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.