Laparscopic Nissen Fundoplication and Hiatal Hernia repair surgery

Posted , 60 users are following.

I had suffered with stomach problems for what felt like forever but was probably just a year or two before I finally insisted on seeing a specialist (Nov 13). I have previously been taking Esmaprazole, Domperidone and copious amounts of Gaviscon to no real avail. I suffered acid problems and a constant burning sensation in my upper abdomen. I had Laparscopic Nissen Fundoplication and Hiatal Hernia repair surgery in June 2014 and could feel the improvements from the moment I came round from Anaesthetic.

I thoroughly researched the surgery, recovery and surgeon’s available and even considered paying privately if the need required. By request I was referred to Mr Viswanath (James Cook University Hospital & Nuffield Hospital – North East England). After reading some of the blogs and information available on the Internet regarding this type of surgery I was under no illusions that the recovery would be very tough, Indeed my own GP advised me against this type of operation as did most of my family and friends however the pain and suffering was to such an extent that I knew I had little option but to undergo surgery.

I am very pleased to say that for me, the recovery has been less difficult/painful than I was advised, I put this down to two factors; firstly and most importantly the skill of the surgeon, secondly by being mentally prepared (remember that any discomfort and dietary restrictions after the operation are a temporary measure in order to fix your stomach, and by comparing that to the constant discomfort I was suffering Pre-Operation encouraged me to be positive each and every day).

I had never before experienced a hospital stay or surgery or anaesthetic and was very nervous however I can honestly say (to date) the hardest part for me was the thorough testing carried out to check if I was suitable for surgery and also the 24 hour fasting/dietary restrictions pre-op (an empty stomach for me was a truly painful thing - the acid was unbearable).

My surgery was first of the day and I was given the anaesthetic at 07:50, When I awoke from anaesthetic at 10:50 I was asked how I was feeling etc and if I was in any pain/discomfort, I wasn’t and asked for some water which I was given at hourly intervals on an incremental basis. After my first sip of water I managed a small burp (for me this was a major sign of the surgery’s success, I had read many blogs in which people were never able to burp again and therefore suffered from gas). I wasn’t in any pain/discomfort nor felt groggy in any way, in fact the constant nagging pain that I had felt pre op was gone. I managed to visit the ladies without any assistance walking and was discharged shortly after 17:30pm the same day. Amazing!! Unfortunatly another lady in for surgery the same day as me was not so lucky, when she awoke she asked for pain medication and when I left she was still struggling to swallow even the smallest amount of fluid. (I put this down to the pain medication but I’m not medically trained and am not qualified to say).

I was discharged with Tramadol pain killers to be taken as required alongside paracetamol, anti-sickness medication and Lanzaprazol (all dispersible). I took half of the Tramadol on the second day thinking it would help me sleep as I was finding it difficult to get comfortable lying down because of the wounds, but it didn’t and so I didn’t take any more. The first few days I took paracetamol every four hours along with the anti-sickness and Lanzaprazol but around day 5 I didn’t feel the need and only kept taking the antacid at doctors instructions (so the stomach has time to heal without acid causing any problem).

Food was limited to liquid only and I admit to following the dietary information very comprehensively (My advice if you want it - this is your chance to fix your stomach – don’t waste it by trying to run before you can walk). I kept a daily log of my food intake and although the first few days I managed very little, a small amount of yoghurt, ice cream and soup this soon increased as the week/weeks went on and the food diary helped me to monitor the improvement easily – which also helped boost my moral/positive attitude. Although a liquid diet sounds very restrictive, a little preparation can go a long way to making this diet easier and more acceptable. I made several batches of soup pre op, different flavours and thickness and froze them in different quantity pots – labelling them clearly, I bought several types/flavours of ice cream, and yoghurt’s and also drinks e.g Bovril, Hot Chocolate, Ovaltine and Horlicks and used full fat milk. I bought various tins of deserts e.g Custard, Semolina, Tapioca, rice pudding and thinned these down with full fat milk. By week 3 I was managing small amounts of soup with small bits and also a rusk with a cup of tea. After week 6 I stopped recording my food intake and continue to increase my intake on a slow and steady basis.

I’m not saying the recovery has been easy and there were/are times when it is difficult to swallow food and I know I still have a way to go, it’s still early days and as my intake is reduced so is my energy levels but in all I would say this was not as difficult and unpleasant as I had thought, and for me it was a big success and my life is much better for it. I am thrilled with the results to date (11 weeks on).

