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kmars 05-03-2011 07:11 PM

Post Nissen Fundoplication Complications...Help
On March 22, 2011 I had Nissen Fundoplication and repair of a massive hiatal hernia. I was diagnosed w/ Barretts Esophageal and had/have severe reflux. Well I was under the impression once I had the surgery all would be better--I couldn't have been more wrong.
Since the surgery whenever I eat I get massive pains in my stomach that moves to my left shoulder, into my neck, my jaw and then to my temple area, and this is all on the left side. I also have severe nausea, my esophagus tightens up and spasms, feels like my throat is closing up. I have gas but am unable to burp, it is as though I burp in my chest & throat and when I do it increases the pain. The pain level is completely off the charts. Dr sent me for an Upper GI & Cat Scan and neither test indicated anything wrong. Now I am scheduled for another EDG so he can look to make sure everything is ok.
My quality of life is gone, it takes 4-5 hrs to recover from eating and I can only eat 4 to 6 ounces at a time. Even drinking fluids causes the painful episodes to start. I get so nauseated but I am unable to vomit since surgery, so I take meds for that. I have also lost 13 pounds in the last 6 weeks. My doctor seems to be at a loss. And I have not returned to work since I had the surgery in March.
Someone mentioned the Vagus Nerve could be damaged but my Dr dismissed that and didn't really even acknowledge the question. If anyone at all has suggestions where I might be able to find more info it would be greatly appreciated. I am normally upbeat and always look for the positives, but this ordeal is really getting to me. :confused:

MountainReader 05-05-2011 09:42 PM

Re: Post Nissen Fundoplication Complications...Help
I'm sorry I don't have a lot to say that will help you.

I had a Nissen Fundoplication in October 2008. I think I had good recovery because my surgeon was extremely cautions with regards to what he allowed me to do and eat for quite a while after the surgery.

Did you have a Manometry before your surgery? I do know that for people with motility disorders, recovery from a Nissen Fundoplication can be very difficult and surgery isn't typically recommended.

It could be possible that the surgeon secured your stomach a bit too tight around your esophagus. Hopefully the EGD would show if that is the case. I know some people end up having to have their esophagus "stretched" in response to that.

The issue you are having with trapped gas is classic after having a Nissen Fundoplication. My symptoms there have gradually gotten better, but I still have problems with this sometimes. I do know that the gas can be a cause of the shoulder pain though.

I also had problems with the nausea for quite a while after the surgery. I didn't have nausea problems prior to the surgery. I ended up with a standing prescription for Zofran that really helped.

As for not being able to throw up, that is the worst. With the stomach squeezing and things being blocked from coming up, it just bounces around in the stomach... very wierd and disconcerting. I will say that about a year after surgery I picked up a nasty bug and with the force of things, I vomited repeatedly. I haven't been able to vomit since, but I now know that it is possible.

When I was having some of my nausea problems after surgery, I went to see my GI doc. He said that the stomach is "angry" for at least 8 weeks due to the trauma caused by the surgery. It will take at least that long for the swelling to totally go down.

How fast did your doctor clear you to eat? I was on liquid only for 2 weeks, then soft foods for a few weeks. I didn't add bread and meat into my diet for almost 3 months.

If you are having trouble with liquids, have you talked to your doctor about dehydration issues? That really can be a serious concern.

It may be something way out there, but I'll share anyway. I found out about a year after the surgery that I had TMJ. My TMJ Specialist figures that the tube they placed in my throat during surgery may be the cause. My TMJ symptoms included pain in my neck and facial muscles... right side in my case. I also had shoulder problems due to my neck and face muscles being out of whack. It was the longest time before I found out that it was actually muscle spasms causing my pain. You might try researching cervicalgia and myofacial pain to see if it matches any of your symptoms.

What kind of doctor are you seeing for your follow-up? I had visits with my surgeon, Gastroenterologist and Pulmonologist. When I had problems this last fall, they all were part of my follow-up.

