Questions about Fundoplication recovery for LPR

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droberts
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2014
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 3/27/2014 9:52 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi All,
 
I am new to this forum but have read some of the informative posts on here for some time.
 
I had fundoplication surgery a little over 5 weeks ago and have some questions that I hope some of you may be able to answer.  My symptoms pre op were ulcerated oesophagus (shown in endoscopy), reflux (shown in barium swallow), chest pains, chest infections, acid taste in back of throat etc.
 
My recovery is going quite well I guess.  My eating is progressing well to the point where pasta and mince is reasonably easy to eat, while chicken can be eaten but I need to take it slow.
 
I am still experiencing some chest pains on occasion and this morning I coughed up some browney coloured phlegm.  It doesn't feel like a chest infection, but still it is not a good sign.  My surgeon did tell me that it takes the lungs some time to recover so I am not in a complete negative headspace but I am a little disappointed.
 
Would be interested to know if there is anyone else in the community that had similar symptoms and how their recovery progressed.  When can I start exercising (swimming) again?  Do your lungs get better over time?  I have already noticed that my nose is clearer, especially when laying down but I have been getting a strange sensation in my throat.  Not really painful, but uncomfortable.
 
Any feedback will be greatly appreciated. 

dencha
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7181
   Posted 3/29/2014 9:50 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi droberts,

Welcome to the Healing Well yeah yeah yeahWrapped Club! yeah yeah yeah Glad you've joined the forum! Sorry it took a while for you to get a response.

I had my surgery because of reflux effects on my lungs/asthma. It took over three month for my lungs to improve, and when they did, it seemed overnight!

I had a residual lung infection that had to be treated after my surgery, so keep in mind that your lungs have been stressed and unhealthy from your pre-surgery condition. If you have symptoms of a lung infection, be sure to see your doctor. It's likely a leftover result of your reflux prior to your surgery.

I suggest your call your surgeon's office and ask what they advise about resuming your swimming routine. I'm a walker, not a swimmer, so I can't help you there.

You have been through major surgery, a short five weeks ago. This recovery takes six months for most of the healing, and a year for the rest. It's natural to have little pains and quirks during the healing period.

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

droberts
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2014
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 4/4/2014 2:58 AM (GMT -6)   
Denise,
 
Thank you very much for your reply.  It was very reassuring.
 
Happy to say that an infection didn't materialise but it is amazing how symptoms come and go and just change randomly.  At six and a half weeks post op now and while I have just started using CPAP again and I feel more refreshed, I have got a touch of a sore throat.  Not sure if that is acid coming back or if it is just one of those things I need to deal with while my body is recovering.
 
I was using Gaviscon every night for about 6 months prior to the op as every other med did not work.  I have not touched it since the op and just wondering if my body is reacting to not using the Gaviscon anymore.
 
Great forum.  I hope to pass on my knowledge once I am totally recovered.
 
Kind Regards,
Damien.

Retired Seabee
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2013
Total Posts : 129
   Posted 4/4/2014 5:34 AM (GMT -6)   
In my own case, I had long-term GERD/LPR which was not diagnosed as such. In about 1968 I was diagnosed with a possible Hiatal Hernia but there were few tests available in those days except for x-rays. So I had what was then just excess stomach acid and for 40 years and just learned to live with it. about five years ago I was scheduled for a colonoscopy and during the pre-colonoscopy interview I told the Gastroenterologist that I had frequent acid reflux and sometimes had difficulty swallowing. So, he scheduled an endoscopy. During that exam he dialated a stricture ring in my esophagus and prescribed Nexium. The Nexium worked wonders for the acid but my reflux became silent.
Several years later I had a serious bleeding abscess of my left lung which required many months of heavy antibiotics to heal. Nobody thought to connect the LPR to the infection even though I told the Doctor that I woke up every night coughing up reflux. In fact, I was treated for the abscess by an infectious disease clinic in the hospital rather than one specializing in respirtory problems. The Doctor told me that the abscess was normally associated with alcoholics who vomit when they pass out during their binges. I denied that I even drink and I described my theory about how I thought the reflux was getting down in my lungs. He agreed that it might be possible but he didn't do anything about it except to treat the immediate problem of the abscess.
Several more years went by and during an phyical exam I told the Doctor about the reflux and the history of the lung problem. He referred me to Gastroenterology and the whole process of tests which finally resulted in having my Hiatal Hernia repair and NF.
My surgery went very well and after three weeks on a pureed diet I was allowed to begin to eat small amounts of regular food. Since that time I have not had any reflux and my lung problems have not recurred. With my Doctors permission, I went back to my regular daily routine also which includes playing tennis on a daily basis.

hopegood
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2013
Total Posts : 93
   Posted 4/4/2014 9:57 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Seabee, you had a very tough story: 40 years of reflux with no medicine or other treatment. And you even got no serious complications from it.

I am happy that you finally fixed your problem. :)

droberts
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2014
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 4/16/2014 3:25 AM (GMT -6)   
First of all thank you to all the respondents on this forum.  It has kept me sane during my recovery.  Just thought I would post an update now that I am at the 8 week mark since surgery.
 
I mentioned a few weeks back that "an infection didn't materialise", however unfortunately I did come down with a chest infection late last week.  I am currently treating it with antibiotics.  I have had chest pains on and off since the surgery so I am hoping that what Denise mentioned is the case i.e. residual effects of pre surgery condition.
 
One of the things I have noticed is that my breathing is a lot clearer i.e. I can breath through my nose all day and it feels quite natural.  It just seems to be a lot clearer than prior to the surgery.  So that is a positive.
 
I know that I am clutching at straws here but I would love to know if anyone in this community has ever experienced what I do with my throat.  I have run this question by members on cpaptalk.com (as I suffer from sleep apnoea and treat it with CPAP) but have not been offered too many useful suggestions.  The thing is that I have experienced a feeling of tightness in my throat since starting CPAP and had to go on and off treatment as the issue comes back and then goes away.
 
However over the last few years I notice that the feeling lingers for a long period of time even if I am not using CPAP.  What could be causing this?  I was hoping that my fundoplication surgery would put an end to this problem, but it hasn't.
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