Nissen Surgery - Post Op

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Mellyann3
New Member


Date Joined Feb 2014
Total Posts : 11
   Posted 8/27/2014 3:03 PM (GMT -6)   
My original post is being pasted here, as recommended by Denise as I had posted on an older thread previously. Posted August 15th. It is now Aug 27 and will post a new update below this original one!

Hi everyone, new to this forum but had posted a couple of times before when trying to decide to have the nissen surgery. Well, I went for it! My surgery was 10 days ago on Aug 5th. I have to say that I am very pleasantly surprised with how I am feeling on just the 10th day post-op.

The first few days I had an extremely bloated and gas filled stomach. Which I found was hard to pass without the help of some fennel tea (that stuff really helped) This painful gassy feeling stayed until probably 4 or 5 days after my surgery. At times I felt like I would explode.

I am able to burp and seem to quite a bit after eating and drinking. I heard this was quite normal? Although at first made me worry that the surgery was faulty. I also seem to hiccup now and then. I have eaten a lot of homemade soup and whipped mashed potatoes with gravy. Last night I was able to have some cooked chicken breast, just chewed really well until it was mush and chased it down with some water. Today I actually ate a vegan pizza bun for lunch! Yay! (I stay away from all dairy as I'm very sensitive to it)

I am not in very much pain and only used painkillers for the first 5 days then it really tapered off. I can't help but reiterate the fact that I thought I would feel so much worse, but obviously very grateful that I'm not. I do have some discomfort don't get me wrong, swallowing pills seem to be a pain at times as they seem to get stuck and really hurt as though it went down the wrong hole. I am still taking my nexium for the time being until I'm healed up enough to wean off of them. And if I eat too fast its like food pools at the bottom of my esophagus until it slowly slides down. I can definitely feel that things are still swollen. I get the same feeling of achyness in under my left ribs and in my left shoulder blade sometimes like I did from the reflux before I had surgery. Some pain in the one incision near my belly button to the touch still. Assuming this is because it was the biggest one that had the biggest instrument inserted. But overall, managing quite well. It does however keep my paranoid brain thinking that maybe the wrap has come undone slightly from moving around or isn't going to work or something. Especially because one day I just woke up and felt WAY better all of a sudden haha. Sounds paranoid of me but I guess I want it to work so bad so that I can be off PPi's that I worry about 'what ifs'. I guess I will only really know once I am off the nexium in a few months.

Is all of this normal? Anyone else experience an extremely, almost seemingly easy recovery? I don't want to speak too soon or anything...

:) Melanie
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Mellyann3
New Member


Date Joined Feb 2014
Total Posts : 11
   Posted 8/27/2014 3:28 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi again, so like I mentioned above, here's another update.

Surgery was August 5th, so now roughly about 3 weeks post op I guess. Still eating pretty soft foods as things get stuck pretty easily. Some days are easier than others. I am back to a normal schedule and have been able to bend over/do normal household chores without exerting myself too much (I hope). On occasion I have fully bent over without thinking and then sort of went 'ow' afterwards, its easy to forget at times. I have been getting some aches in my stomach/under my ribs on the left side, sometimes close to the center of my sternum also. Today I had to take a tylenol for a really bad headache and cramps (from it being that lovely time of the month) and the pill slid down so painfully and horribly that I wished I had never taken it to begin with, and now I've had aches ever since. Is it at all possible that swallowing a large pill or having taken a few larger bites of food than I should have could undo or loosen the wrap? Or even bending over?

I went to take a digestive enzyme one night before dinner thinking that it would help with gassiness after my meal but the pill got stuck and without realizing that it hadn't fully gone down I began to take bites of food and sips of water only to start gagging and having a very stuck feeling. I then seemed to have 'vomited' liquid up but I think it was just what was still in my esophagus. Would this have been bad for the wrap?

The surgeon never mentioned to me not to take pills or not to bend over, he only specified no lifting for 4 weeks. I am so scared that I might do something or already have done something that will effect the surgery or the effectiveness of it. Aside from reading some great things about this I have on the other hand heard some horror stories like people's wrap coming undone less than a year after surgery.

