delilas

The GERD is real.

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Prior to surgery, I can count on one hand the number of times I had heartburn in my entire life. After surgery, I was thrown on protonix for the first few months and didn't really have any problems. I've had intermittent heartburn months 3-6, but since about mid June, it ramped up hard. I went back on protonix daily and have been also taking OTC zegrid and tums on a consistent basis - and still waking up in the middle of the night with a burning pain. 

After going through a bottle of tums chewables in one week, I sent a message in to my surgeon. They're doubling my protonix, putting me on carafate, and scheduling an EGD with a Bravo pH tester (little capsule that attaches to the bottom of your esophagus to measure your pH levels for a couple days) - and already mentioning the possibility of an RNY. Whew. 

I'm glad they're proactive (besides the fact that I can't get in to get the EGD done until late August), but a little :wacko: that they're already discussing a revision. 

I really didn't think I'd be one of the ones having heartburn issues post-VSG, but just goes to show you!

 

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Hope it all works out well for you @delilas - I need to take a PPI twice a day to keep mine in check. But, it does help me. Only downside is the side effects of course, especially where my iron is a bit low right now. But, one thing at a time, right? lol

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I’m sorry you’re dealing with this. I remember there was another forum member (who’s no longer active) who had such bad GERD that it caused serious issues to her vocal cords (and she was a singer). Do you know if it’s a pretty common side effect with the sleeve? I know they don’t recommend the sleeve for people with pre-existing reflux or Barrett’s esophagus, but it sounds like you didn’t have either of those issues. And I hope the med adjustments help. Keep us posted!

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@delilas, sorry to hear that.  I was the opposite.  I had horrible GERD before my surgery (it got worse the last year prior) so I was put on protonix (bc i had to literally sleep w/ 4 pillows to keep me elevated.  It wasn’t just “heart burn”, it was acid!  I would have a sore throat from it.  The protonix was the only thing that helped.  When I had my surgery, he found a rather large hiatal hernia and repaired it “rather tightly” whatever that meant and I stayed on the protonix for a while.  I also had h pylori when they tested my stomach so I had to take abx for that.  In the end, I weaned off of the Protonix.....every day in the beginning then every other day after 3 months and then I was taking it about once a week up until last month when I saw him and he took me off of it and said if I get occasional heartburn, just take tums, but haven’t had to have them at all.  So mine was just the opposite of yours.  

I am sorry you’re dealing w/ it bc I know how painful it is.  Most ppl think it is just heartburn but the acidic burn is so painful, I get it.  

I don’t remember what everyone does for a living, but aren’t you the one that is a nurse and works at a place they do endoscopies?  Aren’t you able to get it faster if you do?

Anyway, good luck w/ it all and keep us posted.  I hope they don’t have to do a revision but if that will give you relief,  I am sure you wouldn’t mind in the end.  

Edited by CheeringCJ

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Sorry to hear you’re suffering! :( 

I hope you don’t end up needing a revision, but if you do, at least you know you have a great team taking care of you. I’m sure just the discussion about it is a little nerve wracking, though. 

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Sorry to hear about your issue @delilas. I suspect they talked about a revision in the interests of full disclosure. An endoscopy will tell them a lot.....assuming it will be your bariatric surgeon that does it. For what it is worth it is a common reason for revisions from both bands and sleeves to RNY. My revision solved my reflux/regurgitation....at least for a wonderful year! I'm expecting my surgeon will want to do another endoscopy after my next checkup as my reflux/regurgitation has returned. In my case though Im expecting to be told I'm developing a stricture as my comfortable meal volume has also dropped dramatically in the past few months. The good side of that is that I did have an RNY so all I should need is a stretch of the opening. Another positive I hope will be losing the last 5-6kg or so that I'd like to try to get off and haven't been able to. Have to look on the bright side!!!

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11 hours ago, athenarose said:

I’m sorry you’re dealing with this. I remember there was another forum member (who’s no longer active) who had such bad GERD that it caused serious issues to her vocal cords (and she was a singer). Do you know if it’s a pretty common side effect with the sleeve? I know they don’t recommend the sleeve for people with pre-existing reflux or Barrett’s esophagus, but it sounds like you didn’t have either of those issues. And I hope the med adjustments help. Keep us posted!

Funnily enough, I record audiobooks as a side job, and have been having an issue with occasional squeaks in my voice. I hadn't thought about acid being a potential culprit! 

It is a relatively common side effect for the sleeve, and why they dont recommend it for people who already had reflux - looking at a few studies last night, there's one that followed VSG patients for 29 months post op and found nearly 84% of them had reflux in some form or another. Yikes!

9 hours ago, CheeringCJ said:

@delilas, sorry to hear that.  I was the opposite.  I had horrible GERD before my surgery (it got worse the last year prior) so I was put on protonix (bc i had to literally sleep w/ 4 pillows to keep me elevated.  It wasn’t just “heart burn”, it was acid!  I would have a sore throat from it.  The protonix was the only thing that helped.  When I had my surgery, he found a rather large hiatal hernia and repaired it “rather tightly” whatever that meant and I stayed on the protonix for a while.  I also had h pylori when they tested my stomach so I had to take abx for that.  In the end, I weaned off of the Protonix.....every day in the beginning then every other day after 3 months and then I was taking it about once a week up until last month when I saw him and he took me off of it and said if I get occasional heartburn, just take tums, but haven’t had to have them at all.  So mine was just the opposite of yours.  

