Nissen Fundoplication Complications (...

Nissen Fundoplication Complications (post surgery)

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Colorado Springs, CO

#1 Oct 11, 2011
I had a laparoscopic nissen fundoplication in March of 2009. Since that surgery, I have been experiencing a vast number of symptoms from what I believe is from the surgery. Any help is appreciated as to where I should go from here. I have been to several gastroenterologist’s regarding my symptoms and none of them can figure out what is going on. Instead, they tell me they don’t know what it is and there is nothing they can really do about it. I am a 26 year old male in great health. 160lbs.
Here are some of the symptoms I have been experiencing:
- Bloating. After I eat something, there are occasions when I feel that whatever it is that I ate, gets stuck right in the middle of my chest. I get this feeling where the sternum and rib cage parts. In this area, I also get a lot of grumbling. The strange part about this though is the grumbling doesn’t sound like that of what you expect when hungry. It is more of a long gurgling sound that I compare to thicker bubbles forming. When I massage my intestines, it feels as if I have to push whatever I am digesting through my stomach/intestines. It can be very loud swishing noise when doing this.
-          Cramps – the cramping is the worst part of this whole ordeal. They are extremely painful and only subside following a bowel movement.
-          Diarrhea – usually 30-45 minutes after eating, and the bloating/stomach grumbling increases, it feels as if whatever was being digested just speeds through my intestines and comes out. It is not solid and it appears to be light colored and in a “grainy” form. There also appears to be a fair amount of acidity to it as it burns when coming out. There are also times when I get a large inflammation of my cecum or ileum (or in the general vicinity of the lower right quadrant of my intestines). When I were to push on it, it just sounds as if there is a TON of fluid there and after massaging, it will lead to a bowel movement.
-          Sometimes when I eat something, about 20-30 minutes afterwards I get very light headed/weak and I start to sweat really bad. It is almost like a hot flash. This usually subsides after I eat something but it is very strange to experience this because it feels as if I am going to pass out.
-          I have not had a solid bowel movement since I have had this surgery.
I have several tests including about three endoscopies, a colonoscopy, bowel follow-thru, barium x-ray. At first, I was put on Flagyl because my GI thought I had some type of bacteria that was causing the problems. I was on that for 14 days, and it seemed to help a little bit but then the symptoms started up again after a few weeks. I was also put on Xifaxan to see if that would help, and like the Flagyl, symptoms returned after a few weeks. I am currently on Bentyl for the very painful stomach cramps that I get, but that does absolutely nothing to curb the pain that I get. Celiac and Chron’s Disease have been ruled out. My GI has also ruled out any nerve damages from the surgery.
I have read a lot about certain complications from the Nissen but one that sticks out is “dumping syndrome”. It just sounds like what I am experiencing as it feels as though food just dumps through my intestines. I am getting a bit nervous (not that I was before) because my body is not able to absorb anything that I am eating. I have a very hard time gaining weight.
I just wanted to see if anyone out there has any thoughts or opinions as to what I should or could do about the symptoms I am experiencing. It is a very tough situation I am in being so young and constantly worrying about what is going to happen if I eat something. As you can imagine, being on a date with a girl should make you nervous but in a different context. I am worried that whatever I eat is going to cause the above to occur. Would getting the Nissen undone be a solution? I have read many articles about a blood sugar problem as well as an enzyme deficiency. Any help is appreciated.-M





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San Antonio, TX

#2 Dec 2, 2011
Hi, I'm a 21 year old female. I had my nissen in March of '06. I have had all of the similar problems since my surgery as well. I was diagnosed with a condition called abdominal migraines. As there are no medications I have found to help with this condition, I started doing research on homeopathic medications that can help. The main things I can recommend are ginger (whether cut up and boiled into a tea or eating crystalized ginger) which helps with a large variety of gastrointestinal problems, and cinnamon which will help with the pain as it relaxes your muscles and the pressure lessens.

It sounds silly I know. I now keep the old fashioned cinnamon hard candies on me at all times cause they are normally made with natural cinnamon extract and keep a package of crystallized ginger or Asian ginger candies in my car and eat them with almost every meal. Hope it can help you as well.

London, UK

#3 May 9, 2012
Hi before I'd even finished reading your post dumping syndrome was in my head ........treat as that and see how you get on .x

Jersey City, NJ

#4 May 22, 2012
Wow, went thru all of what u mentioned. Had my fundoplication in 2006 and haven't been the same. I was just recently diagnosed with dumping syndrome. I did get reactive hypoglycemia from this and have been on injections for a month now. It's controlled my sugar but still have so many stomach issues. I'm on a mission to get more answers and get better. I don't think the surgery can be undone though, good luck

London, UK

#5 Jun 19, 2012
Hi, I had the exact operation in January 2012, since then I have experienced terrible grumbling from my stomach, the feeling of something stuck in my throat, i have not suffered the dumping syndrome, but have had terrible cramp like pains in my throat. This has been so extreme, it has caused the motions of sickness but as I no longer can be sick, i just retch. I have been back to see my Consultant several times to which he has no answer. This operation has ruined my health and made me so miserable, I would not recommend anyone have this done!
Would be interested to hear from anyone with similar complications.

