I've been reading posts from this group for a few years now but have not yet posted. I am considering surgery to repair a hiatal hernia and strengthen my lower esophageal sphincter (LES) and wanted some feedback to my questions and concerns. First, I've suffered from GERD for about
50 years. I'm now 71. about
ten years ago, I began treatment with PPIs and diet control. I now take pantoprazole 40 mg once a day in the morning and Pepcid AC most evenings. about
six weeks ago I started getting hoarse and this occurs on and off throughout the day. I also am clearing my throat a lot throughout the day. I have been seeing a gastroenterologist and have had a few endoscopies. I have Barrett's esophagus. For a year or more, I thought the throat clearing was due to post-nasal drip and went to an ENT doctor who prescribed an antihistamine nasal spray and Claritin. They seemed to help a little but I still had the throat clearing issue. When I began getting hoarse, I went back to the ENT and she said the throat issues were likely due to GERD. She recommended a surgical option. I went to a reflux surgeon and he suggested either the LINX procedure or Nissen Fundoplication surgery after I got an endoscopy with a Bravo pH and manometry tests. I finally went to my gastroenterologist and he said he agreed with the ENT and recommended surgery. He, however, recommended the Nissen Funoplication surgery over the LINX procedure. Okay, so that's where I am. Here are my questions.
Obviously, the surgery is a pretty invasive and aggressive procedure with a long recovery time. By the way, I did try Dr. Jamie Koufman's antireflux diet and, while I think it helped, I still have the hoarseness and mucous in my throat. Anyway, it seems I have no choice but to have the surgery. For those who have had the surgery, after six months or a year, are you pretty much back to normal? Can you eat most things or will you always be restricted for some foods? I'm assuming you still can't eat very spicy goods or chocolate or foods or drink that relax the LES but what about
bread and meat which apparently are no-no's during surgical recovery? Is it true that after the surgery, you can stop taking the anti-reflux medicine? They say that's true in 90% of cases. After you decided to get the surgery, are you happy you did it? Note that for me, the drugs do help a lot with respect to classic heartburn but my concern has to do with the Barrett's and the involvement of the throat which can increase my risk for esophageal and throat cancer? Also, the throat clearing is pretty annoying particularly when I'm trying to get to sleep. During the day, I chew a lot of gum which helps a lot with the throat clearing. Maybe it has to do with constantly swallowing. I have no asthma or other respiratory symptoms. Anyway, I'd really appreciate any feedback you'd like to provide.
Post Edited (Mark_in_Tampa) : 11/19/2019 8:17:56 AM (GMT-7)