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Medical Damage to vagus nerve

  1. Aug 7, 2010 #1

    Evo

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    Now my doctor is thinking my previous laparoscopic nissen fundoplication damaged my vagus nerve. This wasn't on the list of potential surgical problems I was given. I'm reading about it and it seems that damage from the surgery is now considered rather common?

    It's not like I had much choice, without the surgery the continual aspiration of vomit during sleep was likely to kill me.

    And now that my surgery got torn from dry heaving, the vomiting is returning.

    The gastroenterologist confirmed the need to do reparative surgery, but thinks it is too risky.

    To anyone with GERD that is considering surgery, be sure to do research on post operative studies in addition to what your surgeon tells you.

    I'm hoping I just have furballs (bezoars) that can be removed and will reduce the pain some, but that seems to be something that would need to be done forever?

    So gastroparesis due to vagus nerve damage and possibly intrathoracic migration of the wrap (tests need to be done). http://www.ajronline.org/cgi/reprint/178/4/859.pdf [Broken]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
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  3. Aug 7, 2010 #2

    Monique

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    I'm sorry to hear that. Is there any indication that the function of the nerve might improve over time?
     
  4. Aug 7, 2010 #3

    Evo

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    I've only read of an improvement in the case of diabetes as the cause. In the case of surgical damage, all I have read said there can not be improvement. Rather discouraging. I read that they are experimenting with botox in the case of gastroparesis caused by vagus nerve damage, but it hasn't been studied.
     
  5. Aug 8, 2010 #4
    If you truly were not warned about this possibility, this would be a good time to find a lawyer. That aside, if there is minor damage of the nerve, it CAN heal... very very very slowly. If the damage is more than a microscopic "nick", or the kind of diffuse lesions from diabetes, then no it will not heal.

    I'm sorry that this happened to you, and please be careful; the Vagus Nerve can cause arrhythmia, rare as that is in the case of damage rather than momentary insult or injury. It is possible that the nerve has not been damaged, but is inflamed or that some scar tissue is impinging on it too, which WOULD be something that can heal. Have you been placed on a steroid or NSAID?

    Again, I'm truly sorry to hear of something like this.
     
  6. Aug 8, 2010 #5

    Evo

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    My stomach isn't emptying, the nerve may be completely cut, we don't know yet.
     
  7. Aug 8, 2010 #6
    Oh crap, well, I for one am hoping that isn't the case Evo. I don't think much can be said here, but, I'm rooting for you on this one.
     
  8. Oct 15, 2010 #7
    Thanks Evo. I followed the link here from the food thread.

    I did locate at LiveStrong the following:

    I happen to be a big fan of Mayo Clinic. I subscribe to Mayo Clinic Health Letter. (www.HealthLetter.MayoCinic.com)

    I went online to Mayo Clinic that discusses gastroparesis.
    The link above provides to the left of the page information which should be helpful in this discussion:Definition, Symptoms, Causes, Risk factors, Complications, Preparing for your appointment, Tests and diagnosis, Treatments and drugs.

    Mayo Clinic is on the cutting edge of treatments and drugs.:biggrin: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/gastroparesis/DS00612/DSECTION=treatments-and-drugs

    Here is a snippet from the following link, "Mayo Clinic physicians have been at the forefront of gastroparesis diagnosis for half a century. Today, they use sophisticated tests to evaluate the entire digestive tract, measure motor and sensory function in the stomach and intestine, and check for antibodies associated with motility problems. These advanced studies not only diagnose gastroparesis but help distinguish it from functional dyspepsia — a condition that causes similar symptoms."
    http://www.mayoclinic.org/gastroparesis/?mc_id=comlinkpilot&placement=bottom
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2010
  9. Oct 15, 2010 #8

    dlgoff

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    I'm going to be very careful in my posting l until I know you are feeling better. I've got a couple of GOOBF cards left though.

    Good luck Evo.
     