Oklahoma City, OK

#6 Jul 12, 2012
51 year old male here. Had nissen performed two years ago when at 230 pounds on a stocky 5'10" frame. Lost 50 pounds quickly as nausea, dizziness and sweating made eating undesireable. A coughing fit ripped out half the sutures of the fundoplication renduring the surgery ineffective for GERD and the hiatel hernia re-emerged. The original surgeon wants to go back in to re-do the operation and take out my gall bladder while he's in there as he thinks it may help my symptoms. A second opinion was sought out by another internal specialist who said to go back in could make things worse and second and third attempts lose success rates exponentially. He also stated chances of effecting the vagus nerve are also increased. I have elected not to have the surgey re-done at this point. I am now back on twice the daily recommended dose of Previcid in effort to control GERD, but suppliment that with numerous calcium antacids. I also continue to experience the bloating, cramps, gurgling, nausea, dizziness, sleeplessness, exhaustion, and diarrhea that came on after the surgery. Being sick every day for two years brought on depression and anxiety, has effected my employ, abandonment by the woman I was going to marry (I suppose this effect was for the better), and disrupted my life on so many levels I am really not the same person I was two years ago. I am on Celexia for depression and Zophran for nausea. Another medication I am on, Remeron, was prescribed to calm the digestive track with the added benefit of sleep aide and anti-anxiety. It helps a little for digestion, helps a lot for sleeping, but it also induces constant hunger. The hunger results in eating which exacerbates the very symptoms I'm trying to treat. The eating has, however, resulted in gaining back 20 pounds. Unfortunately not healthy pounds as I have lost so much muscle mass over the last two years. The gastro doc is mystified..."dumping syndrome" is the best label to apply. I have an an initial consulation with the University of Michigan coming up in another week to see what they can find, do, prescribe, or label. I am sorry, but at the same time glad to know I am not alone in this. The doctors say they haven't seen this and don't know what is causing it. My surgery came un-done and STILL I expereince these symptoms that were non-existent before the procewdure. I warn anyone even thinking about the procedure not to do it. It would be great if we could pool together all the people who experience these aftereffects in effort to show the medical community there are REAL complications thaqt could result from this procedure.Please e-mail me if you are willing and I will compile a file of similar cases. [email protected]

West Malling, UK

#7 Aug 11, 2012
sounds like dumping syndrome you also have vasomotor symptoms as well ill bet if you check your heart rate when flushing it will be tachycardic ie over 100bpm the surgeon has mucked up the operation and it it iritation to the vagus nerve i would get a surgeon that nows how to do a re du and also a lawyer to sue the orginal incompetant original surgeon i have same symptoms but not dumping syndrome ie diarea
David Redfern

Vista, CA

#8 Sep 6, 2012
I am 50 years old, I had Nissen done almost 20 years ago, just recently though, I am having all my symptoms same as almost all of the above writers came from a food poisoningthat I did get ,, all tests showed nothing, absolutely nothing. I stopped heavy eating, greasy, and I stopped taking vitamins and minerals, those seemed to bother me, just tried glucosamine and chrodoitin today, after not having any problems for 2 weeks and Bam, attack all over again, back to square 1 , will look to see if i have dumping syndrome as well........does anyone else have problems when taking vitamins and minerals or greasy or spicy foods too.???? Is there any answer to this

York, ME

#9 Sep 16, 2012
I had a Nissen wrap procedure done 3 weeks ago and for the most part feel OK, but I am still coughing, mostly after eating... I have no heartburn... The cough I had was the reason for the surgery in the first place (the cough was caused by severe reflux) I have not seen my surgeon for post op yet, but fear he will just brush it off... I have been doing some online research and have concluded that the cough could be non-acid reflux... or something called Laryngeal Sensory Neuropathy (when a nerve in the esophagus is damaged... most times from a virus ) Just wondering if anyone else is still coughing s/p Nissen wrap??

Lisburn, UK

#10 Sep 17, 2012
Hi, Yes I had the wrap back in January this year, still with the symtoms from previous post and still coughing, terrible grumbling and severe pain in my throat, which I never suffered with before the operation.
Have recently had a barium xray, go back this week for results of that, but my consultant doesn't seem to know what has caused this, so he has reffered me to ENT!!!!


#11 Sep 21, 2012
I had this operation in February 2012, main symptoms for me were the persistant cough and the constant sickly feeling. For a couple of months I have been fine, BUT, the cough is now back worse that previous and tummy grumbles. Consultant thinks it is all "in my mind"??? I would like him to be me for a couple of weeks :(((

Spokane, WA

#12 Sep 25, 2012
I am 11 days post op for my Fundoplication. My main issue is the nearly constant pain in my ULQ, especially when bending. Immediately after surgery it felt like I had been run through with a spear in the exact place where the largest hole (for the camera) was made. After a couple days the back pain went away but there is swelling just under the skin and nearly constant pain.

I'm eating fine and actually moved to semi-solid foods within the first few days of discharge. I've had 2 BM's but they were very soft, which isn't totally unusual for me since I have IBS.