I hope your EGD helps give you answers. You might want to see about getting a second opinion as well. There might be another specialist out there who can help you find your answers.

Good luck.


Todd74 05-07-2011 07:20 PM

Re: Post Nissen Fundoplication Complications...Help
I had the Nissan in 2008 and the symptoms you are describing are all familiar.
I too was restricted to a liquid diet tlo start and moving on to soft food and also was told tom avoid meat and bread for around 6 months.
I lost a LOT of weight in the first few months after surgery but was told this was not unusual.
All the symptoms of not being able to burp do improve but you need to give it time and they not to panic.
I can still only eat very small meals and only tend to eat one small meal a day and tend to drink a cup of milk for the other two meals or I get very full and bloated and that is still the same now but I do not regret the surgery one bit.
The first six months or so are tough and I know it is scary and you might think you have done the wrong thing but seriously things do improve.
I also had an illness last year that meant I vomited repeatedly so although it is not normal to vomit after this surgery it is not totally impossible if the body needs to.
I had manometry tests done before surgery which show I have extremely slow transit and this follows through to cause problems with my bowels too but it did not affect the surgery and I was never told that this would be a problem or that surgery should not to ahead because of it.
I was on anti sickness drugs for some time after surgery but now do not need to take any.
I think you are expecting miracles a little bit too soon. Your surgeon should have told you of these problems before you agreed to go ahead with the surgery and prepared you so you at least knew what to expect.
I hope i have done something to ease your mind and let you know that what you are experiencing is not unusual after this surgery and that you give yourself time to recover from the surgery and see small improvements each week.
As I say I do not regret my surgery one little bit and I am sure you will feel the same in time.
Good luck and if you need to talk to someone who understands what you are going through feel free to contact me anytime.
Take care and I wish you all the best.

lenka townley 08-05-2011 03:27 AM

Re: Post Nissen Fundoplication Complications...Help
hi? I am also after blotched fundoplication and can not vomit, just dry heave, spit out foams and blood, i am in constant nausea, pain etc etc.
see if you have any advice, suggestions, love lenka

Todd74 08-05-2011 06:30 AM

Re: Post Nissen Fundoplication Complications...Help
Hi Lenka,
How long is it since your operation.
Younshould have been told that things would be different after the operartion and that burping and being sick would no longer be possible.
I had mine done in 2008 and still cannot be sick although I can do small burps occasionally.
Swallowing and the feeling of things getting stuck are normal to start with,it is important to eat slowly,chew properly and only take small mouthfuls.
Occasionally the wrap can be done too tightly causing exceessive problems but this can be corrected.
Have you voiced your concerns to your surgeon and if so what was the response?

lenka townley 08-05-2011 07:05 AM

Re: Post Nissen Fundoplication Complications...Help
[QUOTE=Todd74;4816376]Hi Lenka,
How long is it since your operation.
Younshould have been told that things would be different after the operartion and that burping and being sick would no longer be possible.
I had mine done in 2008 and still cannot be sick although I can do small burps occasionally.
Swallowing and the feeling of things getting stuck are normal to start with,it is important to eat slowly,chew properly and only take small mouthfuls.
Occasionally the wrap can be done too tightly causing exceessive problems but this can be corrected.
Have you voiced your concerns to your surgeon and if so what was the response?[/QUOTE]