I would like to mention that I am pleased with the service received from the National Health Service, from the point of referral, through consultations and thorough testing to the date of my surgery took under 7 months. I couldn't fault the care received. Again I would mention the skills of Mr Viswanath and his team in helping to give me back my health.

My advice to anyone suffering - If surgery is a viable option for you then do your research & choose your surgeon, remain positive and follow the instructions given to aid your recovery. Don't be put off by the information available, there are success stories too. Best Wishes, Julie.

14 likes, 161 replies

Report

161 Replies

Next
  • Posted

    Hi Julie,  thank you,for such a comprehensive post. I have recently had the LINX PROCEDURE and like,you I'm feeling fantastic, my surgeon is one of the best upper GI consultants in Europe Mr Wajed at the royal Devon & Exeter hospital

    i was offered LINX after many and lengthy tests and the critaria is so very strict. The nissen flux was mentioned but to be honest it frightened me for all the reso s you say, I also spoke to at least half a dozen people who had had it done and they all experienced problems, I totally agree it's down to th surgeon and to a lesser extent the patient, were all different. What scared me ref the procedure you had was how they hitch the stomach over the easophogus and also the inability to ever throw up 

    I'm soooooo lucky I was able,to have the LINX procedure and he also repaired a 3 cm HH       Were both lucky it worked for us and hopefully we can help others who are maybe in the same position we were in prior to our respective procedures

     paul x

    Report Reply
    • Posted

      Hi, not sure if your still on the forum but going to ask anyway, I am seriously concidering either Nissan or Lynx and have done so much resrch on surgeons Mr Wajed comes up as an amzing guy and am going to have him do the surgery  if i 'm eligable which I pray I am . from your post you seem to share the feelings of many on his skills. 

      I'm still scared stiff a syou hear so many horror stories of awfull gasbloat etc but by all acounts it does seem to be down to the experience of the surgeon.I guess what I'm trying to say is would you recomend him from your personal experience ?

      Sorry for the ramble,

      Thanks 

      jane 

      Report Reply
    • Posted

      Hi Jane, I read your post and I'm wondering what an LYNX is. Also I am to have a Nissen fundoplication surgery and I hiatal hernia on February 8th and was wondering if you could give me any tips on what I should be looking for or what I will be going through. I am kind of scared in one way because I'm afraid I am going to see one of those patients that are going to have problems I guess I'm thinking negative instead of positive. I'm also looking forward to having surgery because I'm hoping it will definitely help me feel better in the long run as I look back on all of this had it 20 years ago and did not know it I had every symptom there was and more and was taken to the ER and they just brushed it off as having the intestinal virus. It infuriates me two think that all this time I had a hiatal hernia and no doctor ever caught it and I have been through many test for other things. I don't mean to rant and rave I just was curious to know how I was supposed to feel thank you

      Report Reply
    • Posted

      Hello Dgarder.  I had the Nissan Fund procedure on 01/23/17.  My sergeon was among the best qualified for this procedure.  I have also suffered approx 15 years with Prilosec, etc.  The operation took about 2.5 hours and it's really nothing to worry about if you're in good health.  They screened me pretty thourougly and scrubbed the surgery the first time due to hign blood pressure.  I run and workout quite a bit but I guess I had "White Coat Syndrome".  After they got my BP under control, the went through with the proceedure.  I'm sure I caused my Hiatal Hernia by bench pressing way too much.  Tomorrow will be 1 week and to be honest with you there is quite some discomfort but you have to remember to eat what they suggest and stop as soon as you feel any discomfort.  I'm really glad I had this as I am 56 yrs old and probably wouldn't be able to tolerate it as well as I get older.  So far I've lost about 1 lb/day but I'm sure I'll  be able to put it back on once my stomach stretches out to normal size.  I was told that I could start running (slowly at first) at about 6 weeks and could also start working out at about 6 months but this time I'm going to keep the bench under 300lbs.  Good luck and let me know how it turns out.

      -Mark

      Report Reply
    • Posted

      Mark where did you receive your procedure? I'm hunting round, researching etc to try and decide where to have this done. I cannot cope any more with the symptoms.

