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diving after reflux surgery?

Discussion in 'Special Needs' started by searad, Aug 2, 2011.

  1. searad

    searad Registered

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: seattle wa
    During our last live aboard trip I developed spontaneous reflux of stomach contents uall the way up to my mouth. I underwent a complete work up to find out I had a
    hiatal hernia and spontaneous reflux. Because of the risk of aspiration I underwent successful laparoscopic repair of my diaphragm & NissenFundoplication 2 weeks ago.
    Since then I stumbled on the 1998 report of a young fit male diver who had a diaphragmatic and/or gastric rupture because of expanding gases in his stomach on ascent. Based on that single event the authors recommended against diving after a Nissen.
    Besides that report, I have not been able to find any additional information regarding risks of diving or recommendations against diving after nissen fundoplication.
    Does anyone know more about the risk of diving after a nissen fundoplication? Is there any evidence that pretreatment with Gas-X may help reduce the risks of intra-abdominal barotrauma? We are planning a 2 week trip to Bonaire 12 weeks after surgery. Any and all recommendations will be greatly appreciated! Thanks!
  2. BAMA6977

    BAMA6977 Contributor

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Gulf of Mexico
    Just had the surgery 3 weeks ago. My MD told me no issues with resuming diving and normal activities after 30 days. I'll give it little longer.
  3. searad

    searad Registered

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: seattle wa
    My surgeon told me NO heavy lifting for 3 months and that I should not dive because of the weight of the equipment. He thought heavy lifting might "undo" the wrap. I went diving at the end of month 3. To be careful my dive companions helped to stage me in the water - so lifting weight wasn't an issue. Diving itself was not problem - no problem with gas build up - it was so great to dive without refluxing lunch into my reg! We went on another week of warm water diving at month 6 and I had no problems with gearing up and water entry by myself. My surgeon is a diver - so he knows about the weight of the equipment - maybe you should ask your doctor is he has ever donned a BCD, weights and tank. I advise caution and hope your surgery was as successful as mine. And FYI - dive specialists from Duke answered my original request on aug 2nd - they were very helpful and informative - but the conversation was moved to a different thread - under medical.
  4. TSandM

    TSandM Missed and loved by many. Rest in Peace ScubaBoard Supporter

    There are two issues -- one is the healing of the abdominal wall and hauling gear, and the other is the one I think you're actually worried about, which is gas expansion below the wrap. If the wrap was properly done, you should be able to belch and even to vomit if you need to. If the wrap is so tight that expanding gas in your stomach causes rupture, it was not properly done.

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