Awaiting on surgery for gastro-oesophagus reflux disease

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I am on a waiting list for surgery under the NHS.

I have been diagnosed with 5cm hiatus hernia and reflux Gordon (Gered)

Can any one let me know more about the operation and the recovery they have experienced .

Mostly how long it took them to get back to work.

Any foods that you can suggest I get in for after operation.

you could let me know how you coped too.

If any one can give me a few pointer to how they coped and things to look out for. I will be seeing my surgeon Dr Neville Menezes on 28th April 16.

If anyone can give me ideas on anything I should make sure I ask before surgery.

Thanks for you help in advance .

Any information would be gratefulyour received as closer it get it get a bit more scared.

1 like, 26 replies


26 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Zena! Try to avoid surgery if possible, as it's irreversible. A friend of a friend of mine had the op. and he was unable to eat any solid food after it, having to live on mashed food and liquids. A bit sad, as he's a millionaire and can't eat all his favourite foods, like fillet steak and caviar on toast. My oesophageal hernia caused the food bolus to stick at the sphincter, due to my body making too much mucus. A tip from the great botanist, David Bellamy, worked well . Avoid milk and milk products as it causes the body to make a lot of thick mucus, so avoid it. My singing teacher at the G.S.O.M., the late Bryan Drake, also told me this. The other tip from David Bellamy was to make an infusion of thistle roots and sip it slowly. I found it wonderful, even though it has no tase. It reduced the amount of mucus made by a lot and I have had very little touble in the last ten years. It's worth a try and is free. Good luck.
    • Posted

      Hi Chrs10905

      My surgeon ha recommended I have surgery as had lots problem over the years got worse over last year with work stress and other stuff. But my dad died of stomach cancer so he has said If I don't have operation I could ended up going down that road too. He gave information to resurch before deciding but on 30 mg Lansoprazole in morning and Ranitidine 300mg before bed and it is now longer keeping in under control. Get ulcers in my mouth and wake up most morning with matalic taste in mouth. So looks like I don't have much option as I know how unpleasant stomach cancer is as I nursersed my dad through it.

  • Posted

    Hi Zena,

    Firstly, whatever anyone else has written, surgery is, for many of us, the best option. And it is reversible if it were ever necessary.

    I'm assuming it will be Laparoscopic Nissen Fundoplication. I had this 8 years ago and it was the best thing I ever did. I'd been scared but now wonder why I waited so long.

    If you visit the free www DownWithAcid org uk website / book, you will find an option grid in the appendices produced by NICE comparing surgery and lifetime PPIs.

    There is also a chapter in the book looking at different fundoplication procedures.

    I know I have a high pain threshhold and I heal quickly but for me there was nothing to it. I went into hospital in the morning and had all the tests - ECGs etc. and was walked to the operating theatre. Lying on a trolley in the anti-chamber, the anaesthetist said, "Now I'll make you forget me" as he emptied the syringe into the cannula. Next I knew I was still on the trolley and feeling thirsty.

    Went home next day having had a very small portion of rather solid porridge for breakfast and another very small portion of fish pie for lunch.

    And the only pain meds I needed were a few suluble paracetamol for what felt like mild bruising. Some patients, however, do notice more pain and if necessary they'll make morphine available. One area you may not expect pain but may notice it is the shoulders: it's a consequence of having inflated your abdomen with air to provide space for the instruments. 5 small puncture wounds heal quickly to leave no signs.

    You will be advised to eat liquid or mushy foods for a few weeks gradually increasing in volume and solidity as your body permits. You'll feel full quickly and are typically likely to lose about 20lbs in the first two or three weeks.

    Within a couple of days, I started gentle exercise - walking around the block slowly - to regain my stamina.

    I don't know Neville Menezes but I've checked his profile and I'm sure he'll do a good job.

    All the best for 28th and you're welcome to PM me if you wish to know more.

    • Posted

      Hello Barrets  and I assume the comment about whatever anyone else has written is possibly directed at me , and that surgery may well be the best option, but is it not better to try the non-surgical option before the scalpel? If a little self cure with a few dietary changes can avoid surgery, is it not worth giving it a try?  As my doctor told me many years ago, surgery is the last resort. I've had to have seven spine ops after being hit under the base of the spine by a crane lifting a heavy bridging panel in the army in 1970, so have experience of major surgery, involving five fusions; the 5th lumbar vertebra was broken in two and both SI joints knocked out. The surgeon who fused the right SI joint, the late Mr. David Jenkins, who did Dame Tanni Grey-Thompson's, ops wanted to fuse both, but I asked him to do one That was in 1995, and now, at 72 and in constant agony, I am seeing a consultant in hospital in Newport, who when he first saw me, said 'In fifteen years in the Gwent (hospital) I've never seen anything like it.' Reading what you said about keyhole surgery, I shall ask him if it's possible to do the left joint without the big scars and drain tubes I've had many times. In this case, surgery IS the only answer, as chiropractic doesn't work and at £25 for twenty minutes is too expensive for an OAP and the NHS won't pay for it. It's difficult putting my socks on, so another fusion won't make it any easier! 
    • Posted

      Thanks for the great information.

