Confused about diet after myotomy, feeling pain

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Hello, I'm new to the forum. I'm a 30 year old male who just had the laproscopic Heller myotomy with Toupet fundoplication. The surgeon said the surgery went well, and after 2 nights in the hospital I was discharged. I'm confused about diet because the surgeon and hospital staff said that I could resume a normal diet as soon as I got home. A nurse even said, "if you want a cheeseburger, just go for it". Literally every other resource online, including patient instructions on hospital webpages, says differently. I put myself on a liquid diet for the first 3 days after surgery. On the 4th day, I ate macaroni and cheese and was ok. Yesterday (5th day) I cooked fish and yams, and had a lot of stomach pain despite eating very slowly and chewing incredibly well. There's no way I can imagine myself eating a cheeseburger now just 6 days after surgery. Has anyone else on here been recommended an accelerated diet plan? What are your experiences with it? Have any of you disobeyed the discharge instructions and felt pain after eatign certain foods?

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  • Posted

    I had my surgery May 2015, advised sloppy diet for 3 weeks then gradually introduce lumps, onto normal food. Too solid too soon is not wise, your insides need time to heal.
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  • Posted

    Hi Kyle,

    I had the operation in Septemeber 2015.  I was NBM for 2 days post surgery, then on clear liquid diet for 2 days, then full liquid diet for 2 weeks, soft diet for 4 weeks.  I only started normal diet in the November but that was all my consultant instructions.  I have seen many other saying they eat normal diet quickly but then other have had same diet plan as me.  Think it must just depend on the surgeon - also how you feel!

    Maybe speak to one of your health care professionals for advice to see if its correct!

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  • Posted

    Sorry but you may have been given duff info. First two weeks liquid diet I.e light soup or thin porridge. Next two weeks a soft diet such as macaroni or pasta . Then third period for two weeks eat a more normal diet slowly introducing foods you would normally eat. Drink fluids with meals and eat slowly.
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  • Posted

    Depending on how long you where struggling to eat for before surgery your stomach will have shrunk. Take it easy at first - my wife didn't bother with a liquid diet per say but had like porridge for breaky, pasta for lunch, may be soup: eat smaller meals at first and with water as the operation does nothing for the lack of muscles in the esophagus.

    She can eat most things now but rice she struggles with and can't eat say dry bread she needs water with meals.

    Op was Feb 2012 - fine ever since. Stress can make swallowing an issue again but nothing like pre op. Also be aware you can no longer be sick - get some tablets in that stop sickness and nausea as you literally will heave and heave and it just hurts! Some say that if you've eaten a massive meal and try to be sick some will come up but other than that nothing comes back! So we now live by the rule for food - if in doubt throw it out!!!

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  • Posted

    Where did you have the op done? We travelled miles to Nottingham to see Dr Ian Beckingham

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    • Posted

      I had my procedure done in the US. As soon as I saw the word "porridge" in one of the replies I realized that I wasn't posting on a US forum! Hope this isn't restricted to users in the UK because you all have some excellent information on here and I'd love to stick around.
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    • Posted

      Doubt it matters where you are from tbh! Achalasia is so rare that everyone needs to stick together! Some very good Facebook groups - I'm a member of most of them.

      Just take it easy eating - no real need to stick

      To liquids tbh as the restriction of the LES has been removed so the food goes down and round the bend - some what like a toilet! But drink plenty and don't rush you self.

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  • Posted

    Thanks to everyone else for the replies so far. I suppose I should listen to my body as Jennie said, though I will definitely take it easy after my episode yesterday and stick to soft foods for awhile longer. I just heated up some pea soup (ahem, pea porridge) and I seem to be tolerating that much better than the fish. 
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  • Posted

    My two nights in the hospital turned into two weeks after the proceedure.  I was told that my esophagus had to be reshaped as it was stretched and collecting food etc. in addition to the Heller M and Fund and Hernia .  So for two weeks I was fed by tube.....My point is that ......I imagine, the less pressure you put on the esophagus right away, the better off you will be.The more time to heal the better. Ignore the happy talk. I had no pain after the surgery and do not to this day.    Buy a Vita Mix and enjoy life. Trisherbell seems to have a good path.   Good luck
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  • Posted

    You need to be carefull about this because every patient is different.   Most hospitals, I think, suggest going on a soft diet first.   I am not sure that anybody can really predict how well the motility is going to go (ie the passage of food down into the stomach) so it does make sense to take it gradually and slowly with a soft / liquid diet.   I think you will always be a slow eater and will always need to make sure that you chew well because the risk of things getting stuck will always be a bit of a fear.   Try avoiding anything with a stringy texture, or with skins etc.

