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Laparoscopic Nissen Fundoplication Side Effects
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Laparoscopic Nissen Fundoplication Side Effects

I am waiting to schedule this surgery and the biggest thing holding me back are the side effects. I'm a very healthy 25 year old with GERD (I have been taking Prilosec 20mg once a day for 2 years), and all my pre-surgical test were perfect (swallowing survey was at 100%, and the endoscopy confirmed me as a perfect candidate for the procedure). My surgeon is said to be one of the best in the DC area, and has performed hundreds of the procedures over the past few years; so I'm assuming he knows what he is doing and can do it well. I understand the possible complications, none of which truly bother me. I understand the general surgical side effects (i.e. pain around the surgical sites), but the other side effects are a bit harder to swallow (no pun intended) like the bloating and inability to belch. How long does that go on for? Will I never be able to belch again? What about drinking carbonated beverages like soda or beer? Spicy food?

Thanks for you knowledge and experience....
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Hi... work in the OR at a hospital who also performs the Lap. Nissens (the physician who performs the Nissens is also m surgeon).  He has done the surgery on a couple of or staff members and they both are VERY thankful for the surgery!  Both had the usual post-op recovery and were back to work in 2 weeks.  One is 38 and the other is 27 years old.  Both healthy males other-wise.  Neither had much bloating (besides the week following the surgery) and both say that they haven't had ANY reflux since the surgery!!
GREAT news to me since I am probably the next staff member to have the surgery..lol.  Like you, all my pre-tests are good.  Strong esophagus, weaker spinchter, etc.  So, now my surgeon says the ball is in m court...Keep taking the "Protonix" and antacids daily for the rest of my life, or have the surgery and be done with it!!
Good luck!! Michelle
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I had this surgery about 9 months ago and have had quite a different experience.  I had most of the tests(the Manometry,Scope,Upper GI w/followthrough etc.) and was a good candidate for the procedure as well.

Had reflux real bad, Barrett's esophogus as well. I have been in misery ever since having this procedure. Yes my reflux is gone but the Gas/Bloat pain is far worse than thr Reflux pain ever was.

I have since  the procedure had every test know to man and they say well it's just the way it is and it may get better over time. Anyone having this surgery should make sure to way all the new options available first(ie Lazer surgery etc.) I really have tried everything known to me to try to deal with problem and hope maybe someone can give me some help. My doctors dont seem to be too helpful here in L.A. and they dont understand how much pain I am really in. Im talking agonizing pain that even Vicodin when I tried it wasnt touching. Been to the E.R. Twice and they cant do much to help.
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I had this surgery in 1999.  The bloating and swallowing problems have been most difficult.  I would not recommend this surgery.  See the May 2001 article in the May 2001 Journal of American Medical Association.  Does anyone have any theories on the connection between fundoplication surgery and death from heart disease?  Anyone considering this surgery should read this JAMA article.  Is the bloating the connection?
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Michelle34 - did you have Barrett's esophagus as one of your diagnoses. MLS
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For 30 years I suffered with reflux and was one of those lucky(?) enough to develop barrett's esophogus as a result.

I was prescribed pantalock which I started taking once a day and which for a while worked well. Then I had to start taking two a day, one in the morning and one before bed.  After a while I was still getting refulx despite the double dose and it became clear to me that I would have to have the surgery.  I was very reluctant to have any kind of surgery because two years before I had had a very difficult hysterectomy.  However, the reflux was beginning to create respiratory problems for me and the medication was not doing the job any more.  I had little choice.

I had the surgery in February of 2001.  I went in to the hospital one afternoon and had it later that afternoon.  I had a nissen fundoplication.  I woke up the next morning and I could tell immediately that things were much much better.  I could only lay on my right side because to lay on my left side was a bit painful.  This was a real switch for me because laying on my right side was not possible at all prior to that (it created reflux problems.)  I would have to say that if you have a competent surgeon I can not recommend this surgery highly enough.  

Surgery is not without consequence of course and there are things I find difficult to swallow.  I do have to make an extra effort sometimes to swallow sticky things.  Carbonated drinks are difficult to handle even now if they are too carbonated.  If I let them sit for a moment or if I drink them while I am eating food they are not a problem.  I have very minor soreness at two of the five scar sites but never enough to consider even bothersome.  I do need to take the pantalock once in a while when stressful events overtake me.  (Right now my mother is dying of esophogeal cancer and I am taking one pantalock every third day).

Given the very minor discomforts that I have to put up with I am very grateful for not having the pain of reflux on a daily, hourly basis and like I said I would recommend this surgery to anyone who has a compentent surgeon.
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