Posted 26 November 2008 - 05:05 AM
I am now 3 weeks post-op from having a Nissen fundoplication and hiatal hernia repair, and am happy to report I'm already seeing positive results.
Some background - Over the past couple years, I've had increasingly severe reflux, including bleeding esophageal erosions, aspiration pneumonia, and daily (especially nightly!) reflux even with Nexium 2x/day and Zantac before bed. During the pre-op evaluations, I was diagnosed with scleroderma due to findings of absent esophageal motility, telangiectasia, along with joint issues I've had for years. My rheumatologist agreed (a bit reluctantly because of fear of worsening my swallowing issues) that I needed the surgery but with his recommendation the surgeon planned a modified, "looser" Nissen.
Definitely not an minor surgery - it was necessary to do it "open" and not laparoscopically because the hernia was so large - my stomach was more than halfway through the diaphragm into the chest -- so I was in the hospital for 5 days, and the recovery at home has been slow as well. But today I'm on my 3rd day after stopping the Zantac and reducing the Nexium to only one a day, and I have not had any sign of reflux at all! Am still eating soft foods, but am to slowly advance my diet as tolerated.
On the negative side, I have noticed some advancement of some sclero symptoms, whether it's because of the stress from the surgery or if I would have had them anyway I don't know. The IV's and blood draws in the hospital were difficult, the nurses/techs felt that the sclero had hardened the veins; the skin over my fingertips and knuckles feels different - not hard but thick with reduced sensation, and the skin indents easily without rebounding; my entire torso has been quite itchy, and while the incision (from bra line to just above the navel!) is healing ok without signs of infection, it is very lumpy and the scarring is significant already; I have also noticed more red spots on my face and one eyelid appears retracted since the surgery (hey, where's the other half of my facelift!)
Maybe it's too early to say for sure, but it's very encouraging to have such a reduction in the reflux symptoms already! Am hoping this surgery was worth it.
Counting my blessings this Thanksgiving holiday and hoping the same for you,
Posted 26 November 2008 - 05:24 AM
I am so happy that everything regarding the surgery is going well.
Keep us informed on how you are doing in general as time passes.
ISN Support Specialist
(Retired) ISN Chat Moderator
International Scleroderma Network (ISN)
Posted 26 November 2008 - 07:04 AM
Glad you are already doing well.
Where did you have your procedure done?
I hope you continue to improve.
Posted 26 November 2008 - 11:04 AM
Also glad to hear the surgery appears to have helped you and I wish you a speedy recovery too!
Posted 26 November 2008 - 06:18 PM
What wonderful news about your surgery. Hoping with you that all continues to improve. I am sorry to hear your scleroderma is acting up. As you said it might be from surgery or it might have happened anyway. Believe I have read that other people have sclero symptoms after surgery. It seems to aggravate my scleroderma symptoms after a surgical procedure. Take care and keep us posted.
With gentle thoughts,
Posted 30 November 2008 - 05:06 PM
Posted 30 November 2008 - 09:42 PM
Sorry your sclero is playing up hopefully it will settle soon as you continue to recover.
Diagnosis Scleroderma-crest, Scolliosis, Asthma, ILD, Plueral Fibrosis, GERD, Hiatus hernia, Anticardiolipin positive, ANA positive
a little bent and broken and almost beyond repair!