To dilate or not to dilate. Difficult decision

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Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2013
Total Posts : 256
   Posted 9/9/2014 1:02 PM (GMT -6)   
I had the Nissen Fundoplication November 1st last year. So what is that.. eleven some months ago.

For the most part the surgery has been awesome. I'd say 90 to 95 percent of my symptoms are gone. I still cough a bit and make it a point of staying away from caffeine as that makes acid rise again. Every once in a while I'll cough up thick phlegm, but usually I'll feel a lot better after doing that.

Issue being that I still get food stuck rather easily. There is honestly no comparison between the quality of life I have now versus what I dealt with prior to the surgery. So little complaints there.

I've been told by my new gastro (got a new one since I moved) that my one option is to dilate my esophagus near my wrap site. The catch is that doing this could bring back a lot of my old symptoms. No one knows to what degree the symptoms will return (I still have residual coughing and phlegm issues, but mostly controlled sucking on hard candies and staying away from caffeine to either prevent or manage those symptoms).

What should I do? I decided to wait on this decision to see if I could either handle my current symptoms or if they would just go away. The first bite of the pita pit egg bacon hash brown sandwich immediately got stuck and I had to heave it out of my esophagus into my trash can at work. This happens all the time.

What are your thoughts? Any and all responses appreciated.



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Date Joined Oct 2009
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   Posted 9/9/2014 4:50 PM (GMT -6)   
Is there any possible reason for food getting stuck other than a tight wrap?

Are you short on saliva? Taking pain meds or anything that might make you short on saliva? Maybe stop sucking on the candies for a while.

Try eating something with more liquid, a bite of fruit or pudding or ice cream, even taking a drink of something like hot tea, for the first bite of a meal. I have to have liquid with every bite of even slightly hard stuff or it gets stuck - and I know it's not my wrap! I just don't make much saliva.

The last thing you want is to get a stretch that's too much!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2011
Total Posts : 513
   Posted 9/10/2014 6:52 AM (GMT -6)   
Hiya David, I think things are not going to be perfect after a fundoplication, as long as your not getting really bad symtoms I would not go for a dilation.
I would cut down on the heavy type foods and stick to the softer type,is not worth the risk in my opinion,youll kick yourself if you end up with acid reflux again!
Maybe with time the symtoms your having will ease off ? Barry

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2013
Total Posts : 256
   Posted 9/10/2014 1:57 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Alcie and Barry! Thanks for your responses.

Alcie - I do think I have plenty of saliva. I can understand how that would make things difficult for swallowing. Food tends to just get stuck when it reaches the wrap site, no issue going down until it gets to the wrap. Dry foods like leftovers are definity harder to get down than the other ones though.

I agree with both of you. The last thing I'd want is for more of those symptoms to come back. I will keep eating slowly and make sure the food is not too dry. Yes Barry, maybe I'll get lucky and the symptoms will ease up a bit over time.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 4961
   Posted 9/11/2014 6:15 AM (GMT -6)   

You can still have improvement with this over the next year or so. Don't rush to have it dilated unless you can't get hardly anything down. Just remember to chew very well and take more time between bites.

Take care,
Moderator: GERD/Heartburn, Kidney disease

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

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2013
Total Posts : 256
   Posted 9/11/2014 12:22 PM (GMT -6)   
Ah, yes. I was hoping to get a response from you.

Thank you, good to know improvements can still come. I can get stuff down, it is the first bite that is the hardest, and left overs because they are drier. And too much too fast.

New Member

Date Joined Jul 2013
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 9/16/2014 6:27 AM (GMT -6)   
I live in Toledo and I was diagnosed with LPR. I would like to know if your symptoms have cleared up and what sypmtoms you still have. My main issue is the post-nasal drainage with so much mucus in my throat and also a weak voice. Did the surgery help with these symptoms. Thanks.

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2013
Total Posts : 256
   Posted 9/16/2014 9:47 AM (GMT -6)   
Hey oz

I'm from Toledo too. I had my surgery at the University of Toledo Medical Center.

My symptoms have definitely cleared up. Probably 95% of them are completely gone. I still will occasionally cough a bit from time to time to clear tiny bits of acidic mucus. But it is honestly nothing significant enough to take meds for any more. I just cough a few times and I feel better already. My voice was affected too. But now that has healed up. It is one of the first things I noticed in terms of improvements.

I used to have huge amounts of mucus in my throat too which would make me need to cough a lot throughout the day. The mucus I coughed up had the consistency of glue most of the time.
Waking up in the morning was the worst. I'd cough constantly at work so I'd always be sucking on hard candies to manage those symptoms. I never had heart burn though, those were never the symptoms I had.

After a while I was a slave to my acid reducers, which themselves were only a band-aid to the problem. The symptoms never went away. But with the Nissen Fundoplication surgery I had, there is no longer need to take them. Definitely a yes to the voice improvements and the mucus issues. I have no regrets at all.

Post Edited (Diaas2) : 9/16/2014 8:52:33 AM (GMT-6)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2013
Total Posts : 500
   Posted 9/19/2014 3:33 PM (GMT -6)   
Hey David, I was wondering how you were doing. It has been awhile since I checked up on you!
Sorry to hear that you are still having some trouble swallowing. I agree about waiting on the dilation.

Hey Oz, I am also from Toledo. My ENT told me that my sinuses were the cause of my sore throats, I do have a history of allergies and post nasal drip.

My Gastro though was able to see with the dual probe PH/or Bravo that there was acid coming back up into my throat and that was the real reason why I was having pain and discomfort. There are plenty of tests you can do to see the exact reason and if you need a referral to any doctors at all...I loved loved loved all of mine in the Toledo area and I will sure be happy to forward you their office phone numbers.
Nissen Fundoplication 8/2013
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