Damage to Nissen wrap?

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New Member

Date Joined Sep 2014
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 9/20/2014 10:15 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi All

This forum has been a huge source of information and guidance in recent months. Would appreciate any thoughts on the following.

I'm two weeks post NF surgery which included repair to a fairly large hiatus hernia. Recovery has been good, much better than I'd hoped for. Of course, I've had the usual gas pains and discomfort, and fortunately have been able to do small burps since day 1. Eating has been good - surgeon encouraged me to push it along, so after a day on liquid and a week or so on soft diet, I've been able to eat pretty much anything (chewed well) other than red meat, bread and fibrous veg. Have been guided by what produces the least digestion related pain.

I'm pretty much off pain medication and all was going well until yesterday. Feeling fine, was outside with my daughter who fell over. Instinctively, and not thinking, I leant over, stretching to pick her up which resulted in a sharp pain at the site of the wrap. Put her down straight away, it was all over in a couple of seconds. She weighs about 3 stone (42 lbs). Pain didn't seem too bad at first but from last night, the pain has been much worse than previously. It's a static pain at the wrap site, feels like heartburn. Pain was worse during the night, relieved to a degree by dicloflex (for those unfamiliar, it's a NSAID which is easy on the stomach, prescribed by the hospital). Today has been similar, pain is bearable but worse than the previous week.

As you can probably imagine, I'm thinking I've irritated it (hopefully temporarily), maybe even a small tear but also fear I may have ripped a stitch.
I'm thinking I need to see if it settles down over the next few days, that hopefully it's strained it, rather than anything more serious. I have a follow up with the surgeon in a few weeks but hoping that someone may have some thoughts.

BTW, I'm reasonably fit, slim and healthy.

Many thanks

Wendy Workout
Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2014
Total Posts : 173
   Posted 9/20/2014 10:50 PM (GMT -6)   
I agree. I would wait it out a few more days and see if things settle. Our wraps are quite sturdy but of course I'm not a dr. At two weeks post op you will have a lot of swelling also. You may have aggravated things and possibly caused more swelling. I would maybe put a call in to your doctor if things worsen or do not settle in a few days or so. I know I plucked my 6 yr old out of the ocean when he fell off our raft. No thoughts other than pull him out. Just instinct. I had just had my gallbladder out 9 days previously and was 5 months post NF/HH. I didn't do any damage but definitely triggered some pain.
Nissen Fundoplication with Hiatal Hernia Repair Feb 28, 2014

New Member

Date Joined Aug 2014
Total Posts : 19
   Posted 9/21/2014 8:13 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Jontefonte,

How are you feeling ? I am about 1 month past surgery and tonight I squatted to do something as I know we arent supposed to bend over. I was not told not to squat but after I did I feel a burn at the middle of just under my ribcage. Wondering if Ive done damage. Hope you are feeling better tonight...

New Member

Date Joined Sep 2014
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 9/22/2014 5:15 AM (GMT -6)   
Thanks Wendy/mello1

The pain has subsided a fair bit over the past few days but still not the same as before the incident. Tingly pain in the back and static heartburn. It's impossible to decipher whether it's just caused more swelling or whether I've done some real damage. I've put a call into the surgeon's office to get his view. Pretty gutted as it was all going so well. Fingers crossed...

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7188
   Posted 9/22/2014 10:20 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi jontefonte

Welcome to the Healing Well yeah yeah yeahWrapped Club! yeah yeah yeah It sounds as if you've got a great attitude, which is the most important ingredient for a positive recovery experience.

Your positioning and the weight are a concern, but I agree with the other advice you've received here. Take it easy and wait. Your wrap will most likely be fine. I had the surgery because of the effect reflux was having on my lungs. I had a lung infection when I had the surgery, and can assure you I coughed strenuously throughout my recovery, and worried that I'd cough out the wrap. On top of that my internal tissue was extremely fragile due to the steroids I'd been taking to keep myself breathing! And yet, my wrap held, and I'm doing fine.

Yes, you're at peak swelling as well, and there is a lot of discomfort that can be associated with that. If you've irritated things, you can also get reflux-like symptoms. The esophagus is a dumb organ, and it interprets all pain as reflux.

I remember a time when I picked up a box of very heavy books post-op. I was farther along than you are, but still, I felt a pain at the wrap site that lasted several days. I learned my lesson (my core wasn't strong pre-surgery, so my lifting has to be extra-careful), and get help when I need to lift something heavy (most of the time! turn)

I hope your wrap will begin to feel more comfortable soon. Of course if you are concerned, give your surgeon's office a call. That's why they get paid the big bucks!

Hang in there...and keep up the great attitude!
Happy healing,

GERD/Heartburn Moderator
Nissen Fundoplication 2/09

"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

New Member

Date Joined Sep 2014
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 9/23/2014 3:58 AM (GMT -6)   
Thanks All

Little by little it seems to be settling down (now 4 days ago). Have yet to hear from the surgeon's office but I'm hoping that as the pain (and presumably the swelling) is subsiding, it means that I haven't done any real damage. Still a little concerned as it was a searing, albeit short lived pain when I did it, consistent with a tear (if other previous sports injuries are anything to go by). If I had ripped a stitch, I presume the heartburn/pain would persist? I don't think the surgeon will be able to add much but will see what he says. If things proceed as they are, I'm hoping it means I'm in the clear with a valuable lesson learnt...

Thanks again for your help.

New Member

Date Joined Sep 2014
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 9/23/2014 10:53 AM (GMT -6)   
Heard from the surgeon's office today - his suggestion was that I should go back on PPIs (which I actually had done) and see if it settles. If it doesn't or gets worse, they will bring forward my follow up appointment, and presumably do an endoscopy. Also saw my GP today for a prescription. Whilst she's not an expert, she was pretty adamant that I'd really know about serious damage and it wouldn't have started to settle the way it appears to have done. So hopefully, things will soon be properly back on track. The PPIs actually seem to have little effect, whilst strong painkillers certainly help more. Maybe an indicator that it's swelling rather than anything more serious?

Veteran Member

Date Joined Sep 2013
Total Posts : 2114
   Posted 9/23/2014 9:38 PM (GMT -6)   
I picked up my dog a few months back because I had to. She's around 25 lbs. and yeah, I was further along than you, but it still sucked. I amped myself up so much to pick her up that I went to the bathroom literally like ten times after.

I also picked up a trash bag and likely underestimated the weight. I paid for that one for a bit.

Anyway, my surgeon's assistant told me that if the wrap does come undone, I would be in excruciating pain, unable to walk, and maybe even vomiting (even though we can't really vomit). I've had moments where I'm certainly worried like you.

I might advise against being scoped so soon. There are other ways to check how it is like an Upper GI.
LapNissen Fundoplication, 8/9/13
GERD, Anxiety, Depression
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