Are we expecting too much after fundo surgery?

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Pat Tall
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2012
Total Posts : 950
   Posted 9/8/2014 6:25 PM (GMT -6)   
Looking for other opinions about ANTICIPATED post surgery outcomes!

Did you anticipate being able to eat pretty much anything? Anytime?
How about carbonated beverages, chocolate, alcohol. Did you feel you would be able to consume them?

How about bread and steak and rich deserts!

Have you been able to consume with abandon?
What did your surgeon tell you? (Or promise).

Did you feel you would be able to perform routine heavy lifting and sports and lift weights?

I've been approached by a friend that states that most post surgical members haven't been able to do these things even a year after surgery. I've gone back and read entries. What do y'all think about this? Were we expecting too much ?

dencha
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7180
   Posted 9/8/2014 8:15 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Pat,

I will try to answer your questions the best I can...I am assuming you are talking about once the healing has been completed, and you're back to your normal self. My surgery was in February 2009. Here goes!turn

Did you anticipate being able to eat pretty much anything? Anytime?
How about carbonated beverages, chocolate, alcohol. Did you feel you would be able to consume them?


I anticipated that once I had completed the healing process I would still have to drink carbonated beverages sparingly. I expected that I would be able to consume alcohol and chocolate in moderation.

I anticipated eating pretty much anything, and any time, within reason. I figured I would still have to avoid overstuffing my stomach.

My actual experience has been great. I can drink carbonated beverages...I don't drink soda much but certainly do. I can also drink beer and other alcoholic beverages without a problem. The one caveat is champagne. I drank three glasses in celebration of my son's engagement, and ended up with some uncomfortable bloating.

I can eat whatever I want to eat. I will say that I still need to eat more slowly and chew my food more thoroughly than pre-wrap.


How about bread and steak and rich deserts!

I am able to eat all bread, steaks, and rich desserts.

Have you been able to consume with abandon?

Yes, I consume with abandon. I will say I have a sensitive stomach, and sometimes certain foods or medication can irritate it. This was a condition that I had prior to the surgery, and didn't expect it would disappear, as it had nothing to do with the issues the surgery was designed to cure.

What did your surgeon tell you? (Or promise).

The surgeon warned me about foods I should avoid during recovery, and said to avoid steak and untoasted bread for about 8 weeks. He told me I could eat anything that could be chewed to a liquid as I was recovering, but did not indicate any restrictions or promises post-healing.

Did you feel you would be able to perform routine heavy lifting and sports and lift weights?

When I asked my surgeon about lifting restrictions, he told me that once healed I could lift anything I could lift pre-surgery. That said, I don't have a very strong core, and I had a couple times when I was lifting a box of heavy books and felt pain at the wrap site. After that I tried to be more careful. I'm not a weight lifter, obviously, and I expect that if I were lifting prior to surgery, I would be able to handle heavier things now. I do think that people without strong core muscles should be careful with lifting post-Nissen, but that's just a personal opinion.

I've been approached by a friend that states that most post surgical members haven't been able to do these things even a year after surgery. I've gone back and read entries. What do y'all think about this? Were we expecting too much ?

I've participated in this forum since shortly before my surgery in February 2009. Most people post while they're healing and go off and live their lives. A few of our friends are kind enough to come back and check in to let us know how things are going for them once they have healed. Those people I've kept in contact with have been able to resume their lives and enjoy eating foods they couldn't eat prior to their surgery.

Sometimes healing takes longer than a year. There are adjustments to the changes that take longer for the body. I had improvements into the second year. Nobody who knows me now would think that I have any restrictions in my diet. I can eat anything anybody who hasn't had a Nissen can eat. I'm a foodie, and love to eat. I enjoy all kinds of foods and have no problem enjoying them.


I hope that helps with your search for answers!
Good luck!
Denise

GERD/Heartburn Moderator
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.”
Eckhart Tolle

Post Edited (dencha) : 9/8/2014 8:19:59 PM (GMT-6)


opnwhl4
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 4961
   Posted 9/8/2014 11:09 PM (GMT -6)   
My answers are the same as Denise's.

I am back to my old self. If I do go to far overboard like at Thanksgiving or such I will probably feel like crud for a while, but it passes and I'll tell myself to not do that again. Of course I will!

I eat what I want when I want, just not as much in one sitting as I used to, but that's a good thing because I over ate before.

Physical activities are what I was before surgery. I am active in sports and outdoor activities, well as much as my non GERD related issues will allow. Getting older you know.

Do we expect to much? I believe we aren't given the truth about this surgery and recovery from the surgeons very often. Once in a while one will and I have been lucky to have 2 surgeons who knew.