Has anyone else had these experiences above and can give any insight? Denise after reading your story a little while back I do believe you had some similar experiences but I guess I sort of need some guidance and perhaps some hope that this is all normal. I tend to be quite anxious and suppose its nice to have some fears laid to rest. Perhaps these feelings are the swelling getting worse before it gets better as mentioned by others.

Thanks so much!
Melanie

ninjakiller1
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2014
Total Posts : 208
   Posted 8/27/2014 5:19 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Melanie,

Its glad to hear of your bravery doing surgery, can I ask you, what was your full symptoms before the surgery. Did you had excessive saliva by any chance.

mello1
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2014
Total Posts : 19
   Posted 8/27/2014 5:48 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Melanie

I just had my fundoplication on August 18 so I am ten days out. Last might was more painful than the previous couple of nights so I am assuming the wrap is swelling... I have a feeling of pressure in my chest and throat every so often that's like a painful spasm. I am on full liquids and have had Ensure protein drinks, apple juice, broth with the tiny half inch noodles, mashed potatoes (half cup at a time) and pudding. I lost around 8 to 10 lbs. in the week after surgery but am staying at that point. I have wondered about tearing the wrap due to lifting myself up to scoot up in bed after sliding down my wedge pillow and also when I was sitting on the couch and dropped something and picked it up with my feet and wondered if that was using stomach muscles and would damage it. I have heard that it's pretty tough and not to worry too much but to be careful and not lift and we should be okay. I have been having burning in my throat and am reminding myself that I am still healing and to expect some pain. I will see the doctor tomorrow and I will quiz him on these questions. Good luck Melanie, I am sure we will both be feeling great soon !

Post Edited (mello1) : 8/27/2014 5:51:00 PM (GMT-6)


Mellyann3
New Member


Date Joined Feb 2014
Total Posts : 11
   Posted 8/27/2014 8:24 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi ninjakiller, thanks for the kind words - it certainly was a tough decision to make to have the surgery but I hope it will be worth it. My symptoms were mainly heartburn (which was mostly controlled by nexium) and regurgitating food up into my throat after eating, also chest/sternum aches and pains, under my left rib cage as well which I assume was from inflammation from being irritated. Are you contemplating having the surgery?

Hi Mello, thanks for the reply and some reassurance :) I too had that same worry about pulling myself up out of bed and what not. Just really took a lot of effort and you would think would put stress on the wrap. I too was eating mostly liquids up until about day 10 and then I started to get a little brave trying to experiment with bread and what not. It seemed to go ok for a few days but I feel as though this week has been more uncomfortable.
It sounds like you are doing quite well for the most part, I'm glad to hear. I have read that during the healing you can still get reflux symptoms and burning but that it is just a part of the healing and will eventually taper off. Are you on any ant-acid meds? I am hoping to wean off once healed. Let me know what your doctor says about those concerns! But I am sure you are probably right. My boyfriend likes to remind me also that I tend to worry about the 'what ifs' and that if it was that easy to ruin the wrap they likely would give much stricter instruction as to what not to do. Sounds true enough. I have my post-op appointment sept 10th. Take care and talk to you soon!

Mellyann3
New Member


Date Joined Feb 2014
Total Posts : 11
   Posted 8/28/2014 7:04 AM (GMT -6)   
My anxiety sure was getting to me last night as I lay in bed feeling aches and having a scratchy throat that I wasn't feeling before. I began to think how I have been carrying groceries home, and carrying other things, lifting groceries up onto the counter and worrying myself that I may have done something to hurt my wrap. I'm not sure that they were 10lbs or over, possibly close at times but couldn't help regret doing it. Sometimes when we start to feel good and more normal we do things without thinking and then begin to worry about it later once we start to feel pain wondering if we've done something wrong. Oh boy, sometimes I hate my brain! Then I try and convince myself that if I truly undid it or hurt the surgery that I would likely be feeling more pain than I am or that I might be regurgitating food if it came undone. Its likely just swelling.. What do others think? Sorry for being pesty and anxious. My follow up with my surgeon isn't until sept 10th and so its killing me not being able to ask these questions to him.