lenka townley 08-05-2011 07:12 AM

Re: Post Nissen Fundoplication Complications...Help
thank you for the reply, I did have the wrap removed in 2009, but STILL could not vomit even if I tried and still try hundreds times, Since then I developed SEVERE dismotility of the oeps., gastropareses of the stomach and small intestine, I look like 8 months pregnant all the time with splashing sounds all the time in the stomach, I can not sleep, lie flat, due to terrible pains and cramps, anti nausea med do not help, pain killers also, I have terrible diarrhea sometimes 9 times a day and at night several times, I usually spent half the night sitting in cramps on the toillet, during day also, I am unable to walk, cycle, work nothing due to the bloatness and fulness, I am hoping for PEG but doctors are not keen, nobody seems to care much, they just feel sorry for me, I also had near total gastrectomy due to the gastropareses, but it just mean I still have pareses in the remaining part of the stomach which is now very dilated, It protrudes and starts right where your rib cage bones meet and ends up near the pelvic area, If only I could vomit , this would not be the case, but when I try to induce vomiting my stomach squeezes and sort of pushes it up to the oesph, but then it gets stuck there and does not move, I can feel the bile, foams, undigested food clogged in the oepsh but it does not move anywhere, it is terrible, I sometimes use NG tubes and insert them through my mouth and let out some foams white - with blood from the oesp, but it provides no relief since it does not reach the stomach, LES seems to be so tight that it does not allow any tube to go in, I really want to die every single minute of my day...............................thank you lenka

Todd74 08-05-2011 07:23 AM

Re: Post Nissen Fundoplication Complications...Help
I know what it is like to feel like you with regards to doctors not really caring as I have and still am been in that position.
I do wonder why you feel that the inability to be sick is the major cause of your problems. Is this just how it feels to you? I do worry that you constantly trying to make yourself vomit is doing you serious harm.
Do you mind me asking how your bowels are working as you mention sitting with cramps on the toilet.
I have severe bowel problems and my surgeon says many people with GERD do have a problem with the whole digestive system.
Bowel problems can cause the severe bloating you mention and other problems you are experiencing.
Don't give up just keep on at doctors ask for a second opinion. Ask to see a bowel specialist aswell.
See everyone you can think of.
I know from experience you need to take the driving seat where your health is concerned. If your case is slightly more difficult to treat than the norm doctors just give up so quickly.
It breaks my heart to hear people say they wish to die because ypthey feelnso bad,I know this feeling only too well and there are too many people that feel the same and in this day and age it shouldn't happen.
If younwant someone just to sound off to please pm me and I will give you my email.
Sometimes it just takes someone to listen and really understand what you are going through just so you don't feel so alone.

sunshine123 08-05-2011 07:28 PM

Re: Post Nissen Fundoplication Complications...Help
I'm sorry you're suffering. I had a Nissen Fungoplication several years ago. In my case, the surgeon didn't make the wrap tight enough. I knew the surgery wasn't going to work for me when I was able to burp immediately and did vomit several times when I had the flu. I take Prilosec otc twice a day and for now, it works great for me. My surgeon was a jerk and refused to believe that my acid reflux had returned. He blamed it on bronchitis which I've never had in my life. I'm worried that at some point, the meds. will stop helping and I'll be suffering again. I hope all of us will find answers to our problems. Hugs, Sue

Finsup 10-24-2011 02:18 PM

Re: Post Nissen Fundoplication Complications...Help
I am scheduled for this surgery in December at Tampa General Hosp. Where was your surgery done?

sunshine123 10-24-2011 03:43 PM

Re: Post Nissen Fundoplication Complications...Help
Finsup, are you asking me? My surgery was in San Diego. Good luck with yours!!

marketplace 10-29-2011 09:10 PM

Re: Post Nissen Fundoplication Complications...Help
I had fundoplicaton 10/4/11. i had GERD, Barrets esophagus for 15 years now, am 64. Main reason for sugey is to stop reflux from aggravating Barretts any further. Tne esophageal spasms I had were same as angina pain. Very excrutiating, only taking nitro pills would stop the pain. Well, I decided to have funfoplication. today is 10/29/11 and I am back on liquids! Esophageal spasms terible if I eat any substance, even mashed potatoes or gravy!. My surgeon says if he has to, he would remove the wrap? This scare me worse, as this would be a 2nd surgery. Dr seems to thnk I added more swelling to the surgical site as I had severe regurgtation when instant "oqtmeal" caught in my esophagus and I have had spasms since then. Help! o I consider the "unwrap"?? Anybody else done ths and not have even worse problems?
Sorry to all who have these type of digestive problems. It affects your life, health, and mental outlook as "where do I go next". I am going to stay on liquids for next 10 days, see if the swelling goes down and can I resume eating w/o spasms. I will re-post in 10 days.

