Found this forum a few days back post Toupet Fundoplication (lapro) while searching for answers to my concerns and how my stomach felt (are the pains normal, is x/y/z ok, etc).
I am 1 week post surgery. I can say I feel amazing as far as acid is concerned. In 5 1/2 years since my symptoms started with acid, I have had no relief and just a continuous worse and worse life. What kicked off my own decision to take care of my health is my wife saying she will not stand by and watch me kill myself by not taking care of my health. That ultimatum + her scheduling my initial appointment to see the doctor put my ass in gear. That was July of this year, but the appointment wasn't till September. See, even though my reflux was bad, I figured I can manage it with the tums. I was already on all the other med types and they lost effectiveness years ago. Any time I tried them again and even in higher doses, they wouldn't work.
So, my first appointment came and the GI immediately scheduled a Endoscopy + pH in September. He listened to my symptoms, said they sounded pretty severe, and cleared someone else's endo to get mine in sooner. I had them Oct 2. The GI revealed barrets + nodules + hernia. The pH tests came back with a score over 110. I didn't realize that being in reflux for 6+ hours a day was super abnormal. I had on the two days 80 and 90 reflux events.
I was then referred to a surgeon (that was just after the endoscope before the pH results). The surgeon saw me later in October. He went over both, seemed super concerned, and set me up for manometry, Upper GI, and gave me a surgery date on the spot for the 8th of December. He figured I would need the extra time to get through appointments and it would give them time to figure out the correct procedure. And did it.
The Upper GI I got done a week later. Easiest 3 minutes ever. I walked in, took 2 sips of barium, and he stopped the test. When I sipped, acid splashed back out immediately. Non functioning LES. No need to continue.
Next up came manomentry. It took me 4 weeks to get through this. The same week as upper GI was first try at manometry. I couldn't get the tube down without vomiting due to PTSD from the torn pulmonary artery (choking sensations make me feel like I am choking on blood again, so boom, panic attack). We tried again two weeks later, same result. I went home that day and then called my surgeon. He prescribed a high dose xanax for 45 minutes before the manometry. I picked up my pill, rescheduled manometry again for a week later and they did awesome by not having a slot and just saying screw it, we'll do it end of day. The Xanax made it so I didn't give a darn about
the tube going down. I really didn't care. I was able to get manometry done. I have no function of my esophagus either I found out (motility was none. The sensors measured a fail at all points except the top. Couldn't register any pressure wave anywhere. On two of the swallows, I had pressure around 120 but I had to swallow so hard it hurt. After I got home, I called the surgeons nurse direct line (I mean direct direct as in cell) and let her know the manometry was done. Perfect!
Post op was Dec 4th. They moved my date to the 15th because they needed all results and the all clears and needed some time to still go through it all. However, the short based on verbal stuff was that most likely it would be a Dor or Toupet vs a Nissen since there is a high chance of me having achalasia afterwards due to my non functioning esophagus. So, one extra week.
Day of: I get in at 6am. Sign in. Hang with wife and kids for a few. I go into the pre-op area and get in hospital gown, hooked up to IV, put on a neat hospital hat. Wife and kids come in to say last goodbye before she has to take them to school. I ask the surgeon if he can do a video that I can watch, he lets me know that he will double check the recording part of the DaVinci to make sure it records and will get me the full vid on the followup (me and my 8 y/o daughter love to watch surgeries, so why not!). We go into the operating room and all having small talk when the initial sleep meds are put in. A nurse says 'This is the first bit we give to get you ready...' and then I woke up. No pain at first, but I had an NG Tube (felt it on my face, but not in my throat), felt not really there, and there was my Surgeon and the nurse. Apparently, this was my second time waking up. The first time, I was more 'there' apparently and was extremely talkative asking about
EVERYTHING that happened, how many degrees was the Toupet, was he sure he recorded the video, what was the suture material, etc. This 'second' conversation, I was out of it completely. We spoke briefly, but I slowly started feeling the tube and a burn in my throat. I was told it had to be there...
Fast forward a few hours after I wake up again. Now the NG Tube is irritating me badly. They gave me a piece of cloth to suck on with water. It helped a lot at first. But not for long. Let me give timelines. The initial (second) wake up was at 11 something I was told. By the time I woke up with the bad irritation it was 3pm. I was told the doctor would see me after his last surgery. I waited, growing more irritated. They repeatedly gave me atavan for it, but it wasn't enough. By 7pm, I was told he went home because it was a long day... And no, the tube stays.
I didnt sleep.
The Surgeon came in early (6:30am) to check on me. I was wide awake, angry, in pain, frustrated, scared from the tube... He listened to what I was saying, told them to give me ice chips, and then left with my chart. He came back, dropped the chart off, and a moment later, the nurse said 'The tube can come out'. I said 'Now?', she said 'Yep!'. I didn't wait for her. I pulled the tape off, she grabbed the tube seeing what I was doing, told me to hold my breath, and then pulled it the rest of the way out. I never felt more relief.
And that was for me the worst part of recovery so far. Its day 5 since. For me, the NG tube was the worst because I have no tolerance for anything in there that wont go down/stuck. I can handle the pain (its there... oye is it there), the no appetite is easy. I don't even think about
food. I know, I wont till the swelling stops. I drink sips of water throughout the day. I vape, so I hit my vape. And I have NO ACID AT ALL. I ate some broth today. It was bland. And I didn't want it. Same with the ensure I drank while typing this. But I need to. I feel bloated after I eat... (eat an ensure...), and that is painful. But its tolerable. I have one more oxycodone for the AM. I am considering asking for 2 more per day for three days to keep the edge off so I can sleep well without panic. I also take my GasX on time 3x a day. But I love this. 5 days with no acid is a miracle basically. I would say the only thing that would stop me from ever redoing the surgery is the tube. I would do it on the condition that we trial a baby thickness tube for two days two make sure I can tolerate it before the surgery. The huge gauge tube they used was so horrible. I know. It removes the gas buildup. I do get it. But I have PTSD from something that the NG tube triggers. I knew it from the manometry. I warned the surgeon about
it AND the anesthesiologist about
it. Either that, or they have to keep me unconscious-ish till after the initial gas is reduced. That right there is the only stopper I would have.
Anyway, just wanted to share my story. Ill go back to lurking and will post an update every once in a while about