Pat Tall
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2012
Total Posts : 950
   Posted 8/28/2014 8:44 AM (GMT -6)   
Melly and Mello,
So happy to follow your posts. Keep giving us updates. Helps so many of us that are having a hard time making the decision for surgery. Here's a link to 'successful' surgery members that might help y'all. Also, hope that you will add to it whenever you feel like it. It helps me sooooo much. Pat

http://www.healingwell.com/community/default.aspx?f=45&m=3132073

Mellyann3
New Member


Date Joined Feb 2014
Total Posts : 11
   Posted 8/28/2014 9:47 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Pat, thanks for the post. I will definitely try and get my story posted up on that page, thanks very much for sharing.

After reading some of the stories on there my main concern is probably the fact that so many people stress finding a surgeon that has done this surgery thousands of times. My surgeon is younger, he has done it but under a hundred times. He's a general surgeon but specializes in laproscopic surgery. I was told he is very very good at what he does though and He did work and train with one of the surgeons in our city who is a thoracic surgeon who was more known for doing the nissen. I do like to believe that although he is more 'up and coming' and younger that he might end up one day being the best in his field and at doing this nissen. Should this concern me at all in regards to the effectiveness or the overall job he's done? I didn't want to wait more than a year and suffer more than I was to get the thoracic surgeon.

ninjakiller1
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2014
Total Posts : 208
   Posted 8/29/2014 7:34 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Melanie

Anxiety does gets us in the worse time alot. I am thinking doing surgery, but first I have to be seen Gastroenterologist who will examin me and might as well do some test on me on endoscopy, manometry, 24hr PH monitor, a stomach-emptying test as well. I just want to do all test, but I have a hell GERD, I tried different PPI as lansoprazole, omeprazole, rabeprazole, and none of them working for me at all, I was taking twice as each 30mg but still no effect, I am still getting food coming out of my throat, I don't think PPI is helping me and even my doctor said staying in PPI for longer it will eventually make your body worse and specially we need Acid to digest well, I don't know if I would have a power to convince my Gastroenterologist to allow me do Nissen Surgery, I know its a big step for me, but I rather doit than staying with GERD. I have many complication as symptoms are: Wind, bloating, excessive burping, Excessive saliva, also swallowing alot of wind, as well I have chest pain. It really bothers me alot, can't continue my life with this problem, I hope I would be accepted for Nissen Surgery, but I am so glad you have done Nissen surgery and you are getting better slowly and I pray for you.

May I ask you, as your Gastroenterologist, he/she tried to force you to stay on PPI and not do Nissen surgery. Would you have right to do Nissen Surgery in your decision?

I got to see Gastroenterologist on 3rd September next week, I hope agrees with me but mostly I can see I have some of your symptoms you had before as I have still myself. To tell you truth I am kind of scarred of Nissen surgery to do but I need to brave in my life and move on on every step to continue in my life and never give up or lose hope in myself.

5grn9
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2014
Total Posts : 32
   Posted 8/29/2014 9:45 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Melanie,

I'm only 3 days post-op and seem to have had the same effects you had. My stomach is so bloated and starting last night making a lot of noise! I posted a new thread on here to explain my story. I am still having the gas pains in my neck and left shoulder, I'm trying to move around as much as I can. Today my incisions feel better than they have but still very tender on my left side. I haven't had any problem swallowing pills - the liquid pain medication is out of stock in my area so I had to get tablets and I'm also still taking my nexium and gas pills once a day. I have had 3 bouts of diarrhea since last night which is a little concerning to me but I think its because I took two doses of miralax and two stool softeners thinking I would be constipated but duh how could I be when I'm only drinking clear liquids! So I'm hoping that doesn't last! I was actually hoping to get out for a little today but no I don't dare because I can barley make it to the bathroom, ) : According to the diet I'm following I can advance to the full liquid diet tomorrow so I'm hoping I can tolerate it! I've had enough of the clear liquids. I had a cherry itailian ice last night which may not have been a good idea either, it was quite sweet. Its great to have people on here going through the same thing to get advice and share stories!
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