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Thread: Anyone Had Hiatal Hernia Repair Twice?

  1. #1
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    Nov 2003
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    Anyone Had Hiatal Hernia Repair Twice?

    Hi Gang,
    Happy New Year to everyone.
    Have any of you had to have your hiatal hernia repaired more than once? To remind you, I had my full Nissen with a huge hh that was repaired on Sept. 16th/03. I have had MANY problems and complications. Now I have the same feeling in my diaphram thru to my back that I did before my surgery. I also have a squeezing feeling in my throat again like someone has their hands around my neck...like I did before the surgery. I am also coughing again like before. I am scared and upset at the thought of more invasive tests and more surgery after the difficult time I had last time. I remember the surgeon saying that these symptoms were from the hh and would be better after surgery. I can't believe I have those feelings back again! It hurts so much in my back area right across the diaphram area. And I'm not even comfortable with the Nissen recouping yet! Food still gets stuck a lot and other things.
    I called the sureons office last week because of this and also because I had some burning back. His nurse told me to take Nexium for 3 days and that he would call me to discuss this whole situation with me. Today is Tuesday and he STILL has not called me. He has not been supportive thru any of this despite all of the complications. It's almost like he did the surgery and doesn't want to deal with the rest.
    So, if anyone had this problem come back, what did they do? An endoscopy? Did you need surgery again and how did you do with having it done again? Do they have to touch the Nissen wrap to do the hh again? I am really bummed out . Thank you for your help.
    Judy

  2. #2
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    Non-invasive tests.

    Judy....I think a simple upper GI or an esophagram would show if the HH was a problem...If it is not, it will put your mind at ease.
    to know that.

  3. #3
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    Sep 2003
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    I agree with the last poster. If your surgeon is not willing to check it out head back to your gi dr.

  4. #4
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    Judy, I'm really sorry that all of this is going on, and I hope you can get some answers soon, especially given how miserable you are. I hope the meds will help you get through this.

    I have a couple of thoughts -- first, your surgeon likely does not want to hear about your problems. They indicate a failure on his part. Doctors hate facing their own failures. I'd give up trying to get his attention. Let your GI specialist handle bringing him into the mix, if it should be necessary. Second, the most common reason for lap Nissen failure is a diaphragm that is so badly damaged, it cannot be repaired well enough to hold the wrap.

    If I were in your shoes, I would verify that the wrap has failed. If it has, I would get consults with at least two GI specialists to find out if there is any hope of getting a successful wrap given your history. (Perhaps your surgeon just wasn't skilled enough to pull it off?) I'd try to figure out if you did anything post-surgery to sabotage healing. I'd then talk to as many good surgeons as I could find to get them to tell me what my chances for a successful re-do might be.

    Then I would make a decision about what I wanted to do going forward.

    And allow me to add an aside for folks who might be reading this -- this situation is one of the reasons that no one with an HH should delay surgery indefinitely. The longer one lives with GERD caused by an HH, the more time a diaphragm has to get too damaged to get through a successful wrap. (By making this point, I am NOT suggesting that Judy did not manage her situation correctly!)