This tends to let people expect to much to soon is all. Some people also jump back into things to quickly instead of listening to their bodies. This is usually because lack of info and the fact they didn't have a huge incision going all the way down their belly. We think that because the 4 or 5 small incisions are healed that everything is to....that's never the case with this surgery. This IS major surgery.

No one would expect someone who had any other major organ removed or restructured to go back to their old ways in a week or two. Yet for some unknown reason that is what people think with this surgery.

Take care,
Bill
opnwhl4
Moderator: GERD/Heartburn, Kidney disease

Nissen 6/06 and 5/09
#3 8/24/11

Brianala
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2014
Total Posts : 91
   Posted 9/9/2014 9:26 AM (GMT -6)   
I'm three weeks post surgery, here are my responses:

Did you anticipate being able to eat pretty much anything? Anytime?
How about carbonated beverages, chocolate, alcohol. Did you feel you would be able to consume them?


No; I knew there were some foods I probably wouldn't handle well after surgery, including carbonated beverages, alcohol, etc. I've tested the waters a bit and i haven't had any major issues so far. I've had coffee, a small glass of wine, beer, and soda - as long as I don't have too much and drink slowly I'm good.


How about bread and steak and rich deserts!

Nope. I figured it would be quite a ways out before I'd be able to manage these; however, again, I've been pretty surprised. I've managed to do well with bread, as long as I take eensy bites, chew really well, and drink plenty to wash it down.

Have you been able to consume with abandon?
What did your surgeon tell you? (Or promise).


Abandon? Not even close. Carefully and slowly, I can manage pretty much any texture or food. Patience and chewing well seem to be the key.

Did you feel you would be able to perform routine heavy lifting and sports and lift weights?

My surgeon told me that once my body healed from the surgery, there's no reason I shouldn't be able to get back to my normal workout. I'm pretty active and this was a big concern of mine. I asked specifically about lifting and playing contact sports. My surgeon said that nothing short of a car crash with impact directly on the wrap site would be likely to damage the wrap.

I'm at three weeks now and this past weekend I finally got back to the gym. I started with lighter weight than I'm used to, but so far everything seems good.
Nissen Wrap Aug 12, 2014

Esophageal Dysmotility, Hiatal Hernia, Esophagitis, Gastritis, Duodenitis, Dysautonomia

TonyG
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2013
Total Posts : 254
   Posted 9/10/2014 11:45 AM (GMT -6)   
I'm about a year and a half out from mine, and my responses are similar to both Denise and Bill.

I think what is the key to success in all this is doing your research and preparing yourself for what you're getting yourself into. Much of what I see on this forum is that people just aren't preparing themselves enough, have gotten bad or little advice from their doctors, and are expecting this procedure to be the cure-all for their problems. The anxiety and fear behind what they are about to endure gets the best of them and they don't have a good recovery as a result because paranoia has set in.

In my case, it was my cure-all. No more reflux, no more heartburn, no more pain, no more pills, no more anything. Barretts, esophagitis, and gastritis are all gone. I feel fantastic. BUT, I didn't have any other medical issues to lay on top of the GERD. If you have other medical issues on top of the GERD, don't expect the Nissen to fix everything.

Like I've said from the beginning (and Bill said below), is that this is MAJOR surgery. Just because it's laparoscopic doesn't make it a minor procedure. You've been through 3, 4 or 5 hours of surgery to rearrange the furniture. You aren't going to be back to normal overnight. You WILL be in pain. There's no getting around that. You cannot go into this thinking it's an overnight thing and you'll be back to normal in a week. Between swelling, activity tolerance, and diet...real recovery takes at least a year. Even then, if you go overboard, your body WILL tell you when it doesn't like it. Fairly reliably.

The competence and honesty of your surgeon really play a big role here. I was fortunate to have a surgeon that was upfront and didn't coat the recovery with BS and false promises. I made sure he was experienced and that I understood what his success rates were. BUT, I also did a lot of research and knew what to expect. The preparation is really what gets us through this.

Expect the worst, and hope for the best...not the other way around!
-TonyG-
Nissen Fundoplication April 30, 2013
Pain-Free, Reflux-Free, Sleeping on my back!

Pat Tall
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2012
Total Posts : 950
   Posted 9/24/2014 8:39 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks Denise, Bill, Tony ,Brianala. We want to be well and normal feeling but I think we have to realize it IS major surgery and everyone heals differently. I personally feel that we can dream and with using common sense then our life will be improved -- but not perfect. Attitude matters too! Thanks for writing and a special thanks to our Moderators. Hope others reply! I continue to be amazed at what docs tell their patients. Pat F

1039smooth
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2013
Total Posts : 1982
   Posted 9/25/2014 10:24 AM (GMT -6)   
I expected too much and poor Tony and Bill are dealing with my stubborn self.

