Is the vagus nerve one cause for Gerd after surgery?

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Hello has anyone know If the vagus nerve can cause your LES valve to weaken after a surgery? I've never had any problems with my valve before, absolutely no reflux and since I had an emergency gallbladder surgery ( gallstones caused pancreatitis) around 11 weeks ago, I 've been feeling  a lot of pain in my chest, gullet and throat. I've seen lots of doctors and one ( gastro specialist) told me it could be because of the vagus nerve and that I'll get better in time. another ( my surgeon) thinks the valves stopped working after this surgery which made me really worried and confused.

i am waiting at the moment to do some tests in the hospital ( manometry and a ph test) I've enever done nothing like this before in my life so I am very scare.  I also had the GB surgery only two months after my 1st baby was born. It has been the hardest times in my life without a doubt (I am only 39) 

Thank u. 

 

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14 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Leni,

    Vagus nerve is behind the LES as far as I know. It could have been upset in the operation - but I think the surgeon may have had a better idea what is going on. Perhaps the pain of your gallbladder problems masked the problems of reflux. The manometry and PH test will give the surgeon vital information about how well your swallow reflux works and also how much acid you are refluxing. It's not the most comfortable of tests - but if you have had an endoscopy, you will find it's not so bad. I found it a lot less scary than I anticipated (I'm scared of the dentist!!!) Do you know if you have a hiatus hernia? This is known to cause LES problems and vagus nerve problems as well as reflux. 

    I know it will be a big worry for you - but please don't worry too much - it sounds like you have a good surgeon looking after you!

     

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    • Posted

      Hi Glennie, I know that you are waiting to have a Nissen's. Just wondered which hospital you were having it at?
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    • Posted

      Hi Julie,

      I'm having 270 fundoplication - not 360. It's at my local hospital in Carlisle. Unfortunately the place has had a proper slating recently - but the surgeon is really good - and I am happy to go there. It's a day only surgery and anywhere alsdid only find out I was definately having the op just a couple of days before Christmas. Hoping Feb/Mar.

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    • Posted

      Sorry my laptop being totally random! Other options would be a long journey - and not wanting to travel that far when I know I am in good hands near home. 
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    • Posted

      Hi Glennie, glad that you don't have to wait too long for your op. I had mine done in L iverpool by a good surgeon. The op went really well but I still have reflux. I won' t dwell on it as I'm sure that yours will be a great success. I must just be one of the unlucky ones! Got the motility test on Monday, happy days!!
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    • Posted

      Hi Julie,

      Hopefully they can see what's going on - and sort it out. It may not work for me - but I'm willing to give it a go. I have heard of people having fundo done again due to it not working right - and sometimes the stitches are too loose as opposed to too tight. If the surgeon was happy without doubt everything was right, I doubt they would be asking you to re-do motility test. Let me know how you get on!

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    • Posted

      Thanks for your reply Glennie, do you know of anybody who has had to have their Nissen redone? And if so how did they do? 

      Why are you having a 270 nissen's as opposed to a 360? Clearly the surgeon assesses what individual patients need.

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    • Posted

      Thank u. I am so tired to feel like this after surgery I thought all the problems would be gone with the GB but no.

      I've never felt reflux that was so bad like now. Do you know if the vagus nerve might settle in time? Have you ever heard about this?

       I hope I don't have to go through surgery again in this life. 

      Thank u & all the best for your surgery. Why are you having the Nissen?

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    • Posted

      Hi Julie,

      I've heard of a few people who have had to have the op done again - a few of them on this forum. Sometimes the operation doesn't go to plan - and the wrap is too tight or too loose - sometimes it can herniate. 

      I am having a 270 as my surgeon reckons there's less problems - you are less likely to loose the belch/vomit ability, less worry that the wrap they make is too tight. I have a hiatus hernia too - so that will be repaired at the same time. If it means I can take the hideous plank from under my bed (that I keep stubbing my toe on) I will be happy!

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    • Posted

      Thanks for the reply Glennie, if I'm honest I don't know if my Nissens was 360 or not. I also had a hernia repair. I've got a lot of faith in the surgeon he's one of the best in the North West so I can only go by his advice. It's really nice to be able to talk to people who understand what it's like to have these issues as you don't want to keep on to your family.
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    • Posted

      Hi Leni,

      The vagus nerve can cause all types of problems - when I was having problems with my hiatus hernia a few months ago (more settled just now - fingers crossed) I had the most horrendous jaw pain - I ended up going to my dentist! She couldn't find anything and gave me pain killers - I have only recently found out that it was my vagus nerve being 'tweaked' by my hernia. It can cause pains in your arms, legs, back and neck - basically it's a very big branch of nerve that runs pretty much the length of your body - and part is located behind your diaphram. If you have a hiatus hernia - it will usually be around this area - and can upset this nerve. It could settle by itself - I have on/off troubles with it.

      As for surgery again - I'd see what they find - I've heard people have had gallstones and hernias - noone likes operations - but it's better to get fixed than not. I am having my operation due to severe reflux and hiatus hernia. It has effected my life in such a way that I don't have a social life anymore - and this will be the first Christmas i have not put any weight on! I can't tolerate PPI's which are the best meds to tackle this - and am now on ranitidine 300mg twice a day - which is not ideal - but with a strict diet and lifestlye - usually keep symptoms bareable. I worry about long term use of acid supressants as they stop you absorbing vitamin B12 and aslo leads to magnesium levels plummeting as you can't digest proteins properly. I would rather give the op a go! 

      Anyway enough of me rabbiting on! I hope you get some answers! 

      Please let me know how you get on!

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    • Posted

      Hi Julie,

      I know what you mean! I don't think people realise how bad this can be unless they have experienced it themselves. Are you having another 24hr ph test after having the motility test? 

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    • Posted

      Hi Glennie, yes am having the 24 hour motility test. This is where they put in a fine bore Naso-gastric and measure the refluxes. But you know that already don't you Glennie because you've had it done haven't you? It's not pleasant is it? But a necessary evil. Any thing that can help sort out this thing I'll do.
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    • Posted

      Hi Julie,

      Yes I have had the manometry and 24 hour ph test. Found it to be an unusual experience. It's not as bad as an endoscopy - and it's a bit weird when you eat and have the tube tug on your nose! I did find that I tried to avoid sitting in a place where people would see my nose tube taped to my face - didn't like being stared at! Didn't really help that I was staying in a hotel for the night - but the hospital I had to go to was a 140 mile round trip from home! 

      I'm sure you will be feeling pretty awful right now - as you will be without meds. I'm quite glad they are doing this though, as the test results will prove if the repair you have done is working - or whether they need to investigate further - shows your surgeon really cares! 

      Good luck with it! Let me know how it goes!

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