Any Hiatus hernia surgery positive experiences?

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I have a 2cm sliding hiatus hernia discovered by endoscopy last April (2015). I had gastritis as well (which was causing me stomach pain). Was put on Lanzoprozole to clear up the gastritis, which it did.

I've been getting heart attack pains now and then since the last 3 years and the general pressure pain on sternum and back area which varies from uncomfortable to distressing. Also got taken into A&E twice with horrific pain, it really was awful. I've had these pains quite a bit now so GP has reffered me to a gastroenterologist.

I want to surgery because the tablets aren't making this go away and it's ruining my quality of life.

So to you guys who have had surgery and it was successful, how long does it take you to get back to some sort of normality, do you have to stay on bland food for weeks/months. Are you happy you had it done? etc

Any info would be great and any tips on trying to get the consultant to agree to surgery. I need it, I know I need it but I also know sometimes the medical profession would rather you be on medication for ever (god knows why!)

Thanks in advance, I just need to see light at the end of the tunnel. x

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11 Replies

  • Posted

    Hello Claire and sorry about your pain. The reason the medics give you tablets is that so-called big pharma, which I suspect is Martian for thief, is that the drug companies pay them, for pay read bribe. They have no interest in curing anything other than a headache, as there is not profit in curing things. Try a change of diet fo the oesohapgus problem. I had very painful trouble with making too much mucus and having a herniated oesophagus. An infusion of thistle roots helped with the mucus problem and not drinking whole milk ar milky drinks and not eating milk chocolate also helped a lot. I've had next to no trouble for several years since following these recommendations, the first from David Bellamy in his programme Bellamy on Botany on TV and the second from my singing teacher, the late Bryan Drake, who was a professional opera singer and knew a thing or two! If you get acid reflux, eating an apple has been known to help. It cured mine. No guarantees, but it's only the apple that will cost anything! 
  • Posted

    Hi again Claire. Forgive the typing errors, but you should be able to read it all without too much difficulty.
  • Posted

    I take it that your Endoscopy gave you the all clear from the H.pylori bacterium point of view.

    Hiatus Hernias sometimes give rise to Eosophagitis as a result of the tilting of the stomach causing acid levels to rise into the bottom of the Eosophagus. But again your Gastroenterologist would have advised you had they found inflammation there.

    The fact is that millions of people have a Hiatus Hernia without knowing it, and never having a problem from it. It is also suggested that most over 60s have one.

    So before embarking on a rectification operation you need to be fairly certain that it is this which is causing you problems.

    The operation for this condition until fairly recently has not been easy.

    (The original operation, which a young friend of mine had, was pretty brutal but this was superceded by an easier method and this last year or so by key hole surgery which is very much easier still)

    But you say you have a heart condition so surgery is the last thing that you need.

    Do try all the avenues with your Consultant before accepting that a Hiatus Hernia is at the root of your problems

  • Posted

    Hi Claire,

    The reason you were given lansoprazole was to reduce the acid to permit your gastritis to heal. Which it did.

    The PPI drugs (like lansoprazole) reduce acid but not reflux. The pains of reflux may be very similar to those of heart condition. (I have had so many heart tests - ECGs, Echo-grams etc, I even have an implanted heart monitor. All my results show my heart is perfectly healthy but my Dad died of a heart attack when I was a boy. He'd had acid reflux problems all his life and probably thought this was just another attack.

    I was on PPIs for 15 years (increaing to 80mg omeprazole) . But, though the drugs are good at reducing the acid, they still permit reflux to occur.

    Reflux of acid can cause permanent damage (Barrett's Oesophagus) which can mutate via stages of dysplasia to adenocarcinoma (cancer) . Research has shown PPIs probably have a chemo-protective effect to prevent the mutation.

    If you go to the www DownWithAcid or uk site and scroll to the bottom of the homepage, you'll find the NICE Option Grid in the appendices which discusses the pros and cons of lifetime PPIs vs surgery.

    I had a Laparoscopic Nissen Fundoplication 8 years ago and it totally changed my life. (Hiatus Hernia repair is part of that operation.)

    Prior to the op, I was anaemic from PPI induced hypochlorhydria and couldn't walk more than 50 yards. Immediately after the op, I was drug free and a few weeks later was cycling 20 to 30 miles every day before breakfast. And all my reflux symptoms either vanished or reduced considerably.

    You may read my personal blog of that operation on my personal website www chrisrob co uk. Select "Barretts" from the side bar and then "7 The Laparascopic Nissen Fundoplication" from that page's contents.

