Acid reflux following Nissen

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New Member

Date Joined Apr 2014
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 4/19/2014 7:18 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi, I am new to the site so would welcome any help and advice.
I had my Nissen fundoplication 4 weeks ago. The main reason I chose to have the surgery was because of the permanent acid taste in my mouth and because I didn't want to remain on PPI's for the rest of my life.
Following my op, my surgeon told me to discontinue the PPI's but after only a few days, the acid taste returned, but worse than before so I have started taking them again.
I explained this at my follow up appointment but the surgeon couldn't understand why I was still getting the acid reflux as apparently the op went well.
Has anyone else had a similar experience or am I just expecting too much too soon?
I am just really worried that the op hasn't worked and that I may need repeat surgery which I am very keen to avoid!
Any help and advice would be greatly appreciated.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Sep 2013
Total Posts : 2114
   Posted 4/19/2014 9:46 AM (GMT -6)   
While I didn't, it's not abnormal to take PPIs for a little while post-surgery. You are still a bit early on in recovery, so don't worry yourself too much.

Everyone has a little reflux. An Upper-GI post surgery showed I have some when I lay on one side. ...I just wish I could remember which side it was. lol.

Are you eating anything solid yet? Are you laying down soon after nourishing yourself? Unfortunately, I find myself practicing the same patterns I did before surgery. For example, I still don't bend straight over or lay down too soon after eating.

It might be too soon to know if it's worked for sure. I think at your stage there will be a lot of swelling in the wrap area which is normal.

My doctor tells me in order for me to cause my wrap to come undone, some major trauma to the area would have to occur like being in a car wreck and having the steering wheel jam into my chest. You know, stuff like that. I am a bit concerned mine has maybe slipped, but I'm not sure what causes that or what a slip even is exactly.

While I know it's impossible to not fixate on because I've been there, try to not worry. If you have some friends nearby, maybe go for a walk with them or go to a movie.

I just want you to know that I care and that I hope you show some improvement soon.

New Member

Date Joined Apr 2014
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 4/19/2014 4:16 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks for your help 1039 smooth.
I am still on a 'soft diet' but am gradually starting to re-introduce other foods but I must admit to feeling very cautious so am taking it slowly.
I think I was expecting the acid taste to immediately stop once I had the surgery but the fact that it's actually worse than before is worrying me.
As you say though it's still early days so I guess I need to be patient and hope that things improve. Thanks again for the advice.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Sep 2013
Total Posts : 2114
   Posted 4/19/2014 5:22 PM (GMT -6)   
This is also difficult, but try introducing one type of food at a time so you will know what gives you trouble. I'm 8-9 months out and haven't really tried steak yet.

I got a bit comfortable and would take big bites like old times, but things were still going down. I was thinking that would mean I'm doing much better. My surgeon told me taking these little bites and chewing everything into smithereens wasn't going to be necessary forever.

I'm just in a rough patch now. I've had some heartburn the past few days, but perhaps it's not even related. I'm having trouble deciphering new body ailments from surgery-related stuff. It's frustrating.

I certainly understand your worry. I was under the impression I was going to be like my old self, and at times, I did feel that way. I was eating whatever, sometimes to excess, and I'm hoping that's not cost me. When you don't eat for a few months, it's easy to get overzealous and overdo it. Try and beware of that trap. I'm not sure if it 'hurts' anything, but it doesn't help. I get full MUCH easier now. From years of eating the way Americans eat (which is too much), you brain is like, "That's not nearly enough. Do more." Part of it was boredom eating.

I didn't get to eat until a few months after. To be honest, some of my issues to a longer recovery had to do with stress. My dog passed a few days before my surgery. I thought the surgery would help alleviate some of that emotional pain and help me forget to a degree. In a way, that's disrespectful to my dog. I already knew my dad had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Another part of me says I was going to do this to fix myself up. Part of me says I was just trying to shield myself from what was going on with him and worry about me. Again, I made a mistake. The moral of the story is to not get yourself too worked up. The mind can create things that aren't really there. The esophagus is a 'dumb' organ from what I've read. I told my GI doctor where things FELT like they were getting hung and he said it was probably actually lower than that around the wrap area. It FELT like it was in my throat. See what I mean?

I also have trouble deciphering acid from a regular sore throat. My surgeon and GI doctor have said there are lot of things in the air that cause a sore throat. You really can't tell the two apart. Any time I got a sore throat, it worried me... and still does. To bring you up to speed, I had stage 4 esophagitis which cleared up and a medium hiatal hernia. When the esophagitis cleared up, it revealed Barrett's. So all this led to my surgery.

Bottom line, I'm a wuss and just don't handle health issues well. That said, I should have known better than to not proceed with the surgery. My GI doctor said the only thing he would do different is mentally prepare me for it, because I'm a mess.

However, I did show great signs of improvement. This little regression just has me down. I hope I can be fixed or it fixes itself.

I'm always here for you. While I'm not as knowledgable as some, I can still be of some help. I know what it's like to want help or some simple words of encouragement, but they just can't come fast enough.

