Surgery tomorrrow 11-19

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Fit2Btied
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2014
Total Posts : 11
   Posted 10/8/2014 12:32 PM (GMT -6)   
****I first posted this "bio" in early October when I was 6 weeks away from my big day....****

My name is Lori. I am a 55 (almost 56) year old woman residing in the state of Washington. I have suffered with GERD for over 30+ years, have a hiatial hernia, and Barretts. I have a routine endoscopy every other year to monitor my condition. Earlier this year I started having issues revolving around regurgitation and a general "full" feeling at the base of my sternum. My GI doc moved up my endo to see what was going on. Turns out my hernia which I have had since the early 90's had grown significantly and my stomach was migrating north, and my LES is not closing. He recommended I see a specialist. There was no physician in my town qualified, so I was referred to Seattle - a two and half hour drive from our home. I had to wait for almost two months to see him, and he ordered a barium swallow, motility test and the lovely 24 hour ph test. After careful consideration of the test results he said I was a candidate for surgery. That was in May of this year. The earliest surgery date I could get was November 19th- oh and lucky me, its my 56th birthday!

With such a long wait time, I've had moments where I wonder if I'm doing the right thing. I'm anxious about my recovery and what my life will look like after my big day. I have an incredibly supportive husband, and am fortunate that I can take all the time I need to heal, but I still wonder if I'd be better off just living with my symptoms instead of trying to relieve them. I'm a bit concerned about the Barretts advancing, and I understand that unless we get that LES to function, I'm continuing to give my esophagus a nice acid bath....so deep down I know it's necessary but......

Anyway I have a long journey ahead of me and I am thankful to have found a group that will have a firm understanding of what I am about to go through. And although I have read the horror stories, I am comforted by the fact that there are loads of folks out there that have had successful surgeries and regain a normal life. I am scared beyond belief but have faith in my surgeon...

I am now less than 24 hours away....wish me luck!

Lori

Post Edited (Fit2Btied) : 11/18/2014 12:22:43 PM (GMT-7)


TonyG
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2013
Total Posts : 254
   Posted 10/9/2014 12:35 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello Fit2Btied!

Welcome to the group! We're an elite group, for sure, so we are happy you've found us.

Are you having a full Nissen Fundoplication? I didn't see below if you're having a full or partial wrap done.

Regardless, in order to get all your problems fixed, the only real solution is surgery unfortunately. Especially with a hiatal hernia. My story is buried somewhere in the depths of the list, but I had a good amount of Barretts cells show up on my EGD's too. My follow-up endoscopy a year after surgery showed that all the Barretts cells were gone. So, there's hope. :)

The real key to a successful recovery is in the preparation. Not only for you, but for the people that will be helping you out during your recovery. Your diet will be the most important piece of the recovery puzzle, as will being as active as you can tolerate. Stick to the diet your surgeon prescribes you and resist the temptation from advancing it faster than he/she advises. If you've read many of the horror stories on this list, advancing the diet too quickly has been a source of many a problem. BUT, as much as you need to be careful about what is going past the wrap site, you absolutely need to make sure that you're staying hydrated. Your body cannot recover and reduce the swelling you'll experience without the proper nutrition and hydration. Ensure, Boost, protein powder, etc. will help add extra calories to your diet while you're still on liquids and help you stay full longer.

As you recover, swelling at the wrap site will get worse over the first two to three weeks. If you think you're feeling heartburn or reflux, you most certainly are not. That feeling is the only way your esophagus knows how to transmit pain and discomfort. Stay on your pain meds, and drink lots of water. Trying to get up and take short walks will help reduce your swelling and any residual pain you feel in your shoulder and neck area from the abdominal insufflation during surgery.

In short, don't rush the process. It'll take time. Despite what you might hear/read about this being laparoscopic surgery, you're still having major thoracic surgery that involves permanently rearranging the furniture in your belly. It is so important that you succumb to the healing process and let your body rest and recover. Invest in lots of books and in a Netflix subscription (I think I watched every single documentary on there!) to keep you busy.

Oh-kay. Sorry for the long message. Don't be afraid to ask questions, even during your recovery. We've all been through the good and the bad that comes along with this procedure, so don't be afraid to skimp on the details.

Be well and take care!
-TonyG-
-TonyG-
Nissen Fundoplication April 30, 2013
Pain-Free, Reflux-Free, Sleeping on my back!

Brianala
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2014
Total Posts : 91
   Posted 10/10/2014 3:01 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello and welcome!

I fully relate to your anxiety and worry. I spent soooo many hours reading posts here, reading as much information as I could find, and agonizing over whether I was making the right choice. I had my surgery on August 12th (about two months ago) and I couldn't be happier I did!

I feel one of the most important factors in a successful recovery is knowledge of what to expect. It's a long road, and difficult at times, but not impossible and certainly not worse than continuing to live with the suffering and pain of not having it done!

Everyone will go through their own variation on symptoms, but the general process seems to be something like this:

- Expect to spend 1-5 days in the hospital.

- Days 1-2 will be clear liquids only. Around day 3 they may introduce a full liquid diet if you are doing well.

- The first week or so: pain wasn't terribly bad, but eating/drinking was very uncomfortable! You will be forced to take things v-e-e-e-r-y slowly when eating. The biggest recovery challenge is not necessarily pain or healing the incisions, but rather from not eating as much as you need to sustain your normal energy and activity level. You will be able to slowly add more/new foods over this time.

- Plan to spend (at least) two full weeks off, so you can lay around and eat/drink super slowly and very frequently all day long. You will not have much energy but you should be able to take care of yourself mostly normally (go to the bathroom, etc).

- Around week three you will probably be able to get almost back to normal eating, but there are still issues if you eat too fast, or food that is too dense, or anything that doesn't easily slide down on its own. The swelling actually seems to ramp up again after the first week or two, so don't be surprised if you have a few days or so where you feel like you are making backward progress. It gets better, I promise!

- Over the first month and even into month two you may continue to have twinges of pain if something gets stuck when you eat, and I have had some sensations of pain from the swelling here and there, but I physically feel mostly recovered and my diet is almost completely back to normal.

I feel that going into the process understanding how the healing process will work, being comfortable knowing that it will take up to 6 months to a year to completely heal, and knowing that you will have to just be very patient - knowing that in advance will help you so much!
Nissen Wrap Aug 12, 2014

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

GC1pink
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2012
Total Posts : 532
   Posted 10/13/2014 2:04 PM (GMT -6)   
Brianala,

Hi, hope this finds you fully recovered now - can I ask what percentage relaxation you had on your manometry please?

Many thanks,

Pink
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