Welcome to the
Glad you are finally home and recovering where its easiest to recover! There's no place like home!
The pierced throat tissue is obviously healing well, or they wouldn't have allowed you out of the hospital, so that's good news.
You are right about
this recovery taking six months for most of the healing, but keep in mind that you will continue to improve for a full year or more. Your upper GI tract has been revised significantly, and it takes time to heal and to adjust to the changes.
The reflux symptoms you're experiencing are most likely pain. The esophagus is a "dumb organ", and it interprets all pain as reflux. It's very common during the early months to worry about
reflux symptoms, but don't waste your time. Yes, you can get some small amount of reflux post-Nissen even after healing. If the surgeon made your wrap tight enough to ensure zero reflux, it would be too tight to swallow food. Surgeons are going for "normal" amounts of reflux--stopping the severe symptoms called GERD, and putting you into the world of those without GERD, who can certainly get occasional reflux, but nothing like the reflux that caused you enough problems to send you to surgery.
Like you, I had lung effects, which is the reason I had the surgery. My lungs were very unhealthy when I finally decided to go with the surgical option. I have asthma, so my lungs are very reactive. Because of this, I still take 40mg Protonix an hour before dinner as a proactive measure. Prior to my surgery, I was taking 40mg Protonix before breakfast and dinner, as well as 300mg Zantac at bedtime. Even with all these meds, I still had terrible lung effects. After my lungs had time to heal (about
3 months) they improved 100%, and have been great ever since.
Stay away from untoasted bread (well-toasted bread isn't a problem), steak/hard meats, and obviously, sandwiches. Some pastas caused me problems as well. I had a battle with a cherry tomato at a restaurant once, during recovery, and learned my lesson.
The reason you feel full after a very short time, is that the top of your stomach is swollen. That is the area that sends the message of fullness to your brain, and it is interpreted as fullness. This will get better over time, as you heal.
If you take small bites and chew, chew, chew your foods until it is a liquid consistency, you'll do just fine. Don't swallow anything that doesn't chew to a liquid. If you are having trouble with your medication/tablets, you can crush (non time-release) pills and put them into some applesauce. You can also ask your doctors to change your dosage...take two smaller pills than one bigger one. See if you can get whatever medication it is in liquid form. I could never figure out why surgeons put patients on soft/liquid diets, and send them home with large tablets as pain medication. Go figure!
Best wishes with your recovery! Be sure to ask any questions that come to mind. There's no such thing as a stupid question!Happy healing!
Nissen Fundoplication 2/09
Allergy/Asthma"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.”