I'm mostly concerned about the pain and am now wondering if there might not have been a spleen or pancreas laceration? Has anyone had similar symptoms?

London, UK

#13 Sep 26, 2012
My barium x-ray was all clear. I have now been discharged from out-patients for future follow ups!
So I guess it's a case of get on with it!
The Doctor I saw for the results has put the pain in my throat down to Arthritis in the neck, as for the grumbling and persistant cough, he has no idea!
Charles in reply to your problem, I had the same around a week after surgery, this lasted for a couple of weeks and havn't had any further problems with that.
Where to go from here??

Portsmouth, UK

#14 Oct 2, 2012
Had Nissens done 5 months ago ,i feel so ill ,nausea,wanting to vomit, wind, tired, hardly able to eat anything,cough.losing weight.ssing the consultant in two weeks worried he will just fob me off.any idea why this is happening,felt not to bad up until three weeks ago

Dartford, UK

#15 Oct 12, 2012
My 5 year old son has dumping syndrome due to the 2 fundos he has had. His was so bad he would pass out after feeds. He is nil by mouth so is gastro fed. We removed some carbs and added liquid fat (calogen) to his feeds and this has helped. It took a long time to get dumping syndrome diagnosed, drs said it was behaviour. Nobody can drop there own sugar levels to that degree, make themselves sweat through behaviour. We did a glucose monitor for 4 days, amazing results of sky high then low sugar levels.
No one told us about dumping syndrome before the fundo, they have since said it's rare. I don't believe this, I think it's more like 1 in 3 people.
My son has suffered with this since he was a few months old, it got a lot worse after his second fundo. It's a horrific condition.

United States

#16 Oct 17, 2012
I just had the Nissen fundoplication surgery 6 days ago. I have pain on the left side but not excruciating. I'm experiencing dizziness, extreme tiredness. I'm wondering if its because my body is going through a change and I may not be eating enough protein? I did notice that if fill up my teaspoon with soft food and east it, its painful and I feel full. So I have to remember to use 1/4 of there spoon. I have my post op visit in a few days. I'm going to ask about some of the questions you guys have posted. Good luck to us all.

Commerce, GA

#17 Oct 20, 2012
I had my 1st Niessen in 2010, a total failure!! The redo was this past June 2012. Not doing real well even after all this time. No feeling in the esophagus, but have a lot of burping. Pain in the area between my ribs below the sternum. Feels like an ulcer does. Diarrhea is everyday. But according to the last doctor, my vegus nerve was cut during the first. I have no energy, and would stay in bed if I didn't make myself get up. The abdominal pain varies and the stomach grumbles are so embarrassing. I am very careful to eat very small amounts and eat more frequently. If my stomach doesn't empty I do tend to do better. The weight of what I eat makes more of a difference than what I eat. I'm not sure it was a good trade, but I had slept in a recliner for 5 years, eating was more of a chore then than now. So, if anyone has any suggestions, please share. I prefer homeopathic cures, I don't do well with medicines.

La Mesa, CA

#18 Oct 24, 2012
Going to have the nissen in two weeks at ucla. I had a double lung transplant in 09 and now stomach acid is ruining my new lungs. These stories concern me as I already have many gi issues. I take 30 meds twice a day already that are the cause of my gi problems. I am goin to talk to my doc about this...

United States

#19 Nov 4, 2012
Hi! I am so sorry that all of you are having these symptoms. I had my first nissan wrap in 05 and since then I have had a total of 5 wraps plus gallbladder and appendix. The longest I have gone between surgery is 22 months. My stomach slowly (with cramping) goes above the wrap and gets stuck in my diaphragm. I'm also sick after I eat within 15 to 20 minutes. It lasts 2 - 4 hours. I try and stay on a liquid diet. But, if I drink my protein shakes to fast, I get really nauseous. I take one sip every 5 minutes. Something else that has helped me is juicing my fruits and veggies and having lots of smoothies. I am also drinking a shake called ScandiShake. It has 470 calories. I sip it over a four hour period. I would highly recommend it. It has given me energy and I don't feel so weak. My goal in life is to get at least 1000 calories in me a day and be happy with a liquid diet. I hope this helps everyone. We need to start a yahoo group so we can complain about our icky tummies.

Madison, WI

#20 Nov 4, 2012
I had the Nissan in November of 2007. It lasted about four years. Just had an endoscopy and it showed the wrap had slipped and had come undone, and my hiatal hernia is back. I now have my bad heartburn back so am on my Nexium twice a day again. The hiccups and burps have returned and my chronic cough is back. I will not ever go through that horrible surgery again. It was suppose to be over night in the hospital then home. I had major complications so was in the hospital for 8 days. Then for two plus years had chronic esophageal spasms. Nitroglycerin works wonders. Still take a few bites of food and am full but also always blotted. I do not recommend anyone having this procedure. Hopefully somewhere in this country is a really good surgeon that knows how to successfully complete this procedure. I too do not sleep and also have constant gut problems.
Thanks for all the helpful information you've given

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