I am sorry you’re dealing w/ it bc I know how painful it is.  Most ppl think it is just heartburn but the acidic burn is so painful, I get it.  

I don’t remember what everyone does for a living, but aren’t you the one that is a nurse and works at a place they do endoscopies?  Aren’t you able to get it faster if you do?

Anyway, good luck w/ it all and keep us posted.  I hope they don’t have to do a revision but if that will give you relief,  I am sure you wouldn’t mind in the end.  

I am that nurse :D Unfortunately, I work my systems outpatient endoscopy, and we don't do fancy things like pH capsules, so I have to go to the main hospital for that. Although I was talking to my boss yesterday and she said on Monday we should discuss with our medical director, as its still ridiculous that an "urgent" endoscopy takes 5 weeks!

And yeah, the actual reflux is new to me, so I get what you mean. Prior to surgery, I'd only had your pretty run-of-the-mill heartburn. Feeling the acid higher up is not something I'm fond of.

So far, the doubled meds have kept things at least milder. I'm horrible (horrible) at sleeping propped because I am a stomach sleeper. Usually after I have an episode at night I can switch to my side and lean up a bit and find relief, but I still have not mastered falling asleep in any other position. 

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14 hours ago, delilas said:

I am that nurse :D Unfortunately, I work my systems outpatient endoscopy, and we don't do fancy things like pH capsules, so I have to go to the main hospital for that. Although I was talking to my boss yesterday and she said on Monday we should discuss with our medical director, as its still ridiculous that an "urgent" endoscopy takes 5 weeks!

And yeah, the actual reflux is new to me, so I get what you mean. Prior to surgery, I'd only had your pretty run-of-the-mill heartburn. Feeling the acid higher up is not something I'm fond of.

So far, the doubled meds have kept things at least milder. I'm horrible (horrible) at sleeping propped because I am a stomach sleeper. Usually after I have an episode at night I can switch to my side and lean up a bit and find relief, but I still have not mastered falling asleep in any other position. 

That is funny, I thought it was you but then I questioned it and thought I guess it wasn’t or you wouldn’t have to wait so long!  At least if you can have connections help you to get the test sooner, then go for it!  

I asked my dr before hand if i had such bad reflux shouldn’t I have the bypass but he was really sure the GERD would subside and I was nervous but.  He said it happened very often w/ his patients so I tried it and it did help.  They never saw my hiatal hernia with the endoscopy but he said it was pretty severe and my esophogus was so inflammed. So I was really hoping it was done and it took a bit but I don’t have issues w/ it anymore, thank God!

I hope yours resolves very soon and can be repaired!  Keep us posted

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@delilas...I hope they can fix you up soon!! Reflux is no joke. I had a terrible case of reflux prior to surgery, and I would wake up with acid in my mouth. Just rancid. It completely went away after my bypass, until last month. I have to take iron pills, because my iron was just a bit low, and they are wrecking my pouch. I’ve been on omeprazole since about 2 weeks post op (I think) and I’m ticked off that it’s back since I’ve started the iron pills! I truly hope you can get some relief soon...hopefully without a revision. (((Hugs))) ❤️

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Little update :D 

So last week I had my EGD, complete with pH capsule and annoying data box I carried around for two days. Just got off the phone with their office and the full results - I had 105 episodes of reflux in two days, the longest lasting 20 minutes, and a DeMeister score of 19 (normal is <14). They said I'm lucky so far that my esophageal mucosa looks healthy and fine, but that eventually, it won't, and will predispose me to esophageal cancer. Their current recommendation is a conversion to a gastric bypass.

So, I had to break to them a little earlier than I wanted to that I'm expecting, and that naturally puts the kibosh on surgery at the moment. They said they'll do what they can to help me through the next year or so, but that surgery should definitely be in my future. The plan currently is I'll meet my OB in mid September and then meet the bari team a week after so we can make plans as best as possible. 

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Wow, your life has become rather exciting! At least you know where you stand with the reflux. 

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Congratz on the expecting!!!  How exciting in the midst of the icky stuff.  Hang in there <3

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10 hours ago, delilas said:

Little update :D 

So last week I had my EGD, complete with pH capsule and annoying data box I carried around for two days. Just got off the phone with their office and the full results - I had 105 episodes of reflux in two days, the longest lasting 20 minutes, and a DeMeister score of 19 (normal is <14). They said I'm lucky so far that my esophageal mucosa looks healthy and fine, but that eventually, it won't, and will predispose me to esophageal cancer. Their current recommendation is a conversion to a gastric bypass.

So, I had to break to them a little earlier than I wanted to that I'm expecting, and that naturally puts the kibosh on surgery at the moment. They said they'll do what they can to help me through the next year or so, but that surgery should definitely be in my future. The plan currently is I'll meet my OB in mid September and then meet the bari team a week after so we can make plans as best as possible. 

That can be managed while you are waiting...and in the end, you can have a revision after you have had an adorable baby!!!!

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