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Nov 11, 2019 · Nissen fundoplication success in Digestive Health

I agree that the pre op information about complexities is sometime lacking–same for me, and my GI doc and surgeon were really good–but still did not/could prep me for the journey post op. I really had t change eating patterns radically– the "no bread/no rice" thing was an insight, but would have been better to have some genuine nutrition counseling so I would have been better prepared–and not the "eat less carbs, eat more protein" garbage that I heard. I also am 5'11'" and at initial surgery weighed 199- lost 45 pounds after; did the nutrition drinks quite a lot, and was very slow at eating solids. No carbonated drinks then, now, and ever. Not being able to vomit was a worry, but not being able to burp??!!! That was painful! Did not drink a good deal before, but as of then, no carbonation.The gut sounds, cramps, gas/boating, all the same- was told that when the gut is operated on, it takes a long time to get back to better routine…wont say normal as that word is unhelpful. Hope yours was done via laparoscopic- even with this, the gut is still jumbled around a lot- as I heard a nurse tell me–you have just experienced planned trauma! Still trauma… keep asking questions; This site has been helpful in terms of info sharing; experiences of others helps with the perspective.
take care

Nov 10, 2019 · Nissen fundoplication success in Digestive Health

Yes dumping syndrome is a big deal–did you hear about that as part of your surgery pre or post work? I was told that I could have a very limited amount of food at any one time. Usually about 1/2 to 1 cup of food/liquid— I found out very quickly that limit was very accurate. You can eat slower and spread out the time you eat, but be really careful about overloading – it is miserable. "Dumping" will happen one of two ways, from my experience: vomiting or diarrhea. I have "perfected" my eating to a point where I will literally stop eating with one bite left; and will only eat half of any meal out–get the doggie bag and put half in it before you start. Short of the vomiting, I have found that if on the edge of a dumping episode, I will go lay down and that relieves some of the pressure-does not work every time, but it has helped with some cases. Best scenario: do not ever "over-eat". Although several years since my surgeries, I still get caught with a bad eating episode; just this past week I ate, literally!, one too many tortilla chips- I could feel go all the way down, and it felt like it lodged against something, and was poking my gut; sorry if too graphic. Became nauseated, congested, gut pain…for one chip!!??!!
Live and learn– best to learn early as there is no going back.
best to you, faithann64
bill

Nov 9, 2019 · Nissen fundoplication success in Digestive Health

Had first Nissen ( note first) and the doc said to be careful with what I ate–no bread, rice, etc as it might get stuck and need follow-up surgery; asked him about vomiting–how do I do that- he said, well you can't; I said- really? Yup! Watched everything I ate, and if I even thought for a moment the food was bad, did not eat it–wanted to take no chances with vomiting. But 7 years later, had violent vomiting episode and the Nissen "popped"- I could feel it give way; the pressure stopped, but the GERD returned. Second Nissen performed by same physician- said he had not heard of anyone needing a second. All the same precautions taken. Second one failed 5 years later– "slipped" –same feeling as before. Went to surgeon of some local fame and he said a third one would result in about a 25% success rate. Also said that my problem sound more like an emptying problem- tested and yes the emptying was very, very slow! Recommendations:
1. implant pacemaker type device to stimulate the lower muscle to allow for better emptying; or 2. subtotal gastrectomy with roun-y– ie, remove most of the stomach, and attach small pouch of stomach (tangerine sized) to small intestine; First option would last about a year, and most people came back for the gastrectomy. I opted for the one time fix- no stomach caused many other issues- intestinal gas was beyond description- found OTC chewable 3x day, and that helps– but if I miss one dose, I have to be away from people. I carry a bottle with me at all times. Had some loose stool issues that became a little more prevalent. Still was not getting better–final straw- colonoscopy revealed tumor; most colon removed. No further spread, so far, but subsequent colonoscopies have been horrendous- not the prep– the poor prep and being accused of failing to follow directions- after 3 colonoscopies, finally had a doc give me a tentative OK- prep still not good, but enough to say you are probably OK….nice….
So now have major diarrhea all the time- 2 hour max limit between toilet sessions- even at night! No one can give me any insight into how to fix- been to Mayo and am very disappointed with lack of outcomes–not sure who to go to, if anyone….
Be vigilant; be your own advocate; do not take the docs word as gospel–ask questions until you get your answer…not theirs; that part I am still working on…
best to all, Bill