      I looked at Web page and was very good and full information.

      What test do they normally do before you go down for surgery on day?

      Surgon did say they give you some medicine day before to shrink liver.

      but would tell more if wanted to see him before operation.

      Up to me if I did or if decided I don't need to my chose .

      But will be see him on 28th April.

      Hope don't start to panic when gets closer but not got date for operation yet.

      Thanks again for all you help and sharing your experiences with me

      . Make me feel better about it when get positive results that people have had ..

    • Posted

      Good luck for 28th - understand your nerves, so would I be - but this site is amazing.  I am on another site - but I think is waaay more informative and calming in what can be a really scary situation for those of us who don't fully understand and for those who do, I salute you for helping us out.


    • Posted

      Had no special medicine. They just did ECG and tested for MRSA - that was all as far as I remember.

      Good luck. Hope it goes as well for you as it did for me.

  • Posted

    Hello Zena,

    You should be told all about the post-op diet, and how you will go from gentle clear-liquid meals up to soft ones during the healing period and beyond, so that you don't hurt or overstretch your stomach. Unless you're allergic to dairy, dairy should be included dietarily too at some point. I have gastritis and like millions of people now enjoy low-fat milk and milk-protein-based drinks, in my case so much with each meal, without any mucous increase, and research data refutes this belief.

    If the surgery is done laparascopically (smaller incision keyhole surgery), then two to three weeks should be the period for returning to work, depending on what kind of work you do. Open surgery could be four to six weeks.

    As Chris says, fundoplication surgery is irreversible, but in ten years around 90% of people remain free of reflux and related symptoms, so it is generally highly effective, but do discuss any worries or queries with your doctors.

  • Posted

    Please ket's get this clear since 2 people have already provided what I consider erroneous information (which is also propagated by Torax Medical who manufacture LINX).

    If necessary, LNF is reversible.

    I had a Collis-Nissen revision a couple of years back because my wrap had loosened due to 5 hours violent retching from a norovirus attack. That needed the original wrap to be undone first. A good surgeon can undo a wrap whatever scare stories you're sold.

    • Posted

      I have looked to learn if there are instances for reversibility, perhaps not thoroughly enough, and there seem to be only statements, including at surgical sites, and in an enyclopaedia of surgery, which say things like, "One of the major drawbacks to fundoplication surgery, whether it is open or laparoscopic, is that the procedure is not reversible." But apologies to Zena for any mistake. Which is why, as I said, it is always best to query your doctors rather than only rely on sufferers' best efforts to help and ease any worries.
    • Posted

      No need to apologise every ones opinion is good be positive or negative. I just need exsperence from all side . Especially before my Appointment with Mr Menezes so that I can ask questions and get answers to anything I might need to know but haven't thought of myself yet. Or any problems other have had so I can ask the question and get advise for both side .medical and personal experience that you again for you in put and anyone else I appreciate be it good or negative I need to know both side of the story.
    • Posted

      Hi Zena, yes, the more good information the better. It's just a pity that sometimes even officially issued information can be in conflict and confuse or mislead people; and that's where having others giving what they know or have experienced can be a great thing. We're all learning as we go. I wish you well and good relief after all your discomfort.
  • Posted

    His every one

    Thanks for replying to me.

    I have been suffering off and one for number years but in last year's

    symptoms got bit worse medication had been increased as before

    was just taking Lansoprazole when needed or before taking any

    other medication.

    Due to work stress and other stress full issues in life symptoms

    seam to get lot worse and was getting ulcers in mouth teeth were

    more sensitive and nasty matelick taste in mouth especially when

    you waking in morning. People tell me smelt like you been eating

    strong garlic when you haven't so went back to Dr .was referred to

    have Barium swallow this suggested a slight prominent lower

    oesophagus sphincter was noted. also had blood test for Mouth

    ulcers sjogrens, splendid ( nothing show in blood test.)

    Then referred for upper GI endoscopy back in August 2015.

    The result from that were large hiatus hernia sliding of 5cm and

    oesophagitis/reflux. Test for Helicobater. Pylori was negative.

    My medication was then changed to Omeprazole 20mg for 4 weeks.

    also to be reviewed with the upper GI surgical team for their opinion.

    I went back to Dr as was not getting any better was referred to

    GI surgical team. Saw Mr Nevillegal Menezes.

    He changed my medication as 20 mg Omeprazole did not agree

    with me as was making me very bloated and was not helping.

    I was also getting a funny feeling with right ear type pins needles

    or as funny to explain but never had this before endoscopy or

    taking these tables.

    He changed medication to 30mg Lansoprazole in morning and

    300mg Rantidine before bed .

    He told me I would need medication all my life for the reflux.

    He said was too early at that stage to consider surgery as though

    I was not mentally ready to discuss any operation as wrote down

    for some sights for me to do regarding the Gastro-oesophagitis

    reflux disease,the medical and the surgical treatment and long-tearm


    He told me to think about it and if decided I needed to undergo

    procedure to get back to him or my Dr and arrange to see him

    again and that I would need them to carry out a manometer test

    prior to operation.

