Before & After Heartburn Surgery

Before  Your Heartburn Surgery

  • Prior to surgery, you may be asked to change your diet and swallow train. Swallow training involves several tips to assist with the post-operative recovery and can also be used long-term. You will be given a detailed handout on swallow training.  
  • Always ask your surgeon about your diet before surgery. It is common to have a liquid diet for several days prior to surgery.  
  • Stop smoking for one month prior to your surgery. Nicotine decreases blood flow, prevents healing after surgery and increases your risk of infection.
  • Increase your activity. Aim for 30 minutes of walking or other aerobic activity daily to build strength.
  • Improve your nutrition. Add protein supplements such as Boost or Ensure to help your body heal after surgery.

After Your Heartburn Surgery

  • After any esophageal surgery, swallowing/eating takes practice.  A swallow training handout will be given to guide your recovery.
  • Ask your surgeon about diet changes. Due to esophageal swelling and any underlying condition, it may be difficult to swallow for up to 12 weeks. Most patients will undergo a specific post-operative diet. This may vary based on your  procedure.
  • You will be encouraged to walk to prevent blood clots, muscle weakness and constipation.
  • You may experience constipation. If so, you may take a laxative such as Miralax or Milk of Magnesia. Narcotic pain medications can worsen constipation. It is recommended to avoid narcotics and consider non-narcotic pain medications such as Tylenol (acetaminophen) or Nsaids (naproxen, Advil, ibuprofen).
  • Ice may help to reduce the swelling for the first 48 to 96 hours. Then use heat to ease muscle soreness and relax tight muscles.
  • Ask your surgeon before taking ibuprofen.  A small amount of bleeding or drainage is expected from the wound during the first one or two days.
  • You may shower 48 hours after surgery, but avoid baths, hot tubs, soaking or swimming for two weeks.
  • Always talk to your surgeon about weight restrictions and return-to-work options.
  • Most patients who have had laparoscopic or robotic surgery are discharged the day following surgery.
  • You will be asked to see your surgeon in one to three weeks after surgery.
  • If you notice a fever greater than 101 degrees Fahrenheit or drainage from your wound, let your surgeon know by calling 763.780.6699.

If you have additional questions, please contact us at 763.780.6699.