Jan 15, 2019 · Gastrectomy and bile reflux in Digestive Health

Sorry to hear about your challenges. In a quick response to the issue of "wind", I did get a simple resolution-BUT, please be sure to ask your physician first to determine if this is all right. I use an over the counter chewable pill called Devrom. It is bismuth subgallate. I was told this was the same as Pepto Bismol- not so much. I found immediate relief of the smelly part; it does not control gas- that is some other digestive function. I get it online via amazon and it is very affordable. There are several variants of the bismuth subgallate, but I find that Devrom works best for me and choose to leave well enough alone!!
I also get the chewable version as it seems to work with all the other digestive complexities from my gastrectomy.
I have a sub-total gastrectomy, which means almost the entire stomach was removed as a result of two failed surgeries to correct acid reflux- I can give more detail about this but my surgery was not for weight loss, however it did certainly result in weight loss.
The gurgling I found to occur was very prominent early after my surgery– was not the old "stomach growling" (no stomach!) but longer in duration, and certainly louder. I had to share with friends, colleagues, supervisors etc that it was an artifact of the surgery and not a call for food. I do need to exercise care about "slippage" and choose to excuse myself from an area just in case. I learned that since the stomach completes a major part of digestion as a result I do have some amount of undigested food getting through. Just needing to slow down, way down, the eating/chewing processes.

In terms of Devrom usage, I take three per day, one in the morning before breakfast, one around lunch time and one usually after dinner. That's the good part-staying on this routine has all but cleared up the smell. However, if I miss one, game over. I do not double dose- just get back to the schedule ASAP. To that end, I always carry pills with me- and I usually carry 3 or 4- why? Because I cannot afford to lose one or drop one is a bad place- redundancy x 2!
And the last place I want to be unpopular is in an airplane as I travel quite a bit.

I have been so pleased with the results of Devrom I am glad I found it- I always order 2 bottles at a time so I am never without.
What long answer to your question- I hope this helps.
My only other caution: I had some dental work done and the dentists gave me an antibiotic that I later found our I did not need (no aspersions on the dentist). The antibiotic pretty much destroyed the little gut bacteria I had and the odor was magnified beyond belief- needed to get some serious doses of probiotics and these corrected everything- these were very short term. I no longer take those.

Best to you- wish I had known some this before my gastrectomy, however can't rewrite history- I am happy to share my experiences with others so they may not have the same challenges–no stomach is challenge enough! As aways, keep a sense of humor- it does help in some odd way.

Aug 21, 2018 · Dietary Changes Before and After Colon Cancer in Colorectal Cancer

Hi travelgirl
yes there was an immediate check post surgery; however I had to be most assertive to get the one year recheck–which apparently was also clear. Was told I needed one every year for three years, and then if clear,I could go the 5 year plan. My second year recheck was problematic–you can read that in some other posts–advice to all as was drilled into me–be your own advocate!! Make your expectations known–not your wishes, not your hopes, your expectations. Doctors are people- they certainly deserve respect, but they work for me not the other way around. I "fired" my latest GI–was told he did not talk to patients after procedures…..OK- I wont be on your patient list any longer…and I will be sure to tell any others my story. Best to you,
bill

Aug 21, 2018 · Dietary Changes Before and After Colon Cancer in Colorectal Cancer

Hi Suemer,
First — free advice –free to give and free to take! Above all stay in touch with your physician!! Advice here is to tell you what I had done, but this must be considered in the bigger picture with your physician.
I did the rounds of probiotics–the strongest ones available and then some follow up maintenance. Maybe about 4 weeks–not too hard. Also am taking 3x day cholostyramine packet (Rx) and metamucil in about 8 oz water. Works when I do all three – miss one and trouble begins. In general staying away from red meat; eating as much organic as available–lot of variation in organic. Have been intrigued with the plant based diet trend. Am not trying to be considered one the "V" word folks- best to you and your mom!!!
bill

Aug 20, 2018 · Dietary Changes Before and After Colon Cancer in Colorectal Cancer

Hello blue sky
I spoke with primary care and did considerable research on the cologuard tesf. Test has false positives and negatives ; is used for those without history of col cancer
Will still do one in one year- not much confidence either way. Have asked primary care to please move forward with referral to Mayo Clinic for further review .
Three preps yielded same results and discomfort – options were limited ; have faith that Mayo crew will be able to help us narrow questions
Take care

Aug 1, 2018 · Dietary Changes Before and After Colon Cancer in Colorectal Cancer

I did change somewhat- much less red meat; more plant based diet. Eat chicken some and some fish. What I notice is that processed Foods are like huge Circle K of eating- VERY convenient but very costly. It takes time to prepare a good plant based diet and meals. Just finished my second year post resection and after 3 poor preps for the colonoscopy they kind of gave up- said come back next year- you are probably OK- hmmm. Not sure why preps were so poor- did them by the book. Will be asking my primary care doc for referral for work up with Mayo. I am 67 and very active – I want and need answers. Bill