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Pushin40 07-26-2012 07:14 PM

Hiatal Hernia/Esophagus Stricture/Gallstones
I have been reading these forums/posts for a while and finally registered. So here’s my first post. I hope someone can offer me some helpful insight.

Healthy my whole life until a couple of years ago. In 2010, upper abdominal/chest pain sent me to ER a couple of times only to discover after going to cardiologist and doing a stress test that my heart was fine. Ultimately ended up at a GI doctor who performed upper endoscopy in November 2010. That revealed a hiatal hernia with stricture in the lower third of the esophagus, but everything else looked fine. Doctor dilated my esophagus and told me to take a PPI, change my diet, raise my bed, etc.—all of which I chose not to do…I think mostly because I was in denial.

For most of 2011 everything was fine…occasional discomfort in right upper abdomen but nothing major until early 2012 when I had another really bad episode of pain. I went back to GI doctor, had an ultrasound of URQ which revealed a single gallstone (1.14cm). Doctor said the gallbladder should come out and referred me to surgeon. I got second opinion and decided not to have surgery...try to manage with diet and lifestyle changes.

At the beginning of July 2012 I got what I thought was a sinus infection. On day 4 of taking Sudafed, it felt like the pill got stuck in my throat. Since that time I have had difficulty swallowing solid food, have lost 15 lbs. and find myself back at the GI doctor with an endoscopy scheduled for tomorrow. I’m assuming and afraid it is going to show narrowing of the esophagus I presume as a result of acid reflux. However, I do not classic symptoms of GERD—at least no heartburn…and I have been assuming any upper abdominal pain is gallbladder related.

I am definitely ready to move beyond denial and actively address my issues, but it’s kinda hard to understand how everything relates…or not.
Has anyone had similar experiences? Based on what I’ve written would you go ahead and get the gallbladder out? I don’t really want to take a PPI because I know they affect calcium absorption and are difficult to get off of once you take them for a while...but should I go ahead and do it? By the way I have read a lot about LPR which to me seems to fit my symptoms more than traditional GERD.

The not being able to eat has really gotten my attention and has my anxiety/stress level on steroids which I can only imagine is just exaserbating the whole situation. I was also thinking of asking my GI doctor for some really mild anxiety medication. Any thoughts on that as well?

redcliffs11 08-21-2012 12:17 PM

Re: Hiatal Hernia/Esophagus Stricture/Gallstones
I am currently home on a month's short term leave following hiatal hernia surgery and gastroplasty. I had GB surgery about 20 months ago and with continuing symptoms, and many more tests, it was determined that the hiatal hernia I have had for 30 years had progressed and was now totally out of place above the diaphragm. The recommendation was to have the surgery now (age 62) rather than wait until it was totally unavoidable 20 years from now. I'm now 2 weeks post op and feeling better and better. But - from the first 7-10 days I can totally see that going through that in my 80s would be torture. I am pleased it is done, I am breathing normally after some pain on inspiration, and today got the go ahead from the surgeon to eat regular soft foods and slowly go back on a regular diet.

My one piece of advise would be to make sure your surgeon and his assistant does A LOT of these. As with anything, if you get a more general surgeon who doesn't see these too often, he might not have the knowledge and experience you want him to bring to 'the table.'

Good luck. The pain, weight loss, social inconvenience etc etc are real and really cannot be ignored. It won't go away on its own.

Gonzoe 08-21-2012 10:22 PM

Re: Hiatal Hernia/Esophagus Stricture/Gallstones
You don't make any sense. In denial???? If doc days you have something why would u notndo any of the suggestions. How hard is it to sleep elevated??? All those things he told u to do is easy. Just have to watch out for ppi rebound affect I have stricture and difficult swallowing from taking ppi before that I was perfectly fine raising bed n watching diet. The upper ab pain is acid spiling feels like a side cramp

I too lose 20lbs all this is BC I took nexium and at night I leaked so much acid (quick rebound) even though I slept raised it leaked so much I got burnt bad than difficult swallowing pill like if it's stuck and I can't eat solids. But this is me, bad luck with ppi response others ppi would prevent acid causing strictures and inflammation. You are at the point like me hoping reduce acid and heals its been over two mouths I'm still on liquid diet

sadgirl1938 09-12-2012 09:40 PM

Re: Hiatal Hernia/Esophagus Stricture/Gallstones
dont feel bad i to was in denial for a long time also, hugs to you

Gonzoe 09-12-2012 09:45 PM

Re: Hiatal Hernia/Esophagus Stricture/Gallstones
Sorry what is gb surgery and what did they do for hiatal surgery? Is it normal for your hiatal to get worst on its own? I'm sorry to hear what you had go through. Best of luck in post surgery healing.

redcliffs11 09-13-2012 06:50 AM

Re: Hiatal Hernia/Esophagus Stricture/Gallstones
Gall bladder surgery which in my case was done laparoscopically and went very smoothly. Quick recovery (1 week and I was fine).

Hiatal Hernia treatment for me was Gastroplasty and Fundiplication which you can google and learn all about. Basically my entire stomach needed to be pulled back below the diaphragm and stitched in place to keep it there, and my esophagus needed to be lengthened to facilitate swallowing.

When my hiatal hernia was first diagnosed 30 years ago, it was already 'largely' misplaced above the diaphragm. Once this happens, the stomach does not have a way to
'go back where it belongs' and I was told it might cause problems later in life. Sure enough as time went by, it completely moved through the hiatus into the space above the diaphragm and once that happens there can be complications with breathing, swallowing, etc etc. I was told better to fix it now since it would be way more difficult as I age. I developed an infection soon after I wrote my first post and the sulfa antibiotics did a job on me. I went into kidney failure and was readmitted to the hospital to treat that. I came right quickly (3 nights) and since coming home have been getting stronger and stronger. I don't regret having it done - better to know it is taken care of.

Ash84 11-21-2012 02:26 PM

Re: Hiatal Hernia/Esophagus Stricture/Gallstones
I was diagnosed with GERD a while back but since taking Reglan and than Prilosec it had seemed to go away until I had the same instance with a pill. I thought the pill was just stuck but after a week I realized it was my old buddy GERD coming back with a vengenance. My symptoms were when I ate it would be a constant lump feeling in the back on my throat and when I bent over my food would just come back up undigested. I had an upper EGD and esophageal motility study done and both came back negative. My symptoms are way aytipical because I can eat all the spicy stuff I want and have no heartburn , can't tolerate water and drink loads of Sprite ( it seems to be all I can keep down). I am starting to lean more towards gastroperesis or galbladder disease. Best of luck with your condition.

Spunkyhunny 11-22-2012 01:21 PM

Re: Hiatal Hernia/Esophagus Stricture/Gallstones
Hi there have you tried the natural way to get ridof your beet root juice,,apple juice..lemon water with honey...just drink more water as well that will help flush out gallstone..and the apple juice is supposed to soften the gallstone so it can pass easily. try DGl and chamomile tea with manuka honey...mastic gum may help as well.
Good luck

kacyc 11-22-2012 01:48 PM

Re: Hiatal Hernia/Esophagus Stricture/Gallstones
It does make sense to be in denial. We can be in denial about anything we don't want to, or arn't ready to accept.

However, the opposite of being in denial does not necessarily mean doing everything that doctors suggest. The best thing is to make informed choices. Have tests, know the results, find out options for treatments/ drugs/ surgery and also read up on alternative treatments. Try and heal yourself before doing anything radical.

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