I'll try to answer your additional questions:
How long will I be on a clear liquid diet, and then full liquid and soft diet. Do you have to move to the point of regular food? I am so concerned about the ability to swallow both food and meds. I have a wonderful surgeon and that makes me feel somewhat better.
Doctor protocols vary quite a bit. Some have their patients on clear liquid, than liquid, then soft, then introducing a regular diet. Other surgeons, (mine included) have a much more liberal protocol. I was on liquids my one day in the hospital, then went home on a soft diet. After I saw my surgeon on Day 6, I was set free to eat "anything that can be chewed to a liquid/creamy consistency." He warned me to stay away from untoasted bread (toasted is fine), sandwiches, and steak for approximately eight weeks.
I appreciated the trust he gave me, allowing me to make my own careful eating choices. My teeth and mouth were my blender. Obviously, the first two weeks are very dicey, as there is surgical irritation/pain, and increasing swelling. Just listen to your body and don't swallow anything that doesn't chew to a liquid. I used to keep a paper napkin handy to deposit foods that didn't chew thoroughly. Take small bites and chew, chew, chew, and you'll do fine.
Be sure to stay away from iced drinks, as they can cause esophageal spasms. Room temperature is best in the first weeks. Also, no straws or carbonated beverages, as they increase bloating. Sipping room temp water or warm tea, helps things go down.
As healing progresses, you'll gradually be able to eat more and more comfortably. You'll always have to chew your food more carefully, but it's a healthy habit for even our non-wrapped friends. I'm five and a half years post op, and can eat anything I want without a problem, although, as I said, I chew more carefully than I did pre-Nissen.
Some people have been lucky enough to have surgeons who order them liquid pain medication for when they go home. Mine didn't, but I crushed it and mixed it with applesauce. I also made some changes to my meds and supplements...choosing smaller tablets and liquid calcium. Some people never have a moment's problem swallowing pills, but I have found it more challenging to swallow large pills since my surgery.
I wonder how often does it require the open method rather than the lap nissen? What would cause them to do this? I am overweight and am concerned this will happen to me. Is there like a weight limit or something for lap nissen?
Bill, a moderator here, had an open redo surgery, and said it was no problem at all...in some ways, it was easier to recover from than his previous lap surgery.
I don't think there's a weight limit, however, overweight people can sometimes have enough internal fat as to make it difficult to have a clear field of view for the surgical tools. No surgeon can guarantee that they won't have to move to an open procedure if necessary. After hearing about Bill's open surgery experience, I don't worry about that anymore, should I need a redo at some point. I'm sure your surgeon will try to stick to a lap version of surgery if at all possible, so don't worry. After how much you've suffered with GERD, the surgery will be a big improvement no matter which procedure your surgeon chooses.
Glad you've joined the forum...it's a great place to get information and support as you recover!
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.”