  10. Oct 15, 2010 #9

    Evo

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    The PF chat group has immunity. Also, lisab, at last count, had over a billion GOOBF cards, with no expiration date. :uhh: The details of how she came into such a large number of cards escapes me. She swears that I gave them to her, all I remember is her handing me an odd tasting drink...
     
  11. Oct 15, 2010 #10

    Evo

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    The Mayo Clinic site is my favorite!

    I had not seen that article from livestrong, thank you!

    Funny, if it's not gastroparesis, it may be the opposite - Dumping Syndrome. I refuse to have something called "Dumping Syndrome". :frown:

    http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/dumping-syndrome/DS00715/DSECTION=symptoms

    The doctor did say that my wrap has slipped, possible rupture, etc...
     
  12. Oct 15, 2010 #11

    Math Is Hard

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    Are any of those things they told you to try helping? I seem to remember they said no drinking with meals, lying on your side after meals, no spicy or citrusy foods...
     
  13. Oct 15, 2010 #12

    turbo

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    I would die! Life without spicy food would be unthinkable for me. I hope for the best, Evo, so you can regain some normalcy in what is a basic function and pleasure in life.
     
  14. Oct 15, 2010 #13

    Evo

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    Lying on my side eases the pain, but I have to drink while I eat because of the extensive scarring in my esophagus, without water it's like swallowing a cat with it's claws extended. :frown:

    When my mother had to cut all seasonings out of her diet, I swore I'd die before I lived like that. Tasty food is one of life's greatest pleasures.
     
  15. Oct 16, 2010 #14
    yikes, sounds awful. i had reflux for years. it has damaged my teeth, and i'm pretty sure is the cause for the ear/sinus damage i constantly suffer from now.

    if you are on acid reducers, then i hope you are taking B12 supplements, as it will reduce absorption of B12 bound to meat. low B12 will not only impair the ability of nerves to repair themselves, but will eventually lead to neural damage. fortunately, the GERD seems to be gone now, but the damage is long-lasting, and only somewhat better.

    oh, and since you seem well-funded, maybe seek out a neurogastroenterologist.
     
  16. Aug 6, 2012 #15
    I had the Lap. nissen fundoplication done also, in June of 1999. I ended up with all the horrible symptoms you mentioned, the horrible pain, nausea, “intense” dry heaves, diarrhea. I told the surgeon about them from my very first follow up. It did not go well, to say the least. For the next “7” years, I went from doctor to doctor. Each one saying the same thing, of course “after” ordering their own “CT” scan, “I don’t know what the problem is, but it was not caused from the surgery.” Well to make a long story short, 7 years and THOUSANDS of dollars later, my wife and I end up at the Cleveland Clinic. We walk in and within two minutes of meeting the doctor, he diagnosed me. ”Your problems are from your surgery”. They damaged the vagus nerve by doing the surgery by laparoscopy. You are at least the third patient this week with the same problem.”
    The plan was to “redo” the surgery, only “open” instead of lap. His hope was that by loosening the wrap would ease up any tightness and pulling or pinching the vagus nerve. After surgery, and after removing part of my stomach, because it was such a sloppy job the 1st time, I was informed that the vagus nerve was cut and nothing could be done. It has truly been hell, personally, financially, for my family, you name it. I feel like I am living a nightmare.
     
  17. Aug 6, 2012 #16

    Evo

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    Sorry to hear that you've also gone through this. It's so painful and so disruptive to your life.
     
  18. Aug 6, 2012 #17

    dlgoff

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    :cry::cry::cry::cry: I don't know what to say so I'll just cry for you both. :cry::cry::cry::cry:
     
  19. Aug 7, 2012 #18
    I am sorry to hear that. I must ask why did you opt for surgery for something like GERD. Couldnt you have taken the PPI's or anti nausea medications. Even the most expensive PPI like Protonix is still cheaper than the surgery. I am sure those options were offered right.
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2012
  20. Aug 13, 2012 #19
    It started with GERD, then I was diagnosed with Berits esoph. and they said I had no other options.
     
  21. Aug 13, 2012 #20
    what grade was the dysplasia, was surgery recommended by your GI doctor, or did your surgeon recommend it.
     
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