      Report Reply
    • Posted

      Yeah. I just got diagnosed with hiatal hernia, after 15 years of ever-increasing antacids (PPIs, mostly). I'm still in the ticked off stage. Those meds are not safe, longterm. And this hernia has likely been the darn problem all along.

      Report Reply
  • Posted

    Julie, what a wonderfully positive report.  Bless you.  I'm so glad you are celebrating that good health that has been in at least part now returned to you.  

    It's funny.  When I first came on these boards I was haunted by the many nay-sayers and the tales of horror that I continually read.  I was fearful of having an endoscopy.  I was literally shaking when I had my blood pressure in preparation for the same because of all that I had read here and elsewhere.  I was convinced I had something deadly.  I must - I thought- given what I had read.  

    As it turned out IN REALITY I didn't.  I was fine.  

    I was certainly much more relaxed when I had the colonoscopy largely because I knew better than to read - or believe - those ever multipling horror stories.  I prepared myself in a positive fashion on that occasion and was much better for it.

    As you suggest, dear Julie, mind-frame makes a vast difference and I think - in part - only YOU can doctor yourself in that regard.  FORGET THE DRUGS AND POTIONS.  Certainly THAT proved true to me - and I can only share my own experience.  

    Now, whilst it is true that all of my initial reporting symptoms have not disappeared entirely - albeit many have - I find I can now live happily aside them because I have become accepting of myself and continue to maintain a positive attitude.  The deficits may occasionally be disturbing, yes, but not life threatening and certainly nothing that I can't handle.  

    There is, I have found, great succour found in the power of positive thought.  I sometimes wish there could be more of that hereabouts.  Bless you, Julie, for providing your own brilliant evidence of that same.  It gives great value to an ever burgeoning many.    

    Report Reply
  • Posted

    Hi Julie, really interested to read your post, I have seen my surgeon today and am booked in for  a partial nissen fundiplication, probably within the next month. I have a hiatus hernia and now barretts, have been on Omeprazole for 10 years looking forward to coming off this medication!  How long did you have off work following this procedure? Did you lose much weight following the surgery? My surgeon is concerned that I don't lose too much weight he said I am a very slim lady so mustn't lose too much. One thing I am concerned about is the inability to vomit afterwards, how do you prevent this if you get a bug and what could happen?  I absolutely hate throwing up but the thought of not being able to when your body wants to scares me!
    Report Reply
    • Posted

      Hi Sunlover, I was lucky enough to be able to do some work from home and to work as and whenIi felt able too, so only took 2 actual weeks off work, (I am self employed and so was able to do a phased return to work), i worked 9 hours in week 3 and 15 in week 4 and then built up gradually. I still get a little wore out from time to time but have just had a weeks holiday abroad which I managed fine without any problem and I have just started to do some light lifting, hoovering etc. I did loose weight and can't see how it can be avoided as you get full so quickly and need to re-train your stomach to eat and digest foods again. I suggest preperation as mentioned in my original post and tenacity ( I still struggle upon occasions with some foods e.g Bread ) and this can be most unpleasant but when this happens i simply eat softer foods - Yoghurt and soup were my saving grace or I also find it helps to start my meal with softer foods and work up to the more solid items e.g have a few mouthfulls of mash potato before I attempt meat. Keep trying to eat small amounts and keep a diary so you can mark you improvement. I too was worried about being unable to Vomit or burp for that matter, I have always had a poor constitution and would vomit quite easily before surgery. As i mentioned i burped straight away and have continued to be able to do so (I occasionally get trapped wind in my shoulders but it dissapates and isn't that frequent). I even managed to have a few small lager/beers on holiday without any problem. So far I haven't vomited nor felt the need too and long may it continue. I hope this info helps answers your questions. kind regards julie
      Report Reply
    • Posted

      Hi, my son of 15 has suffered from acid reflux for years now. We have finally been told he has a sliding hiatus hernia. And has probably had Barrett's oesophagus since he was a baby. ( This is very rare in children). His only option now is to have surgery to repair the hiatus hernia. Even though it will help reduce the acid reflux. It won't help his Barrett's oesophagus. This will need regular surveillance for many years..his appointment is this month to discuss both surgical options. We're you given a choice of both options.

