Was wondering if anyone has had this surgery, or knows about it in detail. If so, maybe you can tell me if you think I would be a good candidate. I'm 26 and have had GERD (as far as I know) for 2-3 years. It started out as occasional heart burn, but then escalated to severe heart burn after almost every time I would eat. I was downing tums and rolaids like a mad man, and they kind of worked. I then started taking Prilosec OTC, and it was a miracle. About 9 months- 1 year after I started the Prilosec, I noticed that I cleared my throat out quite a bit. After talking to my friends and family, I guess I had a habit of clearing my throat for quite some time.
I went to my family Doctor, and he suggested a stronger PPI, and to have a upper GI scope preformed. I didn't get the GI scope preformed at first, and stuck with the Prilosec OTC. About 6 months later, I decided to have the scope done. The results showed signs of GERD, but my esophagaues (sp?) looked fine. I had a small hiatal hernia, and a lower ring? Anyway, I kept on Prilosec OTC for awhile, and I felt great.
About 2 months ago I went to a ENT Doctor, and he said my throat was really swollen down by my vocal cords, and I had alot of "cobblestoning" in the back of my throat. He put me on 1-Nexium in the morning, and my Prilosec OTC at night. I went back in a month, and he said the swelling had gone down to about half of what it was, and I still had some "cobblestoning". He said to take the nexium (which I got protonix instead... insurance reasons) for another month, and then I could switch back to the Prilosec OTC.
After I eat (especially dinner) I get a feeling (sometimes) of having a hard time taking a deep breath. I also feel some nasea from time to time (not just after eating) and I have a HORRIBLE taste in my mouth upon waking every morning...... sometimes during the day as well (just not near as bad as the morning). The wierdest thing is though...... after a night of drinking (I don't drink hardly at all anymore) although, I did drink about 12 beers this last Sunday. The next day (monday) if I eat anything after about noon.... I feel bloated all night, and I'll actually wake up gasping for air atleast 2-3 times before I can fall asleep. Related to GERD? I don't know.
Sorry to drag on and on. I think I'm going to the Doctor and have him refer me back to the Gastro.... maybe he can hook me up with a surgeon to have a consultation with. I also probably need to have the 24hr ph monitor done to see how severe the reflux is. I never get heartburn, just the feeling of pressure in my chest, difficulty breathing at times, and needing to clear my throat out.... oh, and a lump in my throat. I also may eat a little too much..... for dinner tonight I had a big bowl of hamburger vegtable soup, about 6 slices of summer sausage with crackers and cheese, and 2 cookies. Is that alot? I probably should eat smaller meals, but I'm 6' 200lbs, and am probably only 9-10% body fat.
I had the Nissen Fundoplication done about 8 weeks ago. Based on my experience and research, I would suggest the following:
You need to get to a Gastroenterologist. My other specialist (in my case a Pulmonologist because the reflux was aggrevating my asthma) recommended the surgery, but ultimately, it was the GI docs recommendation that the surgeon needed.
Based on testing from previous years, I knew I had reflux, but they needed to complete further testing before insurance would approve the surgery. You should have a 24 hr pH test done. Most of the time this is done through the GI doc, but I do have an ENT who does it to test for LPR, which is what you are displaying symptoms for right now. I also needed a Modified Barium Swallow and Esophagram. I don't think those are required for everyone though.
Also, before considering the surgery, my GI doc and insurance wanted me to have tried all of the PPI's. I had to work my way through them. In order to get insurance approval for some, I had to have tried the others first. I even tried a month of samples for one that wasn't covered by my insurance regardless. Several I was on for years, but others, I tried for a month at a time to see if they would be effective. For years, I was on Prevacid twice a day. It worked well during those years, but then stopped working. I also tried the Nexium, Aciphex and Zegrid at twice a day. I supplemented with Gaviscon.
This is serious surgery that is irreversable. Make sure you have tried all medical and homeopathic things that you can before considering the surgery. Have you modified your diet? Are you avoiding trigger foods? Any alcohol is should be avoided as a trigger food. Are you refraining from eating before you go to bed? Are you sleeping on an incline? Sounds like you are in great shape so weight loss shouldn't be an issue.
All of that said, I haven't had any of my previous reflux symptoms since the surgery. I know the effectiveness of the surgery varies per person as does the length of time it remains effective though.
You might do some browsing on this board and the digestive health board for more info.
Thanks for the reply, MountainReader, I appreciate the info. I'm currently taking one 40mg Protonix per day. I switched up the time of day I take it, I was taking it upon waking up, now I'm taking it about 1/2-1 hour before dinner. I'm really thinking about trying to get off the PPI's and do the modified diet and Apple Cider Vinegar thing..... just to see how it works. I'm sure I'll be back to taking the PPI's. My only real symptoms are clearing out my throat alot, and every once in awhile I'll get pains in my ears. I think I'll go to a gastro doctor after the first of the year and pick his/her brain about what I should do. Happy Holidays.
GERD is miserable. I have been noticing more breathing symptoms related to mine. I am constantly coughing and clearing my throat, which I'm almost positive is related. I work in the healthcare field and constantly have people ask me if I am sick!! I have not had surgery offered to me and I recently switched from Nexium to Prevacid, as Nexium stopped working for me. Prevacid is alright, but I hate that if I miss one pill I have horrible burning! I never really had much burning before medication, just the whole lump in the throat thing. All I can think is that I am too young for this. I've currently failed with Nexium and Protonix. I have iron deficiency anemia and am at risk for osteoporosis and B12 deficiency because of these meds!! I'm in worse shape than when I started out!