Assuming overeating (again on Monday) hasn't destroyed me (chest discomfort, tingly hand), I plan to try to eat mildly for six months or more.

Tuesday I basically was dancing up the road while walking. How different I feel one day to the next is crazy.

If I could do it over again, no surgery.
LapNissen Fundoplication, 8/9/13
GERD, Anxiety, Depression

Katrinaks24
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2014
Total Posts : 11
   Posted 10/3/2014 4:38 PM (GMT -6)   
I am just over 8 weeks post op. My answers are below...

Did you anticipate being able to eat pretty much anything? Anytime?
How about carbonated beverages, chocolate, alcohol. Did you feel you would be able to consume them?

I knew that I would not be able to eat just anything or have the items listed above for the first few weeks. What I didn't realize was what the "first few weeks" really meant. I went for 19 days without having anything more solid than applesauce. I lost 17 pounds and was feeling pretty good. After my follow-up visit with my surgeon, I was told that I could try soft foods and even chicken or fish as long as I "chewed, chewed, chewed". I have been having trouble getting chicken, fish (sometimes), rice and bread to go down past the wrap. I feel as if the food gets stuck at the site and I have to try to vomit it back up. Not sure if it's actually vomiting as much as working it back up my esophagus. I feel as though I'm drowning or choking if I can't get it back out. Very frustrating!

I am able to drink coke (slowly) and eat chocolate and have alcohol. No problems there.


How about bread and steak and rich deserts!

Steak has actually worked for me. I'm not sure why, but since chicken has been the worst, the doctor told me to try steak. Bread is definitely a no-no unless is toasted almost to the point of being burnt.

Have you been able to consume with abandon?
What did your surgeon tell you? (Or promise).

My surgeon kept telling me that I would be "fine" in a few weeks. Again, what's does a "Few weeks" actually mean? I work for a hospital system and we have a great GERD program. I will be making an appointment with the person in charge of the program to advise that someone, whether it be the surgeon or a counselor in the office, needs to be more up front about the realities of the procedure. It's great that I have not had one incidence of reflux, but the side effects have been horrible. Had I known that this is a MAJOR procedure, I would have thought longer and harder about doing it. If I had known that the recovery would be such a long process and that some functions might never return, I probably wouldn't have done it if my option was to stay on Nexium. I am an eight year breast cancer survivor and I have been through a lot...chemo, radiation, reconstruction and many revisions...but this one takes the cake and has been the most life altering.

Did you feel you would be able to perform routine heavy lifting and sports and lift weights?

I am back to being as active as before the surgery. I walk a lot and play softball and go to the gym, mostly for cardio.

I always do my research before a procedure, but this one got by me somehow. I wish I had known about this forum before the surgery. Thanks to everyone for offering up so much helpful information.

Pat Tall
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2012
Total Posts : 950
   Posted 10/3/2014 6:09 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks Katrinaks24. Your remarks are appreciated. I think it is important to 'educate' your hospital program-- I so agree with this. Those that are teaching others have not gone through the procedure themselves--so how can they advise you.

Have you considered being a volunteer-- in other words, tell the hospital that if a pre surgery patient would like to talk to a post surgery patient that you would be willing.

We are asking this question on the next visit to the surgeon. We have asked in the past and was told that is a privacy violation. I said not if you give my phone number to the post surgery patient.

You are very early in your recovery and it sounds like you are on your way to good things and normal living. It is a lot to go through and it is major surgery but feel you will feel that it is well worth it in the long run. Some of the docs suggest a dilation to prevent the stuck food feeling. What have they said.

Please keep writing and let us know how you are doing. YES this forum is helpful to many . Wish you the best. Fondly, Pat F.

ldrunner
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2013
Total Posts : 103
   Posted 10/5/2014 2:55 PM (GMT -6)   
I'm having complications and I might need some corrective work.

If I could do it again I might do, but I would do my homework and either pay privately or only allow a government surgeon (I used the UK NHS) that had a stellar reputation.

I can't stress this enough, don't think a surgeon is a surgeon - they're not. And one thing I've learned is they don't like to get involved with or criticise someone else's work so once you use one surgeon it's hard to get an objective opinion from another.

To be honest, I think there are a lot of mediocre surgeons wanting to get into the lucrative laparoscopic / gastro work and that's not good for the patient.
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