Signs that wrap has NOT come undone....

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New Member

Date Joined Jun 2014
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 7/21/2014 5:55 PM (GMT -6)   
Dear All,

I had my Nissen on 27MAY2014; all went very well according to the surgeon (highly experienced in Nissen´s).

On the day after the OP, I experienced some very painful violent heaves (don’t know if this is the correct term – Im Danish…), but it was stopped with medication shortly afterwards.

Since then it has been the usual recovery process; now Im able to eat normal food though in very small amounts. I still suffer a lot from nausea, taking Ondansetron (Zofran) in order to limit it. This works to some extent, and it least its getting better.

However, I don’t really feel much positive effect after the operation – I think. The constant pain between my shoulder blades has vanished, but I still have the pain in the left shoulder (had that for the last 2.5 – 3 years), spreading down to my left upper arm. The neck pain has improved quite a bit.

My BIG concern is, if the heaves have caused damage to the wrap. Maybe Im waiting for something good to happen, which will never happen as the wrap has been torn open ?

Considering that I have food getting stuck, and the fact that I can only eat very small amounts (creating lots of gas…), I assume that its still intact. What do you think ?
Kind regards, FRS

Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 5028
   Posted 7/21/2014 6:45 PM (GMT -6)   
Welcome to the forum, FRS.

After nearly 5 years I still have to be careful not to get nausea. I had a couple of episodes of violent heaves which I think caused my wrap to be trying to get through a small tear in the diaphragm. Imaging shows it's not where it belongs. The wrap is working or I'd be able to vomit. So I'm leaving things alone. I presume you had imaging, maybe a barium swallow a couple of weeks post-op.

Your stomach is smaller now, so eating small amounts is normal.

Have You seen a cardiologist about the shoulder and arm pain? Or if the pain is more in the joint, maybe see an orthopedist. It doesn't sound related to stomach, from what you've said.

Food getting stuck is a separate thing from having to eat small amounts. I had to eat soft stuff for months and months. If you complain they might decide to stretch the wrap and wreck it. It's early yet, so I'd eat what I could - unless it's a serious problem and absolutely everything gets stuck. It's only been a couple of months, so there's probably still swelling. If it's getting better I'd hold off complaining. It takes 3 months to heal from regular surgery, and this is pretty serious stuff. I felt a lot better after 6 months and really good after a year.

Best wishes! Let us know how you're getting along.

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7188
   Posted 7/21/2014 8:32 PM (GMT -6)   

Welcome to the Healing Well yeah yeah yeahWrapped Club! yeah yeah yeah Sorry to hear about your worries! I don't think you need to be concerned that your wrap hasn't held. While it's not ideal to retch or vomit after surgery (especially immediately after, as you did), you were under medical care and were treated immediately to stop further stress on the wrap/diaphragm. When your very experienced Nissen surgeon repaired your diaphragm/hernia and stitched the Nissen flap, there is no doubt he/she created a very strong repair.

Like you, I feared my wrap had been damaged in the early stages of recovery because I had a lung infection before, during, and after my surgery, and coughed strenuously and continuously during my recovery. I didn't have a choice...I have asthma, and had a lung infection, and I had to cough.

Thankfully, all was well. I had also been taking high doses of steroids and my internal tissue was very fragile as a result, which put me even more at risk. Still it held, and all is well. This was five and a half years ago.

The shoulder pain is very likely referred pain from your diaphragm repair. This is a very common side effect of the surgery, and is helped by walking a lot. I found that the more I walked, the less my shoulder hurt.

Be sure to keep anti-nausea drugs handy even after you're fully healed. I keep them with me always. I have Zofran for milder nausea, and Compazine suppositories for stomach/vomiting bugs. (I've had 3 bouts of stomach viruses in the five and a half years since my surgery. Each time I vomited once because it snuck up on me, but the Compazine stopped any further vomiting.)

You are in the second month of a recovery that takes six months for most of the healing and a year for the rest. The symptoms you're describing are very typical. Hang in there...with time, you will become more comfortable, and you'll be able to eat more without problem. Just keep chew, chew, chewing your food very thoroughly. It should be a smooth, creamy consistency before you swallow it. You'll always have to chew your food more completely, but now it's even more important.

Stick around and ask any questions that come to mind. Just don't worry about your wrap. It'll be fine! Just give your body a chance to heal in its own sweet time.
Happy healing,

GERD/Heartburn Moderator
Nissen Fundoplication 2/09

"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

Post Edited (dencha) : 7/21/2014 7:36:31 PM (GMT-6)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Sep 2013
Total Posts : 2114
   Posted 7/22/2014 3:57 PM (GMT -6)   
Don't sweat it. I retched hardcore one night and all was good. Scared me, too.
LapNissen Fundoplication, 8/9/13
GERD, Anxiety, Depression
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