While I don't like my prognosis, I'm a realist and a pessimist, I'm confident for you because you're just getting started. I read where someone said to keep yourself hydrated and to take walks, even if they're short. I definitely struggled with being hydrated.

When you try to introduce new things, remember what I said. Just one food at a time. A good sign of knowing when you're full is you might hiccup. Are you able to burp? Anytime I hiccup, a burp follows after it. I'm told that's not really a concern. I think burping is a good thing actually, because some people can't. That gas getting trapped cause much discomfort.

Again, everyone is different and some of the things I may have mentioned could be a moot point for you personally. If this problem you're having persists, you might want to have an Upper GI. I personally hated that experience. Swallowing a big pill at that juncture is no fun. My wrap was still very tight at that point if memory serves. My GI doctor was happy to see some resistance. Had it gone straight through with no resistance, then the wrap ultimately didn't work. The other thing that is terrifying is those radiologists really have no idea what they're looking at. Mine said he saw reflux and it scared the hell out of me until I talked to my surgeon. She said we're all still going to have a little bit of reflux like I said in my previous post.

I just feel I'm rambling, but I'm trying to think of anything that might bring you some peace and relieve you of some worry.

Ultimately, if it doesn't work, which I REALLY doubt is the case for you, is that things can be fixed and re-done as a worst-case scenario. My dear friend Bill...I cant never remember his handle because it's a bunch of letters has had three. That man is my inspiration. He has truly been through hell and back and I think he does great now and is doing almost all the things he used to do and then some.

Just don't sweat it. I might have introduced some of the bad things like chocolate, citrus fruit, and such much too soon. When you get to feeling better, still take it easy. I didn't. Again, too overzealous to eat.

I'm here all weekend. :)

New Member

Date Joined Apr 2014
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 4/20/2014 12:52 PM (GMT -6)   
That's a sensible idea to re-introduce one type of food at a time so I will try that. You say that you have yet to try steak and that is also something I am looking forward to eating again, but that's quite a way off for me I think.

Sorry to hear you have had a tough time of it and I think you are right about needing to be mentally prepared for it too. I don't think I was and if I stop to think about what I have had done, it's actually quite scary so I am trying not to think about it - although easier said than done!

I have also noticed that I get full up much quicker than before but I suppose that isn't necessarily a bad thing.....and yes, I can burp and I can imagine that must be pretty painful if you can't.

Don't think I realised about the problems that vomiting can cause when you have this kind of op done. I have read that it's either very difficult to actually vomit, but if you do, it can be extremely painful. Have you experienced this at all?

It's good to be able to hear from someone else who has been through the same thing as I don't feel that my surgeon was over helpful and I do not know of anyone personally who has had this op.

Hope things improve for you.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Sep 2013
Total Posts : 2114
   Posted 4/20/2014 1:32 PM (GMT -6)   
I'm not really sure why I haven't tried the steak. I've only really tried it as like a thin pizza topping. I really, really love steak, but I think it might be a texture thing. You have to chew so, so much.

When I agreed to it, I had a lot going on. It simply just was not the time. My mom told me her friend saw the procedure on TV the other day and her friend said it's probably best I went through with it considering my issues, but the timing was bad. While I think he just wants to cover his ass, GI Doctor #1 said he'd still have me have the surgery, but would have mentally prepared me better.

I hear you on not wanting to think about it. Part of what got to me mentally is that it took me much longer than a week to start to feel better. I was told I'd miss a week of work. When I heard that, I thought, "No big deal." Yeah, right.

Getting full faster is normal. I imagine as a country we eat too much anyway. We're just of the ilk that is forced to stop now, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. I hear you're not supposed to eat much more than your fist. The weird thing about me was I was eating like I used to and then here recently months later, I'm now getting full much faster. I guess to a degree that was the case right after, but I'd eat past being full. When you can't eat for months, it's really easy to overdo it. Burping is good.

I'm told I might not be able to throw up. I asked my surgeon once I got back to drinking what I'd do if I needed to be sick and couldn't throw up. She just said I'd feel bad for a little while. These days, I don't see drinking alcohol in my future. I've had some retching episodes that didn't feel good by any means and I've certainly wanted to puke, but I just try and repress it. Honestly, I'm not sure that I can physically do it. I've read where some can, though. I guess it's sort of like the burping. Some can and some can't. I imagine I've thrown up for the last time unless some test tells me otherwise.

Nah, my surgeon wasn't all that great. I had the surgery on a Friday to make things easier on my mom who was there with me. I was told the DaVinci robot wouldn't be used, but it was. Then my surgery time got moved. Then I didn't see the surgeon until a week or two later. She was gone when I woke up. It was super nice of her. After that, she's been pretty helpful during office visits although I haven't seen her in some time. I doubt I have any grounds for a lawsuit, but who knows? I just get frustrated and think about those things.

I still think being a month out and still being at a rough stage isn't really abnormal. Your body has been through a pretty major change and just has to get used to things as they are now. I'm probably the last person that should be helping since my experience hasn't been great. However, I did do pretty well for a while and hopefully you will, too. Once you get to feeling better, just take it easy. I keep seeing people say that this is a marathon and not a race.
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