    He told me surgery would be anti-reflux lapasscopc surgery.

    Went away did reading up wasn't getting any better so was referred

    back to Mr Neville Menezes.

    He when the over what he told me 5 small incision on abdomin and

    Wrap part stomach round to make repair.

    Can only have liquid food for about 2 months or so like custard

    soups. He arranged for me to have a manometer which I told him

    I did not think I would be able to have done as think the thought

    makes me panic. He told me not to worry but try if real can't done

    get stressed out he would have to do with out but really do needo

    information they get. Surprised with help of very nice caring NHS

    staff managed to work with me and get me through it.

    Lets say was not best experienceof my life but don't want to frighten

    Anyone else that might need test done. I had very bad vomiting reflex

    while have this done but do sent happen to everyone.

    ( I was put out for endoscopy as could bear thought of it but not

    an option for this test). I did not have the smaller 24 cable one done

    mine was the thicker cable were your linked to computer to swallow

    and have to fast for 6 hours before no water or food.

    You need to swollow on conmand so can match with computer for test

    The cable is hi tech over 500 grand of equipment

    loverly staff real looked after me as was scared stiff and didn't

    Think be able to do it but with their kindness and care we made it

    and hopefully they will have all results they need as told was only

    one shot at doing it.

    They even made me nice cuppa tea with biscuits and told me to sit

    For while before leaving and if wanted more just ask staff as they

    Had to see next patient.

    Have appointed to see Mr Menezes on 28 April 2016 to discuss

    anything else I want to before surgery and also to find out what

    the Manometry report came up with.

    My dad died Stomach cancer 25 years ago .

    I asked Mr Menezes if I didn't have treatment would it be going

    down same road as my dad did as recognised some symptoms

    As I nursed him through when he had stomach cancer.

    (Always scared me in could get same.)

    He said 25 years ago they did take reflux acid stomach so

    serious justhe given ant acid likebana rennes tums stuff and left

    To get on with it would never been referred to surgeon back then

    but realised now it more serious than thought back then .

    So try to find other people that had this done to help me cope with

    it all. Any advise is welcome be whigh ever way want to know

    truth from people been through it.

    I know every ones different but any help appreciated as got my

    headaround needing surgery just need to focus on coping after

    and what to exspect .

    Sorry this bit long winded but hope this helps anyone else as

    I'm not one to want anyone to operate on me real if I could avoid

    as Strong with anything else in life but not with having any sort

    operation as I have needle phobia as well so getting canulau in

    hand freak me out let a lonely the rest.

    Thanks every one.

    • Posted

      It's true we know much more now than was known 25 years ago. That's about the time I was really having terrible reflux and acid problems. But I didn't know refluxing acid was dangerous. I had had reflux issue all my life but none were ever recgnised as such. (A brief synopsis of my story may be found as an appendix in the Down With Acid book. )

      My dad used to take Rennie like sweets and died when I was a young teen (in the early '60s) of a heart attack. He probably thought it was just indigestion again.

      And I used Rennies, and probably still would be if it hadn't been I developed kidney stones from that excess calcium which prompted my doctor to send me for a scope from which I discovered I had Barrett's 22 years ago.

      But now we know that Barrett's can mutate to cancer, those of us who have been identified with it receive regular scopes every few years watching out for the tell tale first signs of dysplastic changes so ablation can be provided to reduce risks of cancerous progression.

      But as I said above, for me reflux reduction surgery was the best thing I ever did and it gave me my life back.

      I wrote a blog of my surgery on my personal website www ChrisRob co uk where it may be found some way down the Barrett's page.

    • Posted

      Thanks for getting back to me . Yes as my Surgeon said was recognised back then as anything serious.

      I will definitely take a look at you Web site and try look at the other information. Alway helpful to know others storys from exspence. Rather than just text book stuff. As I said as much information is good to help me prepaire for surgery and help me recovery and any problems I might occur that other may have exsperanced that I can prohaps avoid . Thanks again for you help in this . How long did take you to recover and did you have any problems with eating and getting from soft liquid foods to solids. Also can you eat normally now..

    • Posted

      Took me about 6 weeks to recover after my first Laparoscopic Nissen Fundoplication. I had stocked up on soups but was eating things like shepherd's pie immediately - though only managing very small portions initially.

      After my wrap came loose (from norovirus), I had a second operation - a Collis-Nissen revision. That was a more major operation requiring resectioning of the stomach to effectively increase the length of the oeosphagus for a more permanent wrap. That took quite a bit longer to recover from as, eating too much or too quickly caused "dumping syndrome" (similar to a diabetic attack). But I eat normally now.

    • Posted

      Hi Zena, I appreciate all your info. I was diagnosed with GERD 2 months ago and it still has not cleared up. My esphogus hurts really bad and seems swollen. I go for a endoscopy the 16th of May. This has been frustrating and painful. Not to mention depressing. 

      What did the Doc say on your April 28th appointment???


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