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  • Surgery and Support

    Hi everyone,

    This is my first time posting. It's a long story, so I hope you'll bear with me. I'm mostly looking for support I guess. I found this site while researching surgery for GERD. I've had GERD for most of my life and was diagnosed as a pre-teen. I've been on twice-daily PPIs since then. I'm now 26.

    I was always told that I would be a good candidate for surgery when I got older. So a few months ago, a maxed out deductible in hand, I got a bunch of testing done at Virginia Mason in Seattle. 24-hour pH, manometry, upper GI, CT scan, Barium swalllow, gastric emptying, etc. The surgeon I was working with told me he could do the surgery (full Nissen), but it was up to me. Everything points to a defective LES with no trouble swallowing or emptying.

    I'm not experiencing pain, but I am getting reflux at night and sometimes during the day. My sleep is disrupted and I'm starting to get hoarse. When I was younger, one of the more severe results of my reflux was forming nodules on my vocal folds, resulting in losing my voice for about a year. My DeMeester score is about 60.

    I have a good support system currently, an understanding work environment, good insurance, and would be able to recover with family. But the surgeon's ambivalence about the necessity of surgery made it a difficult choice. He said, "I don't know what I would do if I were in your position."

    Because I was unsure about the Nissen (and surgery generally), I scheduled a second opinion appointment at Swedish in Seattle to occur before a pre-op appointment and surgery at Virginia Mason. Unfortunately, my second opinion doc cancelled on me last minute so that he could give a lecture at UW.

    So that's when I had to make a decision - go through with the surgery anyway or cancel the surgery and reschedule with Swedish. I chose a different doc at Swedish, one I heard about on this forum - Dr. Aye.

    I'm hoping that Aye's experience with the Nissen, Hill, and hybrid will give him a perspective on my case that an all-Nissen surgeon might not have. Still, I kind of wish I had already gotten the surgery (any surgery) over with.

    I'm also hoping that Aye can give me an idea about the long-term limitations of each surgery in terms of activity level. I'm not a super active guy, but I have climbed in the past and am thinking of getting back into it. I'm wondering if that would reduce the life-expectancy of a wrap (or Hill repair) or be a no-no altogether.

    So basically, I just joined in to put my story out there. If you have advice or input, I'd be glad to hear it. And if you read this far, thanks.

  • #2
    My nissen procedure

    I haven't been here for a while, but I had the full nissen back in 2002. I have not had any problems since. The lap nissen has been done since the early 80s. In the 36 years since, procedures have continually improved. If you have an experienced surgeon and a good hospital, your outlook should be good. Something to remember if you are looking at various GERD sites......Most comments you see will be because the person had a problem. People with successes rarely go back to tell about it. People with problems post because they are looking for solutions. Good Luck

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