Recovery Time from Nissen Fundoplication Surgery

Recovery Time from Nissen Fundoplication Surgery
Jonathan Borba

When you’re suffering from GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) and medications are too much or your doctor doesn’t think that giving you large amounts of dosage would be enough, you are recommended to undergo a Nissen Fundoplication surgery.

Before undergoing any kind of surgery, unless it is life and death, you need to be sure that you schedule it at the right time giving you an ample amount of time to recover and be up on your feet again.

So How Much Time Do You Need After a Nissen Fundoplication Surgery?

The answer depends on the method of surgery you would prefer. A Nissen Fundoplication surgery, as your doctor may have explained, will need an incision on your abdomen to clamp or restrict its upper portion. If you’re going through laparoscopic surgery, you will need two to three weeks to recover. However, if the doctor recommends open surgery or you prefer that method, you have to expect four to six weeks of recovery time until you can go back to your normal routine again. You would have to adjust your life around these time frames and maybe extend it a little bit more.

What to Expect After the Surgery?

Soreness and some pain in your belly are expected as well as aches in your shoulder for a day or two if you have undergone laparoscopic surgery to cure your GERD. These are the immediate effects you have to be prepared to endure in your battle to be as normal a person as possible again.

Moreover, expect to have a hard time swallowing your food for about 6 weeks, whether the surgery was done laparoscopically or it’s an open one. Cramping in your belly, feeling bloated, or passing gas more frequently than you did before is just normal. The cramping and bloating will go away after 2 to 3 months but the sometimes fun and at times annoying gas passing will die down longer than that.

Since the surgery made your stomach a little bit smaller, you will feel full more quickly in the two to three months that your body is still adjusting to the new norm. You can take advantage of this time if you want to lose weight but eat healthily. To compensate for the lower food intake, you can get vitamin supplements, eat more vegetables and fruits but stay away from highly acidic fruits. These are just some of the things that you have to expect after undergoing fundoplication surgery for GERD.

How Should You Take Care Yourself At Home?

Undergoing GERD surgery will, of course, take a toll on your physical capacity. You should be able to care for yourself independently especially when you don’t have people to help you with.


  • Rest is very essential. When you feel tired, take your time to sit or take a nap. Get enough sleep.
  • Walking should be your only exercise. You can walk for as long as you can. Be determined to add more steps each day of your walking.
  • Do not do sit-ups or anything that would squeeze or hurt your stomach.
  • You can do your chores and any activities around the house if you can. Just avoid ones that would hit your belly.
  • If you had open surgery, don’t lift objects that are heavier than 7kg for 2 to 3 weeks.
  • You also shouldn’t bathe if you had an open surgery until the incision heals. Ask your doctor first if you are okay to take a bath. Always keep your incisions dry.
  • Sex and driving are prohibited until your doctor says it’s okay.


After surgery, you must always eat the right kind of food to give you strength and aid you to recuperate quickly. In the first week, stay on a soft diet. Mashed potatoes, broth, milkshake, or other kinds of food that are not hard to swallow. Eat 5 or 6 meals a day instead of 2 or 3 to not stress your stomach too much and chew them well. You should at least have a 20 to 30min meal duration. Eat lots of soft boiled vegetables and take it slowly.

The recovering time from a Nissen Fundoplication surgery will be slow and you have to be patient and control your temper while recuperating. While you are waiting for your body to feel normal again, you should eat right and well. And also have to take it slow with your activities. The most important thing to do when recovering is to rest and sleep. That will really help your body significantly.

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