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RichardP
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Quote RichardP Replybullet Topic: Newbie
    Posted: 02áJuná2009 at 9:04pm
Hi,
 
My name is Richard and I was diagnosed with Barretts back in October.
 
Firstly I must say want a fantastic website and forum. I have found it a great source of information and comfort to some extent. I have read a number of comments saying we are 'the lucky ones as we know we have this condition' and this has been quite enlightening and given me a different way to look at the condition (glass half full rather than half empty). I must admit however that there is rarely a day that goes by without thinking about Barretts and the what if's.
 
I am 33 and started experiencing problems when I was 29. I experienced symptoms of occasional dizziness, feeling lathargic, a bloating and discomfort just under my ribs and on rare occassions heartburn usually only when bending or lying down.
 
After a visit to my GP acid reflux was suspected and an endoscopy was arranged and the presence of GORD was confirmed. I was prescribed 30mg of Lansoprazole daily to control the acid. These appeared to control some of my symptoms but had side effects of their own.
 
Over the course of the last 3 years the dose was reduced to 15mg daily and this still appeared to control some of the symptoms.
 
The fact I didn't get regular heartburn from the outset has always been a concern for me as I have had to rely on other symptoms to tell me if I have too much acid. Interestingly since being on PPI's if I miss a dose I do now tend to get bad heartburn.
 
A follow up endoscopy late last year showed the GORD was still present and the consultant also noted 1cm of Barretts which was confirmed by biopsy, but thankfully no dysplasia.
I have since increased my Lansoprazole to 15mg twice daily.
 
I have had manometry and PH tests a couple of weeks ago and have seen a consultant today to discuss surgery (Nissen fundoplication).
 
Given the risks (although minimal) associated with Barretts I want to take a proactive approach and tackle this head on. Although I appreciate the surgery will not cure the Barretts I am working on the basis that it could potentially help limit any progression and hopefully get me off the PPI's which would be nice. I do not relish the idea of taking the tablets for the rest of my life.
 
I am very keen to hear about others experiences of the surgery particularly any side effects. I have read about ChrisRob's experience and will be picking his brains shortly if he doesn't mind Smile
   
Hopefully one day we will all be on this forum discussing the Barretts we used to have and how we are glad to be shot of it.
 
Sorry for the essay, just want to share my experience.
 
Richard.
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chrisrob
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Quote chrisrob Replybullet Posted: 03áJuná2009 at 9:16am
Hi Richard, glad to have you on board but sorry for the "fare" you've had to pay.

You're welcome to "pick my brains" if you can find them. LOL

All the best,

Chris
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RichardP
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Quote RichardP Replybullet Posted: 24áJuná2009 at 12:41pm
Right Chris brain picking time Smile
 
I have a few questions regarding the fundo op so I'll just shout them out. If you (or indeed anyone else) can offer some feedback it would be most appreciated.  
 
  • Did/do you suffer any pain from the surgery either immediately after or now?
  • Can you feel the wrap or a difference in your stomach? As we all know the stomach is quite sensitive and I wonder about if this change in anatomy can be felt.  
  • Are there any side effects of the surgery? I understand trapped wind can be a problem along with being unable to eat much, but are there any other problems? 
  • Can I ask which hospital your procedure was performed at?
 
I am still waiting for my op date but it is expected to be some time in August.
 
I will keep you posted.
 
Thanks,
 
Richard.
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chrisrob
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Quote chrisrob Replybullet Posted: 24áJuná2009 at 7:45pm
Hi Richard, pleased to help.

1. No pain. Other than a bit of a bruised feeling to my stomach muscles for which I was prescribed soluble paracetamol but didn't really need. 3 months later and still no pain. (I somehow managed to come off my bike a couple of weeks ago and sprained my ankle: now that's painful!)

2. Can't feel any difference to my stomach. I already knew I would feel full sooner as the stomach's volume's reduced and that initially I'd need to eat "mushy" food - as the wrap may cause inflammation making the lower sphincter narrower than normal. I read somewhere to think of it like taking all your food through a straw.
However, I found I was able to eat more solid food within a few days. I lost 20lbs but gradually found I was eating more and now seem to be eating normal sized meals and able to eat anything. AND NO MEDS!

