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Old 07-20-2005, 10:37 AM   #1
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Don't have THE SURGERY unless you're desperate!

Hi all

I'm three months post op from my partial Nissen Fundoplication and I wanted to leave my current opinion, that I don't think someone should risk this surgery unless they are suffering from GERD in way that is really messing up their life.

I'm wishing I didn't have the surgery at this point as I'm suffering from some sort of damaged nerve pain in the wrap area and needing to be dosed up with some reasonably strong painkillers (not fun) and I now have Irritable Bowl Syndrome which is something I've never had before, let's leave it at "unpredictable!" I'm having to accept that the recovery time is going to be a lot longer than I had hoped and there's no promise that I won't be left with one of these issues lingering on for life and it's statically very likely that I will need ongoing PPI treatment again before too long.

My reasons for surgery where that I was taking ever increasing PPI doses (60mg Omoprozole a day) before the surgery and didn't want a life of that. There was also the cancer risk, although my pipe was pretty clear on Endoscopy and let's face it we could all suffer some form of cancer in some part of our body anyhow, why lose the sleep on it. On top of that I would regurgitate food after a meal sometimes, but it wasn't too bad as most of the acid in my stomach was controlled by the PPI's. It was uncomfortable and unpleasant, but not unbearable by any means. I know that many people suffer regurgitation at night and it really effects their sleep, my heart goes out to them, I was lucky on that issue, never had it. If I'd suffered that type of regurgitation I would have absolutely no remorse on having the surgery and I think that the people who are most happy from the results of the surgery are exactly those who suffered that. I also suffered mild sore throats and it's really nice not to have that anymore, but it's no big deal.

I must stress that I'm really glad that I only had a partial wrap as I've had no problem with bloating and I can burp very easily; the only problem with that though is that my burps can be unpleasantly smelly when my system is blocked up, no one should have to taste a fart really, it's awful! I can also eat without it getting backed up at all and I can take pills no problem, many people who have a full Nissen wrap really suffer on that point. I must say though that it's great to be able to drink orange juice and any type of food I want, from that perceptive the surgery is a success.

And as for the people who look at this surgery as a WEIGHT LOSS program, please, it's an awful way to lose weight and many put it back on in the fortunate event that they recover well from the surgery.

I guess the point I wanted to make is please don't walk into this surgery without giving it loads and loads of consideration and research. There are some very unpleasant risks to this surgery and many do suffer them to some lesser degree.

 
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Old 07-20-2005, 12:11 PM   #2
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chele429 HB User
Re: Don't have THE SURGERY unless you're desperate!

Hi there,

I wanted to let you know that when I had my wrap, I thought I made the wrong choice too. I was on 160-240mg of Nexium daily (that is 4-6 40mg pills a day) along with pepcid at night. I did have the start of some changing cells in my throat, too. Insurance was not paying for all the pills, and I could not handle the throat lumps, clearing of the throat with nothing there, etc.

I am now about 1.5 years post-op, and I may be facing the surgery again. (Back on Nexium, swallow test are showing reflux continuously (did not do the Ph probe for the doc knew what it would show)). As far as recovery from the wrap, I found that healing was a lot slower than I was led to believe by both research and the doctor. I had a sore throat for a while, lots of belching, sour taste. I lost 30 pounds, but now have it back around the middle/thigh/butt area (may be due to the food not being digested enough due to no acid and more food to be absorbed....just my gyno's therory, not mine or acid doc!). But even now, looking at the procedure again or a version of it, I am glad I did it. I got the reflux under control for about a year, and that was one year for healing. This time, though, I am noticing that I am experiencing more bowel problems than in the past. Not sure what or why, but I am at the point where it is probably due to the reflux and acid, and I don't want to know anymore.

I hope that you get better in time. I think because we don't have much pain on the outside, we figure there is not much going on inside our bodies, but you need to remember what took place on the interior----there is a lot to be healed in there. Hang in there, and let me know how you are doing.

 
Old 07-22-2005, 07:48 AM   #3
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CarolinNC HB User
Question Re: Don't have THE SURGERY unless you're desperate!

Hey, I just wanted to let you know that I am experiencing alot of the problems of LPR and have an appt in a couple of weeks. Can you tell me what to expect as far as test? I have had severe problems with acid for years and it has got so bad this past 6 mths that I had to quit my job due to chronic hoarsness and throat pain. My job required me to talk nonstop, was in collections, enough of stress right there to cause acid! I am really scared that they will want me to have the surgery also. I already had to have my entire thyroid removed due to them finding a small amount of cancer from a nodule back in March. I have been on Nexium twice daily for couple years and I am still feeling the constant fullness in neck and sore throat. I know I have a slight hiltera herna from having the upper gi 4 times so far. I know they will want to do that probe test. Is it painful? I have had the test done by my ent where they look in your throat, it wasn't fun but not too bad. Any information would be greatly appreciated...

 
Old 07-22-2005, 10:51 AM   #4
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Blasterboy HB UserBlasterboy HB User
Re: Don't have THE SURGERY unless you're desperate!

Carolin have you been on any medications for acid reflux yet?

