In June of 2008 my wife (now 63 years old) started having sore throat and gradually lost her voice. The doctors diagnosed acid reflux. They gave her all kinds of drugs but none of them helped. On Jan 19 she underwent the nissen procedure.
Four week after the surgery, she has not been able to regain her voice yet and this causes her to worry the most. She is on soft food right now. She secretes a lot of saliva, specially after eating. The saliva is mixed with mucous.
We just wonder if some one out there has had similar experiences with the disease who can give us some guidance as to how long the recovery will be. We would like to know how long it will take until she can talk clearly again.
My experiences with the Nissen were a bit different. I had breathing problems as a result of the acid aggrevating my lungs.
I'd like to share what my doc told me at one point. He said that it would take several months for my stomach swelling to reduce down and for my "tummy to stop being upset at me" for the trauma I caused it. It has been 4 months for me and while I'm doing well, I still have days that I have things that trigger me to remember that I'm still healing. I held off on eating most meat and bread for about 3 months. I think that helped a lot in my healing. I'm also still taking PPI's twice a day.
As for the voice, I would imagine that if the reflux was that severe for so long that it might take a long time for the inflammation to go down. I'd recommend talking to your GI doc or surgeon about it. I'd also recommend going to see an ENT who treats LPR. They should be able to give you some expert advice on the healing time for the voice.
As for the secretions, they may be stuff that isn't making it all the way down into her stomach. It can happen pretty easily as this point. Usually one of two things happen when something doesn't go all the way down: it sits there until it does eventually go down or it will come back up. If she is swallowing a lot there may be air that isn't making it down into the stomach that is affecting things as well.
Also, make sure your wife is taking small bites, chewing all food thoroughly and drinking plenty of liquids.
Thanks for the reply to my post and the best wishes! I guess my wife needs to be patient. I believe that her disease started a long time ago, possibly a few years back. She will have to wait for a while before her vocal cords have healed to the condition prior to the the onset of the illness. I came across a publication in which some doctors say that it take 6 months for the vocal cords to return to healthy condition.
Are there other people out there who lost their voice due to reflux and got cured though nissen procedure?
I have GERD as well, and I am also a Speech Pathologist. My general advice is to take good care of the voice while allowing time to do its part--even whispering can be hard on the vocal cords! Unless it is not advised otherwise, keep the throat moist through lots of water, sucking sugarless candy, and avoiding dehydrating things like coffee, alcohol and dry air. You may wish to seek the services of a Speech Pathologist in your area for some more specific advice related to this recovery process--there are stretches and massage techniques that may be helpful. Good luck!