First I would like to apologise for not for not keeping up to date with the posts on this site. The truth is I have been trying to put all of this behind me and carry on with my life, however going through it all like many others here have I feel obligated to let others know my opinion on this surgery and what I was and wasn't told by the surgeon before and after my operation.
First I would say, if your reflux is not severer, if it responds well to medication and diet changes don't even consider having the surgery, even if your doctor or surgeon recommends you do - why not have the surgery, here are some points my surgeon felt I didn't need to know when making my decision -
The surgery may not be permanent - It may only be effective for a number of years and here is a very important point that you may not be told - In order to do this surgery they destroy all of you bodies natural reflux barriers so when the lifespan of the operation is over your reflux may be worse than it was before having the surgery as your natural reflux barriers may no longer work. I think this is a very important point to consider especially if a person does not have severe reflux prior to surgery.
Next point - it is a major operation, I was told 2 - 3 week recovery prior to surgery by my surgeon, one month after surgery feeling very sick he started saying 6 weeks recovery - but he suspected that my recovery would take way longer. After months of feeling very sick and having all sorts of complications I lost faith in my surgeon and went to get a second opinion from another surgeon - this is when I started to learn of all the lies and crap I had been told before and after my operation by the surgeon that did my operation, here are some of them -
First up - my test results indicated I definitely did not need this surgery because my PH study score could not have been any lower.
Second - I was informed by the surgeon I was seeking a second opinion from that they tell there patients the recovery time is around 6 months and you can still be recovering at 12 months post surgery - I was told 2 - 3 weeks by my surgeon ?
Third - I had all sorts of complications after the surgery that my surgeon insisted were in no way connected with the operation an were new problems.
The complications were - bad nausea, vertigo / fainting feelings, extreme bloating & abdominal pain for hours, IBS type bowels, pulling tightness in my throat, the new surgeon informed me that they were indeed all caused by the surgery and ordered some tests to see what was going on. I had a gastric emptying study done and they found that I now have gastro paralysis and problems with food and liquid passing down my oesophagus.
It has been almost 16 months, I have more complications that impact on my quality of life now that mild reflux ever did although I have recovered to the point where I'm trying to get on with my life regardless because I can't turn back time and not have the surgery. The other point that the new surgeon made about having the wrap undone was It might lead to having severe reflux in the future as all of my natural reflux barriers were destroyed to make the wrap, I wanted my wrap undone but the new surgeon informed me that the problems I have now would not be fixed by undoing the wrap and doing more surgery might make things worse not better.
I hope BeFit1 was informed completely about the reversal maybe leading to bad reflux in the future - hope this never happens and you continue to do well. Like yourself my surgery was never needed and the test results proved this only the surgeon must have felt I didn't need to know any of this and wanted to do the surgery regardless, I know this may sound hard to believe but it is the truth and I must now live with the outcome.
I'm in the process of making complaints, so can't discuss all of this in a lot of detail online. My advice would be postpone the surgery and take all of your test results and get a seconds opinion to make sure you are being told all of the facts and if you even need this operation because once you have it you will never be able to go back to the way you were before the surgery, they move the position of your stomach inside your body for ever.
dandd4444 contact me privately through this site if you want.
Thank you for posting all of your trials and tribulations with your surgery. I am considering recommendation by my doctor to have the nissen fundoplication as well but am very wary. After reading your experience and everyone's comments I am even more wary. After some research on doing the hiatal closure WITHOUT doing a fundoplication, I did find some articles written by doctors at the University of Heidelburg on doing hiatal closures WITHOUT the fundoplication and having good success. Here is the link to a very recent abstract of one of the articles on PubMed http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23670038 Even before researching this I had my doubts about rushing into the fundoplication -- it just seems like such a clunky kluge way to fix a very delicate mechanical problem. I do have a large 6cm hiatal hernia and paraesophageal mixed hernia at that, but I think what needs to be determined before surgery is how functional the esophagus actually is despite the hernia as it is different for each patient. Even someone with a large paraesophageal hernia like me can have some functionality left to the esophagus. Getting the hiatal closure performed with a biologic mesh support of the closure seems to make sense but some articles I've read indicate that another test of the competence of the esophagus should be performed after the hiatal closure but before the fundoplication to see if the fundoplication is really necessary. Finding a doctor who will only do the hiatal closure without the fundoplication in the US is difficult, however. I may have to go to Europe I guess! Another area of research I'm interested in is why they can't reengineer the phrenoesophageal ligament -- it is the ligament that surrounds the esophagus and anchors it to the diaphragm from both above and below in an elastic fashion -- a true support system that is mostly destroyed in those of us with hiatal hernias. Restoring that ligament using sophisticated tissue engineering would seem the way to go -- if they can restore valves in hearts why can't they restore this most important part of the anatomy also. Anyway, please continue to post Gastroboy -- I really hope you get some satisfaction and compensation for all of your difficulties as it does sound like your surgeon's skill was deficient.
Who is your surgeon that released your nf? I believe I have some of the same rejection feelings. one week after my surgery I was doubled over in severe pain in my left side. And I still have pain in that side . Its as if something has been torn there. I also still have acid reflux, my surgery did not repair this for me. I would love to have mine reversed. I had my surgery Feb 2013. I still have lots of bloating and gas and pain in the stomach.
Diet after a NF is very important. For example, if you are drinking carbonated beverages or ate solid food within three months of the surgery, odds on are that you will defeat the surgery. My surgery was very successful, but I followed dietary directions. My sister also had the surgery, but simply could not resist overeating and unbelievably drank cokes. I also suspect she did some purging which will quickly undo the surgery.
BeFit1, I am going to the Mayo clinic on Monday, I had the surgery 2 years ago have not been the same since. Where did you have your's done at? I really appreciate your help. Life has been pretty MISERABLE.
Thanks for your info. I had my nissen fundoplication 6 months ago and hv developed problems i never had before. From the look of things i was never examined properly before the procedure was done. I have resently developed severe numbness in my arms at night and my everyday problem is heaveness from my throat to the head. I cant manage to carry my handbag andmy neck is stiff. Cant stand any heat to my face or head and working is not possible any more. The the doctor that saw ne at six weeks after the op said i need to hv the wrap undone as my problem was in the throat and the op would just make it worse. Im scared to go back as im not sure wat the risks are but im cobdition is getting worse. I had tgis gerd problem for 5 yeats before doing the op and all meds failed.