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  • bile reflux, nissen fundoplication, tests, etc.

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    Old 12-28-2007, 01:35 PM   #1
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    santo HB User
    bile reflux, nissen fundoplication, tests, etc.

    yesterday my doctor asked me if i'm interested in surgery to help fix my bile/acid reflux. i said yes, so she told me briefly about nissen fundoplication surgery and now i'm to be scheduled for a bravo ph probe and manometry (yuk) to see if i'm a fit candidate.

    i know there are tons of threads on the fundoplication surgery, but i guess what i'm concerned about is: well, i'm only 20 years old and have had reflux for just 13 months, my problem is primarily bile reflux, and i'm worried that surgery is being pushed on me. true, the medications aren't stopping the symptoms, (i'm on reglan and protonix which does nothing, and neither has 80mg of nexium or prilosec otc) but it's not like i'm in agonizing pain...

    basically, what i'm feeling is fluids chugging up my esophagus constantly, and relentless gurgling/croaking and other sensations in my chest and throat because of the reflux. sometimes i get congested after i eat a fattening meal, and i also sometimes get diaphragm/chest pains & soreness. i constantly have the hiccups and odd burping that comes up and a nasty taste in the back of my mouth. an endoscopy in may showed everything was fine, except for the presence of bile in my stomach, and that's how i was diagnosed with bile reflux.

    she only JUST prescribed me carafate the day of getting the surgery wagon going, and i've read that that's a primary medicaton for bile reflux. however, she and other doctors have been treating bile reflux as coinciding with acid reflux, as i guess they go hand in hand?

    my question is: how serious was your condition before you turned to surgery? some sites on the internet make it out to be an easy-to-make decision for people who don't want to deal with medication forever. but then i come across stories and sites that say people only had the surgery when there was nowhere else to turn and they were really hurting. is it true you can't even vomit anymore after you get it? what happens if you have food poisoning? she didn't tell me about that, only that i couldn't burp anymore.

    any experiences about making the decision about the surgery, the bravo ph probe & manometry, the surgery itself, post-op, temporary and permanent side effects, ANYTHING would be really appreciated. i still don't know if i'll be qualified to have it but i'd like to gather as much info as possible.

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    Old 12-28-2007, 06:52 PM   #2
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    Re: bile reflux, nissen fundoplication, tests, etc.


    is it true you can't even vomit anymore after you get it? what happens if you have food poisoning?
    Sorry to hear you are facing such a decision. I hope you do plenty of research and I also hope you'll get many replies from people on this board who have actually had the surgery.

    To answer your question about food poisoning: you have to get into the hospital and let them use a stomach pump to empty your stomach. This is what my friends did after they had eaten some spoiled food. They'd been camping far from home and both got very ill several hours after eating dinner one night. She was able to vomit but had to drive him to the hospital almost two hours away in the middle of the night. He was unable to vomit because he'd had this surgery.

    By the way, the surgery has not helped him. His reflux is back. He needs to have another surgery to correct certain issues (problems) caused by the first one. He says having it done was huge mistake. His advice to me: don't ever consider having this surgery.

    I think you haven't had to live with this condition long enough to be considering surgery. You are still fairly new to this and should give yourself more time. You might find this condition more tolerable after a while. You should have a long discussion with your doctor, after you've done your research.
    I felt compelled to mention this to you, because you are so young. It is not meant to scare you. I believe there are some people who have been helped by this procedure. I hope you'll hear from some of them. Unfortunately, the surgery is not a guaranteed cure. No matter what you decide, good luck!

    Last edited by flowergirl2day; 12-28-2007 at 07:05 PM.

    Old 12-29-2007, 11:58 AM   #3
    Join Date: Feb 2005
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    Re: bile reflux, nissen fundoplication, tests, etc.

    thanks for your response. i've put "nissen fundoplication" into search engines and found another forum where people talked about it. i'm not sure what else i can do until i get the tests to see how bad i'm refluxing and whether i could even get the surgery. i'm still a bit iffed that my doctor was so nonchalant when she brought it up- when i immediately jumped on the prospect of surgery, i really had another kind in mind that i've read about that isn't nearly so invasive. and i'm uncomfortable, too, because i've had a bad string of luck with gastroenterologists- she is the third one i've gone to since february (the other two left) and it took a long while to pin down the problem.. i've only been on a few medications and have never been given any diet guidelines. i've tried eliminating triggers before that i've researched on the internet, but the reflux would still be there and it was so frustrating i just gave up and eat what i want.

    i still don't even fully understand my condition, as supposedly reflux is caused by a weak esophageal sphincter, but mine was developed at the exact same time i got ibs, and my doctor says basically that my stomach is being sluggish (even though i had a gastric emptying test and the results were normal) and nothing is working as it should? she didn't attribute it to some kind of physical defect... god, i don't know. i've had this for a year and still don't understand it and have never felt like i've been given adequate attention/treatment from the people i've seen, and am freaked out by surgery suddenly being explored when i'm so confused.

    the thought of not being able to vomit scares me. i'm never sick, but i like knowing i can vomit if i have to. and i'm so young that i have no idea what is in store for me health-wise in the future- i might develop other problems that involve vomiting and then could be in real trouble if i can't do it. gah.

    sorry for venting. i'll try to not worry so much and keep researching info about this surgery. thanks for replying!

    Old 12-29-2007, 07:14 PM   #4
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    Re: bile reflux, nissen fundoplication, tests, etc.

    I had GERD for many years as evidenced by acid sores on my esophagus. I had the Nissen and it didn't work for me either. I just take Prilosec OTC now. If I were you, I wouldn't rush into surgery. Do a lot of research and see a few more Drs. for consultations. Good luck.

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