Posted 3/9/2015 6:36 PM (GMT -8)
And it IS a journey, I'm learning!
I'm a new member, having signed on in late January 2015 and posting about a dozen times so far. It was suggested that I start a thread to record my experience and questions as they come up, so I am.
I first posted on 1/22, right after my GI told me he was referring me for surgery to correct a very large HH. Since that time, I've read this blog almost daily and have learned so much that has helped me understand the condition, the treatments and things I would never have imagined! Thank you to the moderators and contributors. You are an enormous help.
I've known for several years that I have a large HH. I've taken PPI'S for at least 10+ years with a recent increase in dosage. I have been blessed to have few GERD symptoms except that if I miss a day or two of my meds my chest starts to ache so that I think I'm having a heart attack.(Recent stress test shows my heart is strong although I have some CAD). I do have anemia that has defied detection until now.
So, since that first posting I've had some basic diagnostics:
A sonogram that showed my organs appear of appropriate size and shape with no apparent problems, including gallbladder, cancer etc. what a relief!
Then my GI did an EGD. Again, I was relieved to learn I have no Barrett's, strictures, my esophagus appears smooth. A biopsy of a small area showed only a benign lesion probably caused by the HH location and perhaps contributing to my anemia.
Then, several scheduling problems with med center caused delays...but today I finally met the surgeon. The best ( only good?) part of these delays is that it gave me time to read this blog and formulate questions and concerns. INVALUABLE. Today I was actually able to have an informed discussion with the surgeon that I would never have been able to have without this site.
Going forward, I will have an esophagram this Friday, a manometry asap and my surgeon wants to repeat the EGD himself so he can take measurements, see the tissue etc. firsthand.
At the moment, he knows that I have a very large paraesophageal hernia, perhaps as much as a third of my stomach has lodged itself in my chest. He thinks a toupet/ partial fundo will work well, especially with a mesh repair of the diaphragm. That of course may change with the additional diagnostic information he gets.
I'm anxious but am feeling more confident that I am in good hands and I can handle this surgery.
I'll post more as I learn more. For now, again, thank you for this site and your contributions to it. It's so very helpful.