I have had a heart burn condition for about the last 7 years. No matter my diet, no matter what, I have tried everything, I suffer from painful heartburn everyday.
About 3 years ago I was scoped for what was going on in a day surgery. Two things they found. My stomach has about twice the amount of acid producing pumps. I swear this is how they explained it to me. They said these pumps, which produce acid to begin the digestive process from the food you eat. I have twice as many as most normal people. The second thing they said was that the valve between my esophogas and stomach, called the dual duct valve. (thats they way it sounded when they told me). That valve has lost it's elasticity, from so much acid coming up. The acid has chewed that valve up. That valve closes anytime food is not passing by. It's really nothing more than a ckeck valve.
So I have been using a very strong prescription, and it has improved my quality of life ten fold. They had to try everything under the sun as far as drugs go and different doses. I have been on this raperbazol for about 1 year now. I noticed a few weeks ago that, it seemed the presription would wear off before it was time for my next one. They are a 24 hour pill thing. When I say heartburn, many may not tottally appreciate my pain. It will knock me to my knees. There has been times I have to pull off a repair for about 20 minutes and just chill, it gets that bad.
Well so I went into the doc yesterday morning. BTW, this is the top guru for this at U of M. He says, the pills are losing their effectiveness, and the last resort is a complicated, risky and somehwat ballsy surgery. They want to cut out half my stomach, and then they want to unattach all organs from my stomach, turn my stomach 360 degrees, tightening the check valve, then reattach my organs that my stomach has tied to them. I could be looking at 6 months of recuperation out of surgery.
I am going to a specialist of the specialist which will be in town from the Mayo clinic next week. He is going to scope me and take another look.
What did I do to deserve this crap..
Wow, that is tough Dow. We all struggle along with our business problems and family frictions, thinking they are a big deal. Then we hear of someone like you with a major health problem, makes you stop and think.
I don't have any advice for you except to learn as much as you can so any decisions you make are well informed. That surgery sounds scary to say the least.
Godd luck to you my firend.
Get another opinion, maybe a change of lifestyle is in order.
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I wished all I had to do was change the way I eat, drink and work. It has little to do with any of that. In my case, I have a medical condition up until yesterday, all I have been told it was a manageable defect that my body has. Can be managed with medication. And also the doc said that, it's nothing I have done. It's just something I was born with and now as an adult I am seeing this problem amplify.
There is also an added twist to this. The acid, can also cause cancer. Kinda like, they can garuntee you cancer in no time of you don't get this straight. So that scares the crap out of me.
Intially way back when, I thought it was an ucler and, actually the US Army said it was an ulcer too. Well, they suck as doctors and had the root of the problem been identified then, medication may have all I would have needed. Either which way. It's scaring me, I never had to deal with any of these question I am now asking myself.
As for the medical opinion. My gosh. I can't tell you how many times I'd go in, think this dudes the problem solver, for them to then refer me to another specialist, then to another and another. I kid you not, I have seen 11 doctors for this problem in 7 years. This specialist of specialists out of the Mayo clinic is supposedly the countries top guru of heartburn and my current doc has had quite a long conversation with him, prior to him consulting me about this wierd surgery. They concur that this may be the only thing that might work, but then again they don't know. In any event, this Mayo clinic dude will be at U of M next week and they are going to perform another exploratory scope just to be sure they are sure of whats the next step is.
This surgery has been performed in really conservative numbers, but in every case it did the trick. The doctor is going to be giving me a list of names of people from around the country that have had this done, so I can be a little more comfortable moving forward, he needs to have their permission first.
The risk is, simply, the fact they cut out half your stomach, the fact they remove organs and put them back together, is kind of like having a transplant of all organs by your stomach, they are just your own. No fatalities out of the 350 surgerires performed, but yet, very risky to the point the doc says to me yesterday, they have been extremely lucky in that way about it given the difficulty of whats involved.
Reprocussions of post surgery are even more riskier. Your eating, your daily life for the first couple months will be like, you can't move at all. You can't do much of anything. it's like the surgery will turn you into a vegetable and you got to fight your way back from the surgery to get whole again. Scary $hit. The one thing I liked hearing though was the fact that each one they have done, has been a great success and these people do not have any medical conditions ongoing a year after as a result of this being performed. They are off medication and they live a heartburn free life.
Not being a wise butt here, Dow, but have you looked into any natural or alternative medicine or pratices?
What have you got to loose? Check in with a few alternative style local doctors just to see what they have to say. Alternative medicines, although not usually a quick fix, offer some control or relief which can give you another option to at least consider.
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I've got acid reflux that hits me like every other day or so. Nothing even close to as bad as what you have, but it hurts like heck when an attack comes on. It's not like indigestion or a sour stomach thing, but a stabbing, sometimes disabling pain in the chest that goes up into the throat, like a heart attack.
The doc gave me a prescription of aciphex? or something like that, but I often don't have it with me when I'm having an attack while working.
I found something else that works, but it sounds really stupid. I didn't read about it anywhere, just thought it up one day and have done it hundreds of times and it always works. I take about 16 oz of water and *GULP* it down really hard and fast. If it's done right, I belch so loud you can hear me next door
Wow , sounds like a painful condition. I have had ulsers and dealt with them with Prilosec or the other overpriced drugs. Sounds as though yours is advanced though. I have heard that the stomach surgery is a common one but don't know about the others that you mentioned . One thing is clear however, the surgery will fix overweight problems if that relates to you . Hope all goes well for you.
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Good luck dude!
As I've always said " It doesn't matter how much money you have If you haven't got your health"
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Geeeeez Dow! It sounds like you're way past the getting a second opinion thing on this and you got a really scary decision to make real soon. I mean, like what the F*%k do you do now???
What's the time frame for you at this stage......? I know if it were me I'd go through every alternative medicine program, acupuncture, miracle cure and/or witchdoctor before I'd go for the knife to this degree......if I've got the time.
My advice is try all avenues if you can because even the best of the best in their business can be too focused on only one way to solve a problem. There has to be other approaches to this.
Weigh the pros and cons. How bad do you feel vs. how big is this risk? What about increasing the dosage of your medications?
Best of luck to you amigo.
Make sure you exhaust all opinions first.
My father had a similar operation about 5-6 years ago, they did not turn his stomach (I believe). They took part of his stomach out and moved the outlet of the stomach to another spot. He was told the acid had deteriorated the outlet to the stomach. He was only laid up for a few weeks but his was not as intrusive as what you describe.
He still has the acid problem but that is due to having a tumor on his pancreas and bile duct. He has the same pain as what you are talking about, so I know what you must be going through. They put a shunt in the bile duct in 1993 and gave him 6 months to live because of the tumor. He is still kicking at the age of 80 in fact he and my mother still drive all over the states. They just left Florida yesterday to go to Houston then to Tennessee. Indiana, finally here to New York for the summer.
I have no clue what a heartburn is like... I'm 33, and never had one to this day! :-)
Dow, if you plan to have surgery, I would first research it a lot. Saw a program a while back about how many post surgery patients die of staph and other antibiotic resistant infections in the hospital.
I know what you feel Dow, as I suffer heartburn myself and have found that eating prior to bed is the worst thing that you can do. Try the simple medications, I.e. alka seltzer , tums and the like. cheaper and more effective.. Watch the M.D.'s they'll kill you experimenting. Good luck.