Just had Laroscopic Nissen Fundoplication - good experience so far!

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Hi Everyone,

I had the LNF surgery three days ago and just wanted to tell you my experience of it all as I was terrified of the surgery and of the side effects afterwards - so much so I considered cancelling it at the last minute! I read a lot of information on the web in the days leading up to the surgey (good and bad) and was left feeling that even people with what seemed to be good experiences seemed to be having a very hard time. As it is so far I've been pleasantly surprised!

I had surgery due to a loose gullet which was confirmed via endoscopy. I opted to not be sedated so I could get the results these are then (if you're sedated you get them a few days later as you tend not to be awake enough afterwards to take in the information). The endoscopy wasn't the most pleasant experience but was over fairly quickly and something I could do again if needed without being nervous about it.

I then had all of the PH testing which confirmed acid reflux and the associated tests for swallowing that confirmed that I was a good candidate for Nissens.

Fast forward to three days ago and arrived at the hospital very nervous about it all and feeling like I wanted to back out. I'd read information on the web about bloating, not being able to burp, not being able to vomit, dumping, diahorrea, etc. and couldn't see how I could live with all of that afterwards! My surgeon was very dismissive of most of my fears (in a good way) and confirmed that not being able to vomit may be a side effect and short term bloating may be an issue but the rest of the side effects won't be an issue. I really trust the surgeon as he has always been very open with facts and statistics so was happy to go ahead with the surgery.

Feedback from the surgeon was that the surgery was very straightforward. He found a Hitaus Hernia which hadn't showed up before which he fixed as part of the fundoplication.

Since the surgey I've had a lot of discomfort in my tummy area but I've put this down to the holes that were made for the procedure rather than the fundoplication as it is very localised on the surface of my tummy. My lungs have been a bit sore since too and breathing in deeply has been uncomfortable but both issues have eased over the past three days.

In terms of eating and drinking I'd been told by the surgeon to experiment with textures to see what I can handle which is much better than the clear fluids for a week I was expecting. So far I have been able to drink water, squash, Horlicks and Decaf coffee without any issues. It takes a lot longer to get through a drink as there is a feeling inside like a funnel where liquids get backed up a bit when I swallow too much but there is no pain associated with this and it goes away after a few seconds. I managed to each half a bowl of Weetabix the morning after the surgery, moving on to custard, semolina and chicken soup over the past couple of days, none of which was strained. I'm probably not drinking enough due to how long it takes but my bladder and bowel movements are pretty normal so I'm not too worried about that at this stage. Also I am able to burp after eating and drinking. Probably not voluntary at the moment but when my body feels like it needs to it does. The same goes for passing wind too although there seems to be a lot more of that than usual!

So far I have no regrets about the surgery and feel that it was definitely the right thing to do. I expected the weeks after the surgery to be difficult but so far haven't suffered too badly. I'm self employed and work from home on a computer and am aiming to do a few hours this afternoon building up to full-time again next week, one week after the surgery. However, if I wasn't working from home I don't know if I could manage working in a office at this stage yet and definitely couldn't handle a commute via car, train, etc.

Hopefully my experience might be useful to others. I know from what I read before my surgery most of what I found on the web was negative so hopefully I can keep you updated with a positive experience!

Cheers,

Ben

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  • Posted

    Thanks for sharing, Ben.

    Hope it helps the others who are reticent about taking this course of action.

    I was originally offered Nissen fundoplication surgery in 1999 but it would have been an ope operation then, the laparoscopic technique was still very new. It frightened me too much and I didn't go ahead with it.

    By 2007 I would have had it by open surgery if necessary, my reflux symptoms were so bad. When I eventually had it done, I wondered what all the fuss had been about. The best thing I ever did.

    Good luck with the rest of your recovery.

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    • Posted

      I don't think I would have had it done it open surgery was the only option! It's good to hear everything worked out for you - it's early days for me of course but I'm staying optimistic!
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  • Posted

    Thanks so much for this, I'm 5 weeks away from my op and like you read so much stuff it's just nice to hear first hand someone's experience.

    Steph

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    • Posted

      If I knew last week what I know now I wouldn't have any fear at all so keep an open mind and I'm sure you'll get a good outcome from it. Just expect to be a bit sore and uncomfortable for a few days afterwards and make sure  you have someone on hand to help out when needed. Good luck!
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  • Posted

    Hi Ben I am glad to read that things are working out better than you thought they would. Thanks also for the feedback as having had the pH 24 hour test four weeks ago I am still awaiting the results but was told I am making acid when I sleep I am expecting to have the same surgery as you so I now have a better idea of what to expect if I do have it. Thanks.Ted
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    • Posted

      Hi Ted, I think my pH 24 hour tests came back within a week but I was lucky in that the NHS in my area doesn't specialise in this area so I was referred privately but funded by the NHS. I guess things happen quicker privately! It does sound like a long time to wait though considering most of the work has already been done by the monitoring device!
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    • Posted

      Thanks for replying Ben. Its interesting because just like you , I live in Eastbourne, I was referred to the Esperance a private hospital by the NHS. But unbelievably for the testing I had to travel up to Guys hospital London. Its just as well my son lives in Bromley as the fares would of cost me a fortune if I had not been able to stay with him.its only because I contacted my consultant that I now have an appointment to see him on the 29th. I get the feeling that as I am an NHS patient I am at the bottom of the pecking order when it comes to getting appointments. Given all through this process that's been the case I will see what he as to say and if there are further delays I will contact my MP. Because as you will know not knowing precisely what is going on inside is very worrying. Good luck for the future Ted
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    • Posted

      Unfortunately, under NHS, fundoplication is classed as elective surgery coming below emergency and essential categories and heaped in with things like tummy tucks! But you should be seen within 18 weeks. (Though they reset the clock at each stage of the process.) Good luck.
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    • Posted

      I saw my GP on New Year's Day this year which kicked off the process for me and had the surgery this week. It could have been a bit quicker but I had a holiday I wanted to get out of the way first. The slowest part of the process was getting the first consultation but after that things moved really quickly and getting in to see the consultant at each stage took a week or two. I felt like I was treated as a private patient at every stage after being referred privately by the NHS. Without delays from my end I would imagine I would have had the surgery within 6 months of seeing my GP which I am more than pleased about! Good luck Ted - hope it all goes well!
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    • Posted

      I had my tests at guys hospital and had my results within two days, sounds like I may have been an exception!
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    • Posted

      Yea sorry I got that wrong I was meant to have them at guys but had it done at London Bridge hospital, but yes two days was very quick!
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