      Nicky

      Report Reply
  • Posted

    Brilliant account of the surgery. Did they say how long it may last? I had the same procedures in 2007 but have had some savage reflux lately and my oesophagus is inflamed again. I'm in hospital just now waiting for a barium swallow. I would not hesitate to have the procedure again. It changed my life very much for the better.
    Report Reply
    • Posted

      Hi Caroline, They didn't say how long it would last, i'm just keeping my fingers crossed and being very sensible about how i treat my stomach. My surgeon advised that my stomach is now a single lane road instead of a dual carriageway and to treat it accordingly - which I fully intend to do. I am thrilled to date with my results and will do everything possible to help keep it that way. I hope you improve soon and let me know how you get on. Kind Regards Julie
      Report Reply
  • Posted

    What did you feel like after one week, reason for asking is, I am having the same op and 8 days later I have something in my calendar I don't want to miss, so will I be able to just sit there.

    So glad you have recovered well after your op and thank you for your input

    Report Reply
  • Posted

    Can I just advise caution.  A friend of mine - a close friend - had this procedure a year ago.  Her reflux came back quite quickly and she three times went back to the operating consultant.  He assured her that wasn't possible.  The GP put her back on medication.  Then she found she was having laboured breathing.  They gave her a CT scan recently and a large HH had reopened leading to the development of a rapidly deteriorating situation with her lungs that is life threatening.  They now need to schedule re-constructive surgery.  I really would not have this procedure unless it is ABSOLUTELY neccessary.  My friend had it ... and it may well have cost her life.  Not pretty.  They have suggested she now has three years ... with potentially the need for a lung transplant.  Given her age (65+) she will not be a priority for that. 
    Report Reply
    • Posted

      Thanks for your comments, but I am suffering a lot.

      however your comment on her age 65+ are you saying that at that age she will have to wait longer for her op. 

      Report Reply
    • Posted

      No, not for the restorative procedure.  That I would imagine is an emergency - even though she has to go through the emergency hoops.  (Oh, the system .. You know.)  It's just that - should it come to it - given her age - she will not be at the top of the priority list for a lung transplant should it come to that ... and that will have - in large measure - been wrought by the original Nissen procedure.  She SO wishes she hadn't had it.  I just got a text from her saying that the original operating consultant called just now to apologise.  That won't get her on the tube,  Blessedly the Freedom Pass does. ... LOL
      Report Reply
    • Posted

      I am sorry to hear this about ur friend and I agree with you. Anyone considering this operation should only do if they are absolutely certain of all aspects of side effects. I am 8 weeks post surgery, I had mine done on the Nhs. I was ill informed of many things and waited 2 years for this surgery for it to go wrong. My laparoscopy was reverted to open surgery after the surgeon accidentally cut my spleen. Please please if u consider this do not be afraid to ask whether your surgeon is practiced in this surgery. I have since been told by a surgeon that it is a very difficult procedure to do laparoscopy and should only be done by an experienced surgeon in this field. I too have breathing issues and I am now under a chest physician for this, and was recently diagnosed with disfunctional breathing. I did many many months of research myself on the internet prior to surgery and decided it was the best route to take but in hindsight now I would not of had this surgery. I am still very limited in what I can eat, I cannot tolerate alcohol and I still have extreme nausea every day. Does anyone else get this?? I know it is early days yet. I was unlucky that this happened to me but please just be 100% sure that it is your only option- I am still unable to return to work due to my breathing issues.
      Report Reply
    • Posted

      Hi Nezra, I'm Leonie in Australia, and I was sad to hear of your bad experience with laparoscopic surgery. I wish it had gone much better for you. I wonder if you would consider going back for another surgery, if you found a great doctor sometime down the track. I'm glad you've been honest about your experience and feelings, because not everyone comes out of this surgery in good shape. My doc says my hernia is too small to have this surgery, which is disappointing. But like you, I have constant nausea and can't eat properly or drink alcohol. I also have breathing problems. Despite this, My doc wants me to see a swallowing specialist. Do you have trouble swallowing ? All the best, 

      Report Reply

Join this discussion or start a new one?

New discussion Reply

Report as inappropriate

Thanks for your help!

We want the forums to be a useful resource for our users but it is important to remember that the forums are not moderated or reviewed by doctors and so you should not rely on opinions or advice given by other users in respect of any healthcare matters. Always speak to your doctor before acting and in cases of emergency seek appropriate medical assistance immediately. Use of the forums is subject to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy and steps will be taken to remove posts identified as being in breach of those terms.

newnav-down newnav-up