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!
Nissen Fundoplication April 30, 2013
Pain-Free, Reflux-Free, Sleeping on my back!