marketplace 11-08-2011 08:19 AM

Re: Post Nissen Fundoplication Complications...Help
I was in hospital for 4 days for dehydration. My chest pains were only alleviated by taking 5 nio tablets. This caused me to pass out after I got home from hospital 2 days after the dehydration. I have found that I can't take this many?? Well, somebody should have explained to me as I was also takin a calcium channel blocker that also smooths the esophageal muscle but also lowers your blood pressure. I am awaiting 5 more days of this liquid/modified diet and ten back to surgeon to consider stretching my esophagus. OMG, do I wish I had never done this!!. Please if you have had angina pain like me, then you have motility problems with your esophagus. Don't do this surgery. I have lost 8 lbs in 5 weeks and still on liquids. I am on my way to my GI dr to update him on my condition. I want to know why I wasn't told more about m post surgical Nissen problems that could have come up. Next time, read these boards before ever considering surgery!!. I wished to God, I had never done this. At least I had a good 80/20 lifestle. I could have dealt with the angina pain by takin the nitro pills when I got it before surgery. Please stop and thin before this surgery. It is a living nightmare. Good luck to all.

MountainReader 11-08-2011 08:21 PM

Re: Post Nissen Fundoplication Complications...Help
I'm sorry you've been through such an ordeal. There are so many variables around the surgery. It seems that everyone I've seen on this board has had different patterns of healing and success. Some were great, others not so good. I know the surgery is a major decision and not right for everyone. Your GI doc and surgeon should have both been very very clear with you about the potential risks of the surgery. It isn't the best choice for everyone. It is the obligation of your doctors to discuss all options when considering surgical options in addition to discussing the surgery itself. In my case, the risks were far outweighed by the potential benefits since my reflux was on the extremely severe spectrum. Of course, hindsight is always 20/20.

I'm curious. Did you have a Manometry and Barium Swallow done prior to your surgery? If so what were the results? It is important for them to test for your esophageal motility and observe your digestive system in determining whether you are a good surgical candidate.

It is interesting what you said about the Calcium Channel Blockers. I was on one plus diuretic prior to surgery. After the surgery, my BP went down significantly and I was able to discontinue my CCB. I may just be a freak in this area though.

Have you been taking your meds in pill or liquid form? I actually had all my prescriptions compounded into suspension form so I didn't have to chance the solid pills.

marketplace 01-26-2012 09:54 AM

Re: Post Nissen Fundoplication Complications...Help
I had NF surgery on 10/4/11 and had severe problems also. I woke up in recovery room with horrible spasms! The esophageal spasms were continuous, couldn't eat, lost weight, so very depressed. I had to go back in hospital, they found my wrap was too tight, from a barium swallow test .My surgon sai he could dilate my esophagus so I could eat more as nothing but liquids was ging down.I went back to my GI doctor and advised I couldn't take the pain from the spasms and I was getting so depressed. He said he would do the dilation, has been my doctor for 17 years He dilated and injected botox! Only the GI doctor can inject Botox, the surgeons don't do this part?? I am now eating fine. For the very 1st time, spasms are now 11 days apart and I think getting better. It will be a wait and see. M whole life has been changed by this surgery. I wished I could turn back the page and say I don't want this surgery.
I would advise everyone to take charge of your life! Please don't believe every doctor when they say they can take care of the problems. They take care of their specialty only, surgery, EGD, etc. You must become educated by reading these blogs, internet, etc and don't be afraid to tell your doctors how you feel and you are not gettng the best care you expected. Or, at least tell them you will seek help from other doctors:( or specialty center. I did and I am finding more answers every day. The spasms are horrible for the pain. I understand. It is just like having heart attack pains, it is angina pain!
Good luck and please spread the word to check with a 2nd doctor for another opinion or a 3rd before you have this surgery. I wished I had. No way would I recommend this surgery if you have spasms as they don't go away!!

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