3. Side effects: Can't (usually) burp - though have managed a couple of gentle ones. Instead, if I've had a fizzy drink or taken too much liquid too quickly, I get what I can best describe as a noisy hiccup. You do need to eat slowly and chew well but you can get a bit of wind!

4. My operation was performed at Southampton General Hospital by a young newly qualified surgeon, David Hou, to whom I owe an apology. I had been worried by his apparent inexperience but the operation was marvellous.

Don't know whereabouts you're situated? Hope your team's as good as mine.
Hope you get your date soon. I had to keep nagging to get mine.
Let us know how you get on.

All the best

Chris
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chrisrob
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Quote chrisrob Replybullet Posted: 26áJuná2009 at 1:51pm
Don't know whether you've received immediate post op dietary advice?

Mine was mainly to have liquids and soft foods: mushy weetabix or porridge for breakfast, soup, scrambled egg, mashed potato etc are fine. Chicken in sauce or gravy. Gradually adding more solid food as you feel able.
I was also advised no bread or red meat until after the post op review in 4 to 6 weeks. Actually immediately after the op, I was told that review would be 6 to 8 weeks but I still haven't had it; it's scheduled for mid July (4 months post op!) but I ma eating red meat and bread. (In fact, looking at a diary I kept, I had a (half) sandwich after just 2 weeks - and I was on my bike after 2 weeks.

I have written my story on my website (which may be found via my member's profile page), mainly in response to another Chris Robinson, who is American, who has written his story (http://nissenfundoplication.com/default.aspx). His fundo didn't  go as well as mine.

Not everyone's operation goes as well as mine did. This site: http://www.geocities.com/lapro_fundo/ has some horror stories but I imagine people are more likely to write of their bad experiences than if things went smoothly.

But don't be scared off: it really is worth it. Barrett's may form because of acid reflux. Whereas PPI's reduce the acid, fundoplication removes the reflux. Neither cures the Barrett's but helps remove the environment that caused its development.

Chris
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RichardP
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Quote RichardP Replybullet Posted: 15áJulá2009 at 11:56am

Hi Chris,

Have only just seen yours posts as I have been away for a while. Many thanks for answering the questions I had.
 
The surgeon I have is apparently very experienced and specialises in the fundo procedure and has completed 'hundreds' of them which gives me confidence.  
 
Seeing AndyR's post regarding the Linx device being tested in the US I am wondering if I should wait to see if it is a viable alternative before having the fundo. I like the idea of a procedure that appears a little more simplistic to apply and does not involve remodelling the stomach. I suspect however it could be a number of years before it is proven and available in the UK.
 
Decisions, decisions!
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AndyR
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Quote AndyR Replybullet Posted: 15áJulá2009 at 4:10pm
Hi Richard,
 
According to what I have read it is in a "Pivotal trail phase", but I am not sure how long that will take and what happens after that. The encoraging news was that people in the trial seemed to tolerate it well and get of the PPI's.
 
Even in the US it could be years before it is available. I just thought it was promising news that I would share with everyone.
 
I am also not sure that this procedure will be available to anyone that has had the fundo, I seem to remember reading that somewhere. It also makes sense as they place the magnetic band around the LES.
 
Regards,
 
Andy
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chrisrob
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Quote chrisrob Replybullet Posted: 16áJulá2009 at 7:28am
Hi Richard & Andy,

There have been clips before placed around the lower oesophageal sphincter as an attempt to reduce reflux in a seemingly simpler operation. Perhaps the magnets idea will provide a better working solution at some future date but I, personally, would go for the fundo if they're going to invade your insides laparoscopically any way.

Of course, I may have been lucky my op went so well.

Chris
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AndyR
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Quote AndyR Replybullet Posted: 16áJulá2009 at 4:12pm
Hi Chris,

I agree, there have been a bunch of other surgeries that have tried to solve the reflux issue by tightening the LES in one way or another. Most of them have had limited success over the long haul.

I also agree that overall the lap fundo is currently the way to go, and generally works well.

Hopefully the future will give us more choices and newer technologies.

Regards,

Andy

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RichardP
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Quote RichardP Replybullet Posted: 28áJulá2009 at 6:11pm
Right I am doing it! Fundo op is on the 6th August!!!
 
I'll let you all know how it goes.
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