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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!
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