylenol in for when you no longer need the pain medication you're given by the doctor. Have a comfortable place to lie down, keeping in mind that elevating the head of your bed/chair can make sleeping a bit more comfortable in the beginning. Have someone at home to help you in the beginning.

It's important to research your selection of a Nissen surgeon. This surgery is an art form, and it takes lots of experience and practice. In a small city 300+ successful surgeries should be fine, and in a larger city, 1000+ is what you should expect.

Glad you've joined the forum!

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

momtwo3danes
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2014
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 3/22/2014 7:49 PM (GMT -6)   
thank u all so much..im sure I will have more questions as I go. .its awesome to find a grup like this
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