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Thread: Help-Post Nissen Surgery Problems

  1. #1
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    Help-Post Nissen Surgery Problems

    I recently had the Nissen Surgery(Sept.'03) in which my hiatal hernia was supposedly corrected as well. I felt great post-surgery until January. At this time I began having burning under my left rib cage, which especially was painful after eating. Most of my tests (CT scan, barium swallow) came back normal. My Endosocpy results show that their could be slight signs of the wrap partially coming undone. I have gone to a new surgeon to make a new plan, since my intial surgeon threw his arms up on what to do. The new doctor has me on Reglan(helps stomache motility, emptying,etc.) This has gotten somewhat better with this, but still don't feel normal. I am very concerned because I not only wanted the surgery to work, but I would like to get pregnant at some point. I would like to be drug free for at least my first trimester. I would really appreciate any ideas on this from anyone who has had similar symptoms post-surgery!

    -Michelle D.

  2. #2
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    Re: Help-Post Nissen Surgery Problems

    Hi Michelle

    I hope your second surgeon can work out a plan for you. I would think it should be possible to fix the wrap. Certainly you would want it fixed before you become pregnant, as pregnancy could further undo a failing wrap and I guess they wouldn't want to give you the surgery once you were pregnant. I'm having the Nissen surgery soon and hope to become pregnant after healing. I believe it's OK to get pregnant with a firmly-fixed wrap but it doesn't sound a good idea with a failing wrap. Let us know how you get on with your new surgeon.

    Jasmine

  3. #3
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    Michelle,

    You might want to go to another GI doctor and have another round of tests done...independent from the ones that you've currently had. After my surgery I was doing fairly good until 2-3 months. Then I started having all sorts of problems...which were mostly related to stomach and esophageal spasms. I had 2 barium swallows done and an endoscopy. After the first barium swallow the GI doctor thought the wrap had slipped. During the endoscopy he said he thought he saw the same thing. Later during the 2nd barium swallow a more experienced doctor assisted and they determined that things looked just fine. That was over a year ago and now I consider the surgery a success. In other words, doctors can be wrong. What you are experiencing might not be due to a slipped wrap. Take care.

    Bobby

  4. #4
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    Hi Michelle,

    Sorry you're running into problems. I think you're being way too optimistic to think that your recovery should be over by now, however. In my case, it took about 10 months to get past what you're experiencing. I think you are still recovering. I am not ready to conclude at this stage to think that your surgery did not go well.

    My solution was to be patient (a horribly tough thing to do), drop back to easier food each time difficulties arose and stay on it for a few days after they were resolved, then slowly re-introduce more challenging food. What I mean by this is that when I was on soft food, I'd go back to liquids. When I was on regular food, I'd go back to soft food. When I was trying to eat absolutely normally, I'd drop bread and beef and maybe one or two other items that seemed to be the problems. I was absolutely unable to eat in my company's cafeteria for months and months -- never did figure out why, as I could eat the very same dishes elsewhere with no trouble -- so I did not eat there for a very long time.

    My own reaction to having tests and the like to see if things were normal was that I wanted NO messing around with my GI system until I'd given it every opportunity to recover. As I said, in my case that took almost a year. I recovered just fine, and I am still fine today.

    I hope this helps.

  5. #5
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    [i]Originally posted by Bobby [/i]
    [B]Michelle,

    You might want to go to another GI doctor and have another round of tests done...independent from the ones that you've currently had. After my surgery I was doing fairly good until 2-3 months. Then I started having all sorts of problems...which were mostly related to stomach and esophageal spasms. I had 2 barium swallows done and an endoscopy. After the first barium swallow the GI doctor thought the wrap had slipped. During the endoscopy he said he thought he saw the same thing. Later during the 2nd barium swallow a more experienced doctor assisted and they determined that things looked just fine. That was over a year ago and now I consider the surgery a success. In other words, doctors can be wrong. What you are experiencing might not be due to a slipped wrap. Take care.

    Bobby [/B]

  6. #6
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    Help-Post Nissen Surgery Problem-Reply

    Everyone:

    I really want to thank you all for sharing your stories and advice! I don't feel so alone going through this process! I have a question for Bobby who responded:

    Bobby: you said that you experienced stomach spasms, they thougt you were having slippage, but ended up having success with the surgery in the end. Can you tell me if this just took time, or what procedures or meds if any got you through this? I really appreciate any feedback!!


    Thanks again everyone!
    -Michelle

  7. #7
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    Re: Help-Post Nissen Surgery Problem-Reply

    [i]Originally posted by mcboser [/i]
    [B]

    Bobby: you said that you experienced stomach spasms, they thougt you were having slippage, but ended up having success with the surgery in the end. Can you tell me if this just took time, or what procedures or meds if any got you through this? I really appreciate any feedback!!
    [/B]
    Michelle,

    I had severe esophageal spasms between 2-6 months which I thought at first was a slipped wrap (it felt like it was sliding around in there). I also had stomach spasms where I could feel things tense up in various areas of the stomach. I still get some mild ones to this day. I doubted that things were o.k. inside for awhile. But, things progressively got better with time.

    The fact that the endoscopy showed a slight slippage of the wrap might not mean much. From my understanding, all it means is that the LES isn't perfectly centered in the wrap. There's probably an acceptable tolerance for this surgery and I'd bet that yours fits well within it (I'd bet that it didn't slip but was always like that since the surgery). I'm with Thistle on this one. It could just be that you did something to irritate the wrap. I had stomach and esophageal spasms to varying degrees up until about 10 months post fundo. 6 months is still pretty early. At your stage of recovery, I had all sorts of various pains in the stomach and wrap area from time to time. Each month things improved a little. Give it time and don't panic. If you're not getting heartburn then it sounds like the wrap is intact. It might just be your body adjusting to the changes.

    The success rate of this surgery is very high. The odds are in your favor that everything is still in place. Many of the pains/pressure that I have had under the ribcage have been related to gas. Are you eating something different lately? Or, when I'd get some cramping in the stomach it'd feel like burning, but then would disappear and then reappear. Like Thistle mentioned, give it time...and don't worry. Everyone heals at a different rate. Just because things were going well and then all of a sudden you had a setback, don't assume that the surgery has failed. It very likely hasn't. Take it from someone who was convinced that he had a slipped wrap (the doctor even told me I did). I'm walking proof that it's not worth the worrying. I'm 16 months post-fundo and feeling great. Take care.

    Bobby

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