After 3 cancellations, I finally had my fundoplication (toupet)! It was last Thursday, so today is my 6th day post surgery. It's also my first day not taking any pain medication, so hooray for that as well!
I arrived at the hospital around 7:00, and was in surgery by 8:00 after a brief meeting with the doctors involved to review everything once again. I had my pre-assessment a week earlier, and that was all clear. I was in surgery around 8:00 and was finished around 12:30. After spending a day in the recovery ward, I was able to go home around 18:00. I have 5 small incisions as they were able to do the whole thing laparoscopically and thankfully didn't have to convert to
open surgery. They have dissolvable stitches and waterproof dressings; I was told it was safe to remove the dressings after a week if they don't come off naturally on their own before then. I'm on clear liquids for the 1st week, non-clear liquids the 2nd week, mushy food the 3rd week, and soft food (and hard food) 4th and 5th weeks as I feel up to it. And fizzy carbonated drinks once I've mastered harder solids.
From what I understand the surgeon telling me... I had a toupet fundoplication, large hiatal hernia repair/stitching up the diaphragm, and since there was apparently substantial damage to the lower end of the esophagus, the damaged section was resected (and presumably re-formed) before the fundoplication itself.
The pain hasn't been too bad. Before today, I was on paracetamol and codeine every 4-6 hours which was helpful. And today, I haven't taken anything and been okay. Unfortunately, they were pills and I was never a good pill taker to begin with, so taking the pills after the surgery was very difficult. I had to have them cut into 1/8ths to be able to swallow them. Initially, it was the incisions that hurt the most, as well as a very bad sore throat and my right shoulder was incredibly achy. Now, those things are much better, and instead, it is deep inside my upper abdomen that feels tender and bruised. Leaning over is painful, taking a really deep breath is tender/sore, and I've got strict instructions to not lift anything for 8 weeks.
My stomach is making all kinds of wonderful noises - rumbling, grumbling, growling, moaning... and I can sometimes feel painless little spasms (best I can describe it) in the abdominal area. I've been burping a LOT; mostly after drinking anything. (though apparently at night I burp in my sleep too) Sometimes I feel like the liquid gets stuck halfway down my chest for a second or so before finally going all the way down. Sometimes I feel quite nauseated and heartburn-y (for the technical term), but that usually passes after a few minutes and feels a bit better with a few burps. Sometimes there's chest pain and tightness, but again that usually lasts for a few moments and is usually relieved by a burp or two. I'm guessing (hoping!) that the heartburn feelings and chest sensations are still from the healing/recovery process and not indicative that the wrap has failed in some way - especially so early on.
The skin under my dressings is becoming very itchy; I suspect the skin healing has commenced!
I'm very tired, and sleeping a lot with many small naps during the day. I suspect this is due to a combination of recovering from the operation, and essentially being on a very low calorie diet. I'm hoping in a few days I will feel able enough to take a small walk down the street to a local cafe, sit for a while, and walk back home - for some light exercise to prevent adhesions and to get out for a little while. I have initially 2 weeks signed for being off work; I'll wait and see how I feel at the end of this week, but I suspect I will be requesting a renewal of the sick leave paperwork. The fatigue level has surprised me... I knew I would be healing and not eating much, but I feel really wiped out all the time. Much more than I imagined.
All in all, I think not going too bad so far. I will have a follow up appointment in a few weeks, and hopefully, will be told the wrap is fine and settling well. I'll keep my recovery thread updated; hopefully it can be informative to people looking for a recount of personal experience.
Post Edited (Altair) : 4/11/2014 7:44:47 AM (GMT-6)