Posted 4/26/2015 6:11 PM (GMT -7)
Hello to all!
So glad to be able to post here with my success story. I had a full nissen fundoplication and hiatal hernia repair on March 23, 2015. I had a very large hernia that was about 1/2 way up my esophagus which was causing major regurgitation/burping with almost anything I ate or drank. I was a glutton for punishment as I lived with this for many years. I was prescribed and took all kinds of different medicines but found I wasn't responding positively to any of them. I went thru a few different doctors who would ignore my symptoms (hernia) and just write scripts for more medicine or procedures to tell them things they were already aware of (Hernia 9cm large). Each doctor would tell me the hernia wouldn't go away but wouldn't recommend fixing it because I had a "curvy" esophagus. I finally consulted with a doctor who recommended a very skilled surgeon that could help me. My gastro doctor and surgeon worked together and discussed all new test results ( endoscopy, manometry, barium swallow) and came up with a plan to fix my hernia and provide some relief. Most people with a large hernia get a partial wrap but they both felt a full wrap would benefit me the most. Based on my manometry results, I had great upper esophagus sphincter results but lower sphincter wasn't working so well. They believed the cause of the lower problem was because of the hernia and felt the full wrap was better for me to keep the hernia intact. I didn't want to use any mesh (biological or otherwise) so fixing the hernia with stitches and doing the full wrap was the best option for me. I discussed with the surgeon my concern of having a wrap that would be too tight and he assured me that he wouldn't do that. He's done over 1,000 surgeries of this kind and currently does about 3 a week. He said they would test different size "bogies" to ensure the proper size wrap. I did interview another surgeon but decided to go with the referred one because he answered all my questions, explained the process and went over all my test results and explained how the surgery would work to fix my problems. He was very informative and I liked his bedside manner. He was very reassuring that I would be okay. He had another doctor assisting him and they both provided me with information I hadn't thought of. They mentioned I wouldn't feel much pain in my internal abdominal area and the stitches and shoulder pain would be the worst. I was puzzled but they said the stomach area they would be working with didn't really have many nerves and therefore the healing around the site wouldn't be that painful- Bonus--- I thought with all the moving around of internal parts and internal stitches I'd be miserable. They were so right. Shoulder pain was a minor discomfort compared to what I set myself up for. I was able to walk the night of surgery, passed my swallow test the next day and went home. I took it easy for first week, starting eating more foods week two ,along with walking 2+ miles a day. After my two week checkup, my doctor asked me to start eating things I couldn't eat before surgery (tomato based sauces, breads) to see if I would experience any reflux. I've done just that and I can say I feel my surgery has been extremely successful, I can eat without things getting stuck or coming up (wrap is not too tight or too loose- just perfect) , I can burp (bonus) and I feel better than I have in years, all without medication.
As you read this post I hope you feel some comfort in knowing things will be okay. I'm one of many that have had great results from this surgery. The best advice I can give you is to be informed, prepared and follow doctors orders. I researched everything I could, interviewed my doctors with all the information I had gathered, and decided on the surgery despite all my FEARS. Being prepared really helped a lot.
This site is such a wonderful gift and I couldn't have even begun to know what I was getting into had I not "saturated" my mind with all these informative posts. I learned as much from the people posting concerns as I did from successful posts. It's all useful information.
Good luck to all that are on the fence about surgery and thanks to all that have posted.