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Thread: air stuck in chest? Nick are you out there?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
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    air stuck in chest? Nick are you out there?

    Does anyone have experience with air stuck in chest? My wrap is "tight." How do you get the air to come out? It did blast out one night and now I think I have air back because my chest hurts. It's different than spasms. Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
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    San Diego
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    Diana,

    How long has it been since your fundo? If it has been less than 4 months, I can relate to what you're describing. I am now at 10.5 months post-fundo. I no longer experience the trapped air, but I did up until about 4 months post fundo. When I had barium swallows after surgery I noticed that my esophagus narrowed considerably at the mid-chest level. I would get spasms (tightness) in the middle of the chest and was convinced that air was trapped down there. If I tilted my head back and turned it from side to side I could get some air to escape (I could hear it gurgle out). I started getting this problem, what I think was trapped air, when I had post-nasal drip. I think the mucus created a nice suction at the narrow part of my esophagus. And then I'd get somewhat painful spasms everytime I attempted to burp, coughed, etc. I described my problem to the surgeon and GI doctor and neither of them helped much. I finally asked for something to stop the post-nasal drip (my GI doctor gave me Allegra-D). That fixed my problem almost immediately. I took it for about 3-4 months...probably much longer than I needed to. I remember reading something somewhere (some article I found on the web) that said that after a fundo the esophagus is stretched (maybe that's why mine was narrow in that one spot) due to the fact that they pull the stomach through the diaphram (if you had a hiatal hernia). Also, the fact that they put the wrap in there it probably pulls it further down than before. If it's any consolation, I no longer get trapped air and almost all of my spasms have subsided. I had terrible spasms from about 1.5 months up until about 5 months then they gradually tapered off. I'm not sure if you're experiencing the same thing I did (it seems that others on the board haven't...at least I didn't get any feedback at the time from others regarding the trapped air). Good luck with your fundo recovery. It'll only get better as time goes on . Take care.

    Bobby

  3. #3
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    Feb 2003
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    Thanks Bobby. I am at 4 months. I have had constant chest pain since surgery until a couple of nights when all this warm, putrid air blasted up. I have also had a few laryngospasms etc. After the air came up, the constant chest pain went away but now its back. I had esophageal spasms before surgery but they were not diagnosed until after. After this air came up, my throat healed up a lot which is the good news. I feel like I have to burp up some air but I can not. I sleep elevated and do all the precautions still. The surgeon said my wrap is on the tight side. Food does not get stuck but I do spasm after eating. I never expected postop to be like this.

  4. #4
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    Feb 2003
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    Bobby,

    I was wondering whether there was an antihistamine aspect to the Allegra that helped with the esophagus/air? Just a thought. Thanks for your help.

  5. #5
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    It could be. All I know is that it worked. Before taking it, I could feel air in my esophagus and could get some to escape by moving my chest and head around in various positions...it'd gurgle out. After I started taking Allegra-D, I just didn't get trapped air. I did notice that the trapped air coincided with post-nasal drip. Taking the Allegra would actually make me a little hyper...I think it helped cause some other esophageal spasms. The spasms subsided somewhat after going off of it. But, the trapped air would cause a strong spasm/cramping mid-chest level and I couldn't swallow at times. After taking Allegra, that went away. I think that the air was trapped and then I'd burp (or try to) and the air couldn't escape. The cramping would get worse after a burp (or cough) and as the day went on. By dinner-time I'd have a hard time swallowing. If you're not experiencing post-nasal drip, then your problem might be different. The thing is that I didn't really notice at first that I had post-nasal drip until I realized that I was swallowing a lot. And, I woke a few mornings with a sore throat and mucus in the back of my throat. Are you having trouble swallowing...or is it just uncomfortable? It'll definitely get better with time...I almost guarantee it. My wrap is on the tight side also. I can't burp air from my stomach (I do occasionally when enough air gets trapped in my esophagus). I still have some spasms to this day, but they are very mild. They went away gradually over time. I'm sure they will with you too. I didn't expect post-op to be so rough either. But, I'm glad I went through it (at least now I am ...I'm not sure I would have said that back at your point in recovery). Things will get better with time, just don't expect too much too soon. We're just some of the lucky ones who take longer to heal. I'm glad my wrap is on the tight side. From what my surgeon said, the wrap loosens over time. That means that ours won't loosen as much as soon and hopefully heartburn won't return as soon . As long as you can swallow and food doesn't get stuck, that's the important thing. I had a few pills stick in the wrap and it scared me...they finally went through after drinking a bunch of water. I stay away from any horse pills (like vitamins) now...it's children's chewables for me from now on. It doesn't sound like your spasms are too severe though. You'll get used to them. I got so used to them on a daily basis that it feels almost weird not to have them most of the time anymore . It's nice conversing with you. Do you keep anti-nausea medication on hand? I was paranoid about getting sick and having to throw up (since I know I wouldn't be able to) and requested some from my doctor. I carry it with me most of the time just in case. I haven't had to use it yet...knock on wood . Well, gotta go. Let me know if I can help out at all. Talk to you later.

    Bobby

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    westchester coounty,N.Y.
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    Hey Diana-Nick

    Hey Diana,

    I forgot who you were and I'm sorry because I'm in touch with so many people on this site that I forget who is who. If you could inform me a little bit about your situation with the Nissen. I'm not sure if your the girl who had to have it redone or is this your first Nissen. If you give me all the info I'll be better to inform you with my experience with my 2 Nissens.

    Nick

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
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    161
    Hi Nick,

    It's my first Nissen so this is all so new to me. For some reason I thought you had chest pain with your first wrap. I think I have been having some trouble with air trapping in my chest. M y throat got better within a week after a lot of gross air came up from below. All summer I had the same throat burning in the same early morning hours that I had experienced before surgery. I think things are starting to get better and that the valve is starting to work. Laryngospasms scare the daylights out of me. Thanks.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
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    161
    Hi Bobby,

    Thank you for your helpful note. I just started the "virtual burps". I spasm after meals which is normal I think.

    Take care.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    westchester coounty,N.Y.
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    To Diana-Nick

    Hey Diana,

    I'm glad to hear it is your first Nissen and lets hopefully keep it that way. I'm only kidding because you do not want to go through what I had to go through because my wrap was done too tight the first time and I had to go for revisional surgery to loosen it the second time. All what your telling me is normal from my experience. The spasms, the chest pains are all normal, but, I do not know how much time you are post op to let you know from my experience if it is normal or not at this time. I had alot of swallowing problems for a year, and I mean SWALLOWING PROBLEMS. I could not even get liquids down. Iwas getting alot of esaphageal reflux the first time around because my wrap was way tooooooo tight. My reflux was not coming from the stomach after the first surgery. What was happening was the wrap was too tight so everthing I swallowed would not pass through to the stomach and would be stuck in my esaphagus for days and start to ferment so it felt the same as heartburn(cheat burning and pain). My first surgery was not done correctly so I can give you info on what to feel or to expect on basically both versions of the Nissen(incorrect and correct). I'm only telling you this because now I'm 20 months post op and once in a while still get Gastritis&Heartburn flareups. But not anything like before. I had burning on an everyday level all day. I only take meds when I have the flare ups but, no longer get the burning on an everyday level. I've had 2 flareups in the 20 months post op. I can also eat or drink anything , as long as I do not abuse. My swallowing is about 90% better than from the first Nissen. The 10 % is from really big bites or in other words not chewing properly or really dry foods like bread and white meat chicken. The getting stuck part rarely happens. Please keep in touch and GOOD LUCK!

    Nick

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