 
Old 07-22-2005, 11:50 AM   #5
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swtevnbrz HB User
Re: Don't have THE SURGERY unless you're desperate!

Hi there,

Blasterboy, I am 8 months post op from the Nissen and I have regrets at times also. I lost about 15 pounds in the first three weeks, an additional 5 later and have kept it off. I think it is because I had the full wrap and I can't eat as much anymore or I am in some serious pain. Keeps me from scarfing down the cookies, I tell you !! I am glad I had the surgery for a few reasons and not happy for a few more. The good reasons....I had hernia on both sides of my esophagus and the valve in my esophagus was so eroded it wasn't working anymore. Much worse once they got in there than they thought. So I got 2 holes sewn up, a smaller stomach and a new valve . The bad part is I have gas almost constantly. It can be a real social nightmare. I really have to watch it when I am in public. Nothing seems to help. I also need to have a BM about 1 hour after I eat, all the time. I feel like a baby or a new puppy. I could set my watch by it. It interupts my schedule at times, and I better not get too far from a bathroom. I also don't think I could throw up if I wanted to, that can be very unnerving if nausea hits. those are the negatives for me. To sum it up though, I am glad I had the surgery. I was waking at night choking the reflux was so bad. I would get reflux from eating anything, not just the spicy stuff. I can eat without the horrible pain and burn of years of reflux. So most of the time I am glad I chose to get the surgery. My advice for anyone contemplating a Nissen is to talk to your doctor and surgeon about all the side effects and weigh the benefits to your situation and only yours.

Blessings to you all,
Lori

 
Old 07-26-2005, 02:29 AM   #6
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ginger65 HB User
Re: Don't have THE SURGERY unless you're desperate!

Hi Blasterboy,

Really sorry to hear that you are suffering from the Fundo. It could be that you are just in the second recovery phase which happens to be worse than the first since you have now forgetton how problematic the reflux was. Anyway, I really hope it works out for you as I am facing the surgery myself fairly soon.

To update you. I got the results back of the PH monitoring and my consultant said the only option left was the surgery to correct the loose sphincter and hiatal hernia. I told her that I didn't really note any significant incidents of reflux during the 24 hrs but she said it was happening throughout the day and night regardless and that I was just so used to it now. If you remember I have LPR and get no heartburn but as I suspected I have for a long time had continual exposure to low level acids right into the throat, voicebox and nasal passage. Most of the symptoms in themselves are annoying but I could live with them but it is the bitter taste and breath that it is the most soul destroying and that it is why I have to consider the surgery route. It might not make any difference but so long as acid is entering my throat and mouth at will I have no chance. The consultant told me that the PPI's probably wouldn't work and any dietary and lifestyle change although a generally positive thing wouldn't dramatically improve the reflux.

There are success stories with the corrective surgery but I guess we are all different. If I could lose the taste and breath I could get my life back on track and that would be a success for me. I am however concerned that I may replace one gastric source of this problem with another.

Good luck with the recovery

Last edited by ginger65; 07-26-2005 at 02:31 AM.

 
Old 07-26-2005, 02:49 AM   #7
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Blasterboy HB UserBlasterboy HB User
Re: Don't have THE SURGERY unless you're desperate!

Hi Ginger

I had a partial wrap and one benefit is that I can burp. This is good in so much as I don't get much bloating, but I've been suffering from some really smelly burps, much worse than any I have ever had before.

Really though you are correct in the fact that I could be in another recovery phase that I've a good chance of healing more so, I appreacaite your comment and in that much I have still got hope that these (minor compared to some) difficulties will some pass.

It is still very much my opinion that the ones that will be most happy with the outcome of this surgery and be accepting of the potential post op side effects, are the ones who have suffered reflux in an horrible way. I didn't, I just had annoying and irratating syptoms and so it's easier for me to be disatisified with the results.....

This surgery should be a LAST CHANCE saloon, not a "give it a try," option. There's many options worth trying before this surgery and one would be advised to exhaust them all beforehand, in my opinion.

 
Old 07-26-2005, 07:08 AM   #8
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mike-2005 HB User
Re: Don't have THE SURGERY unless you're desperate!

Hey Blasterboy


Sorry to hear about the problems you are going through. I remeber you were so happy in the beginning when you had the surgery since you didn't have reflux anymore. Hang in there, hopefully things will get better soon. I was just wondering, you mentioned that you might have had a damaged nerve and that is why you are having all the pain and the stomach problems like the runs/IBS. I guess that would be the surgeon's fault. Do you know how good your surgeon was and if he does this surgery a lot. I was just wondering about this matter, since we all know that when it comes to this surgery,well, any surgery to be exact, having the right experienced surgeon makes a very big difference in regards to the outcome. Let me know about this. Take care of yourself and best of luck with the recovery. Mike

 
Old 07-26-2005, 07:18 AM   #9
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Re: Don't have THE SURGERY unless you're desperate!

Hi Mike, I remember the happy days, lol.....