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
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    New England
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    Thank you guys.
    Thistle, I was complaining for 5 years about the pain and told my bozo doctors that there was something more than Lupus/Arthritis/Fibromyalgia problems that were causing me to be so ill I was in a wheelchair and bedridden. They blew me off and I turned out to be right! Now I hope because the huge hh and reflux were causing grief for so long, I am not going to have another operation...and if so will wonder if this one will hold! This whole operation has had SO many complications for me...well I am horrified at the thought of going thru it again!!
    After calling the surgeon again he had his nurse call me this morning. He now feels from my symptoms that "even though Nissen Wrap/hh surgery won't and has never had to bedone on any of his patients in all the years he's been doing this", he now feels that another endoscopy should be done. What an ego, huh?? So, I will go to the OR for this on Jan 16. I hope and pray he's right but wonder what in the world would feel the same as before surgery if it is not the same problem. Guess I'll have to wait to see if he can figure it out...of course NOTHING is his fault!
    Though 2 other docs said he injured my vagus nerve during the surgery and really hurt my neck, spine and shoulders (esp. right one),he says he did nothing. He did say that "it's possible from being on the hard OR table for four and a half hours when there are already joint, neck, shoulder, spine problems from the Lupus, etc. the table could have caused injury. We don't throw people around on the table and are gentle but sometimes people get hurt". He really doesn't want to be wrong about ANYTHING!
    From being a nurse for so many years (a psych. counselor now instead) and from having worked with all of the docs with huge egos, I should be used to it...but it still really irritates me. I hate the kind of treatment these guys think they can get away with...from keeping you waiting for 2 hours in their offices to mean attitudes. After all, they have us over a barrel! OK, enough of that! I will let you know what the results of the endo is when I know. THANK you all for your help thru all of this since Sept! Don't know what I'd do without your support!
    Judy

  6. #6
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    Judy, I'm glad you're going to get checked. Please let us know what the endoscopy reveals.

    It took me 18 years before anyone listened to me, so you have all of my sympathy. I hope your doctor can get his ego under control soon, but I'm sure it's futile of me to hope for this.

  7. #7
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    Jan 2003
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    Toronto Canada
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    Something simple to try

    Hi Judy,

    If your wrap has come loose or if the diaphragm has torn away from the wrap you could be getting the same old symptoms as the esophagus shortens and causes difficulty swallowing, tightness in the throat, globus etc.

    Ask about trying a barium meal to see if things
    are where they should be. If you stomach has risen in your abdomen, or if the wrap is very loose, this should show it. It is also less
    expensive and you should be able to get it
    scheduled more quickly. Of course, they may want to use "The High Priced Spread" instead.

    Have you had bloodwork to look for high titres
    in your Sed Rate, C Reactive Protein, Antinuclear
    Antibody, White Blood Cell Count and Rheumatoid
    Factor? The reason that I ask is that a hidden infection can be part of the CFS, FMS, RA type
    of conditions and it may respond to long term antibiotics. Have you ever been checked for Lyme Disease?

    The Pard

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    New England
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    Thistle, 18yrs??? OMG! You POOR thing!!!
    Pard, thank you so much. As it is the doc got me right in for next week (16th) for an endoscope. He said he prefers that route and since my insurance covers and I will be asleep, I'll do it. At least he's FINALLY doing something!!
    It just feels so strange...almost like something mechanically is out of place and poking in to me and causing great pain that way. Not the fire burning in my chest that I had before the Nissen/hh. I do get some gastritis burning lower than my chest now and then but the surgeon said that can happen. That's not what is making me so scared. I just can't imagine going thru the hell of this horrible surgery for a second time! I had SO MANY complications!If that isn't the problem, then I sure hope he can tell me what it is.
    Yes to your question about bloodwork...I have Lupus, 3 (that I know of)kinds of Arthritis and Fibromyalgia. I was checked a few times for Lyme but negative. Your support along with the others is getting me thru this. This is not the first thing that has been a real challange for me...been so sick from this Lupus , etc. thru the years..well lots has happened and this Nissen/hh have been REALLY tough on this bod from Pneumonia almost instantly to MANY other complications. I'm not a wimp or a whinerbut I guess even strong people have a down time. Thanks for understanding!
    Judy

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Toronto Canada
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    Try reading at Mirkin's site

    Hi Judy,

    It sounds like you might get some new ideas by reading about RA, Lupus FMS and CFS at drmirkin.com
    There are quite a few articles that you can search
    by typing in one word like... arthritis, lupus,
    firomyalgia, fatigue etc.

    You might be surprised when you find that there are things to try that your doc are not even mentioning.
    The more you know, the better your doctors will treat you.

    Here is an example of what I mean..
    [url]http://www.drmirkin.com/morehealth/g136.htm[/url]

    The Pard

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