    There will be a certain length of time for any soreness around the site of the surgery to settle down.   Surgical scars are usually completely healed after six weeks, and staples probably shorten the time.

    What kind of pain do you experience after food?   Might it simply be that your stomach has become unused to dealing with the quantity of food that you can now consume?   Or might it be reflux if it is in your chest area?   It is you who experiences the effects of eating the wrong thing, and I do not think you should feel at all inhibited from taking it much slower than advised.   There is a tension and anxiety element that affects your swallowing, and you need to feel relaxed about yourself and how you are coping, and if this means progressing to harder food  more slowly then that seems very sensible to me.

    Personally I suffered a leak after a repaired ruptured oesophagus, and a long extra stay in hospital, probably because of starting to eat too soon after surgery and the hospital realised that they had not been cautious enough but my situation was very different from yours.

     

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    • Posted

      The pain I experienced was definitely in the stomach region, not under the sternum as I've experienced countless times before. Unfortunately I don't know my stomach well enough to know if the pain was at the junction of the stomach and the esophagus, or somewhere inside the stomach itself. I'm a terrible cook, and happened to burn the fish a bit in the frying pan. I tried to avoid the charred edges, but I'm sure that I swallowed a few pieces with rough edges. Within about 10-20 minutes, I began feeling sharp pain that went away after an hour or so.  
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    • Posted

      This was precisely what my husband had. Avoid sharp bits and/or solid foods and allow the healing to take place. Then progress onto soft food and so on.   
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  • Posted

    I  had the operation but I was told to be careful what I ate and take things slowly.    If I am unable to chew something down to nothing I don't eat it.  I eat a lot of fish and chicken but no meat.  I have all my vegetable mashed and have lots of soups.  Unfortunately it was bread that swelled up and caused major problems and now have botox injections every six months.  I have been told by my consultant to avoid bread, bananas and iced drinks/ice cream as this doesn't help the muscles.  I would say I was fine for two years before I had a major problem and that was after eating a crumpet.  I also found drinking alcholol caused a problem so I am now tea total.

    I was advised to stick with Decaffinated drinks which helps.  What I would say however is I am much better than I was before the operation and you will be too but I would still be careful of bread.

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  • Posted

    HI Kyle

    Agree with graeme35202 here, you have been given some questionable advice. When hubby had his surgery, (over a year ago now) he was told to eat normally from the beginning. It was only thanks to graeme35202 and  OPA_AlanM that made me take him aside and advise him otherwise. 

    He didn't eat normally in reality for at least a month. Initially it was little and often and then gradulally he introduced a liguidised diet gradually making it thicker and more solid over time. He was in pain every time he tried to eat solid food initially and their advice effectively saved the day.

    There is hope honestly,  things will improve. 

     

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  • Posted

    Bread is something that gives trouble to many people with achalasia, and indeed, rice.   It depends on the texture but it can swell up and become a bit 'slimy', rather like trying to get it to go down the plughole of the kitchen sink, if you forgive the comparison.

    We are in the course of compiling a booklet about Achalasia, and it will contain some of the findings, from a small survey, about food.   If you go to the website of the Oesophageal Patients Association and look under Oesophagus, thenn Achalasia, you can see the results in the notes of the meeting held on 15 July 2015.

    There can be quite a difference in how the surgery is performed from one patient to another, so what is right for one may not be right for everybody.  

    I agree that heaving and vomiting can be very traumatic.   I think it can be difficult to tell whether it is simply your system reacting against food when it is not used to it;  your system taking its time to recover after surgery; something inappropriate that you ate; or something else.  

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    • Posted

      Breads are a food hat I've instinctively avoided due to issues before my surgery. I remember devouring a Subway sandwich once in front of a friend, and feeling that I was going to choke to death. I didn't know that I had Achalasia at that time, and it was one of the most terrifying experiences of my life lasting a good 5-10 minutes. I hope the booklet goes well. It's a wonderful idea since there really aren't too many resources out there for people with this desease. 
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