I think your point about the surgeon is possibly an issue. My surgeon is a laproscopic gastro specailist and he had done about 40 of this exact type before me, but he had trained and stood in with one of the leading blah blah blah surgeons etc etc and this had seemed ok to me, although I've heard others warn that you shouldn't have a surgeon unless he's done 100 plus fundo's.

When questioning him about all this (the pain) he said he'd never heard of this before and I threw the question back at him again, "How many operations have you done like this then," he stumbled on his words and muttered "200 about!" How can you trust a surgeons word hey! He was very apologetic when I last saw him and he tried to be optomistic that things will improve, but frankly the pain is becoming worse and more persistent, how can that be?????

The worst thing is that I'm starting to feel heart burn today, I'm gutted :-(

I read that it's rare that anyone stays of meds on the long run after this surgery, it's looking that way over here.

 
Old 07-26-2005, 01:40 PM   #10
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Gayle Van HB User
Re: Don't have THE SURGERY unless you're desperate!

Hi. I am sorry that you feel that your partial Nissen Fundoplication was not a success. I am thankful that you posted your results as I am getting prepared to have a complete Fundoplication. I have GERD, I have Barretts, I have reflux like you would'nt believe, burning, loss of sleep, chest pain, abdominal pain, diarrhea, SOB at times. I just completed the 24 hour Ph probe testing, don't know the results yet, had the other test that checks the swallowing (can't remember the name) and I am next booked for a visit to the ENT doctor to check out the vocal cords because I am very hoarse...............Do you think I am doing the right thing?....I am so scared to have this surgery plus they are suggesting I may have an underlying cancer because I have had a rash sinc e 2003..................I have so much inflammation of the esophagus that I feel miserable. My taste buds are affected and I keep getting a sore tongue.......................Please reply and lend me your hand..................My name is Gayle

 
Old 07-26-2005, 02:11 PM   #11
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Re: Don't have THE SURGERY unless you're desperate!

Hi Gayle

I can honestly say that had I suffered GERD in the way you seem to have (sleepless nights, Barrets etc) then I think that the side effects I'm having would be quite bearable compared to such. I'm aware that my post op complaints aren't as bad as some suffer though, mainly because the partial wrap leaves less chance of dysphagia and the bloating related to that can be very uncomfortable.

Gayle no one can tell you to have the surgery anymore than someone should say not to. Many more people are happy with the results than those who aren't, many more and that's a fact. So weigh up your options, research, research and research, then pray and then I'm sure you will know what to do.

I wish you the best

 
Old 07-26-2005, 03:47 PM   #12
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Re: Don't have THE SURGERY unless you're desperate!

Hi. I am sorry that you feel that your partial Nissen Fundoplication was not a success. I am thankful that you posted your results as I am getting prepared to have a complete Fundoplication. I have GERD, I have Barretts, I have reflux like you would'nt believe, burning, loss of sleep, chest pain, abdominal pain, diarrhea, SOB at times. I just completed the 24 hour Ph probe testing, don't know the results yet, had the other test that checks the swallowing (can't remember the name) and I am next booked for a visit to the ENT doctor to check out the vocal cords because I am very hoarse...............Do you think I am doing the right thing?....I am so scared to have this surgery plus they are suggesting I may have an underlying cancer because I have had a rash sinc e 2003..................I have so much inflammation of the esophagus that I feel miserable. My taste buds are affected and I keep getting a sore tongue.......................Please reply and lend me your hand..................My name is Gayle

 
Old 07-26-2005, 03:53 PM   #13
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Re: Don't have THE SURGERY unless you're desperate!

Thankyou Blasterboy......................I guess there is no easy answer. Tell me, did you have resection of the esophagus where the precancerous cell were?
Thank you for responding.
Gayle

 
Old 07-27-2005, 01:40 AM   #14
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Re: Don't have THE SURGERY unless you're desperate!

Quote:
Tell me, did you have resection of the esophagus where the precancerous cell were?
Gayle I don't think I have anything like this done.

 
Old 07-28-2005, 12:14 PM   #15
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WarBonds HB User
Re: Don't have THE SURGERY unless you're desperate!

Blasterboy,

How time flies. The last time I checked this website was last Spring and you were just about to have your operation -- admittedly, I was a bit envious of you for having it, since I am a Gerd sufferer since 1998.

Having just read this thread, I feel bad for you since things are not turning out as expected, with various pains and post operative side effects. And now you say that you are getting heartburn back?? ****. Have you started taking PPI's again? And yes, I don't trust surgeons, doctors, etc etc. They are controlled and driven by money; the health/medicine profession is just another money making business, like all others.

Anyways, how are your symptoms as of now? Any improvement? It is sad to hear you say that you regret having the operation done, since you can not "undo" the operation and its effects. I told you last Spring that my doc firmly and strongly advised against my having this operation. He said the success rate was lousy and that if the operation was an initial success, it would only be short lived as the old Gerd symptoms would reappear almost guaranteed. Those were his feelings on this. Not rubbing it in, but I feel kinda relieved taking his advice, eventhough I still have to put up with Gerd as per usual.

Hope your situation turns around for you with an improvement. I sure envy people who don't have Gerd and can eat/drink what they want.

Warbonds

 
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