    Based on my own experience, I would recommend anyone to consider surgery as an alternative. 

    A Spanish research paper "A comparison of medical versus surgical treatment in Barrett's esophagus acid control" published 3rd November showed surgery was superior to medicine in reflux control.

    An American study published less than a fortnight ago, "Reflux control is important in the management of Barrett's Esophagus: results from a retrospective 1,830 patient cohort." concluded, "Reflux control was associated with decreased risk of progression to low-grade dysplasia, high-grade dysplasia, or esophageal adenocarcinoma."

  • Posted

    Hi Claire

    sorry you are suffering. I would certainly look at alternatives first. Reflux of any kind can take a long time to fix. You need to find the triggers. Starting with diet, various natural remedies (probiotics, digestives enzymes etc).

    I think I must be in the minority as I had the nissen op and have been considerably worse since then. The reflux has certainly got worse.

    Like Barretts I was OK from a pain perspective and was out and about normally after a few days. Its just that I am still suffering from upset tummy 1 year post op. This can be one of the side effects of the op which may/may not clear up eventually. I was eating reasonably OK after a couple of weeks ( although swallowing can be unpleasant for a while).

    Surgery should always be a last resort (especially one which fundamentally changes the internal dynamics!!)

    Good luck

  • Posted

    What dose are you on? I found that 15mg didn't work for me but 30mg does. Sometimes I need 45mg. I also watch what I eat and drink and know the triggers which will agrevate it.

    I was put off the procedure when my surgeon told me that after it I couldn't be sick and would have to go to hospital if I needed to. Not sure if that is still the case

  • Posted

    Hi again Claire! The only experience I have of oesophagus surgery is that a millionaire friend of a friend of mine had it and was never able to eat solid food again and has had to live on stuff like baby food and soup and smoothies, pureed fruit and veg. etc. That in itself put me off having surgery for mine and I cured it myself doing what I have already told about. I like pork crackling and lots of other things that the other poor ( his millions are't helping) bloke has been unable to eat for years. At least beer doesn't have lumps in it! 
  • Posted

    I was originally offered surgery over 16 years ago but it would have been open surgery and I was too scared. Then 10 years ago, I was getting desperate. And all the websites I read had hooro stories. (There was even one devoted entirely to experiences of people who had had bad re4sults.)

    But I couldn't live with the chronic symptoms of aspirated reflux and decided to risk it. And my surgeon was no comfort. When I asked how many he'd done, he said he didn't think that was as important as how prepared he was! But I'd have risked anything at that point.

    The surgery lasted about an hour and when I cam round I had no pain other than feeling a bit bruised. I had 5 small plasters over the puncture wounds (you can't see no where those were).

    I could only eat small amounts and had been told I'd have to have mushy foods but managed half a small bowl of porridge the next morning and half a portion of fish pie at lunchtime beofre leaving hospital. Over the next fortnight I lost a stone and a half (21 lbs) but gradually started eating more solid foods and I started exercising immediately - just slowly walking round the block tpo start with and back on my bike in 3 weeks.

  • Posted

    I don't know about you - but I'm beginning to be confused about some of these responses. You've had an Endoscopy. The Consultant apparently found no sign of Oesophagitis so I don't know why Oesophageal operations are being mentioned. Yes acid reflux can be a consequence of Hiatus Hernia in some cases and yes this can damage the Oesophagus. But this certainly does not arise in many cases of Hiatus Hernia and is often related to the particular position where the Stomach breaks the Diaphragm. But you don't mention the symptoms of Acid Reflux so you've got enough to be concerned about without going down blind endings.
  • Posted

    I had Nissens Funoplication on July 20 th this year. I was very anxious about it but I have done very well. I could eat sloppy food 36 hrs post op & soft food by day 7 or 8. I am now on 3 " normal " meals a day and have been for about 10 weeks. I can eat most things but I am cautious to make sure I eat a sensible diet & if I am going to have an extra long gap between meals I will eat a yoghurt or a piece of fruit. My stomach starts to grumble otherwise. I am now very well & very pleased I had the op. My reply is brief as I see you are not short of replies. Good Luck. 
  • Posted

    Dear Claire I have had a really positive response to the laparoscopic nissen fundoplication and was eating a normal diet within 3 months - the last thing for me to become normal was sticky rice.  I am now over 2 years post op with no acid reflux, sore thoat, feeling of a lump in throat, back and chest pain and virtually all day nausea.  I too had a hiatal hernia.  I am very happy to have had the surgery and feel I have my life back.  I forget I have even had surgery.  Good luck if you go for surgery.

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