Which Pain Medications Are Safe After Gastric Sleeve Surgery?


Dr. Rosen has established himself as a leading bariatric surgeon in New York. One of the biggest reasons patients trust Dr. Rosen is because of his commitment to patient wellness and education. With that in mind, we’re here today to explore the issue of pain and pain relief after your Gastric Sleeve surgery while focusing on which pain medications are safe for those who have undergone bariatric surgery.

Pain & Discomfort Are Common After Bariatric Surgical Procedures

Any kind of bariatric surgery is going to put your body through a lot of changes, and that shouldn’t be taken for granted. Even a low-maintenance, less complex bariatric surgery like the Lap-Band or Gastric Sleeve may result in some form of post-surgical discomfort. You’ll be able to recover at home after early monitoring, and pain relievers can be taken to help with the discomfort and soreness. However, there are some types of medications that you should not take.

Avoid Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)

Bariatric surgery patients should never take NSAIDs. This includes:

  • Aspirin (Excedrin, Bayer)
  • Naproxen (Aleve)
  • Ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil, Nuprin)

This also includes prescription NSAIDs:

  • Vimovo
  • Lodine
  • Relafen
  • Daypro
  • Voltaren
  • Indocin

Why Should You Avoid NSAIDs After Bariatric Surgery?

NSAIDs affect your stomach’s ability to create mucous, which protects your stomach’s lining from gastric fluids. When your stomach lining is exposed to these gastric fluids, your chances of ulcers, stomach bleeding, and even stomach perforations increase. These things can cause major medical complications after bariatric surgery.

Approved Pain Relief: Opioids

Opioid drugs such as hydrocodone (Vicodin), oxycodone (Percocet, OxyContin), codeine, and morphine (Avinza, Kadian) can be taken after bariatric surgery. However, these medications should be prescribed and taken with caution.  Here at Weight Zen, we take great care when prescribing these types of pain relievers.

Approved Pain Relief: Acetaminophen

Pain relievers that are acetaminophen-based, such as Tylenol, are approved for patients who have recently undergone bariatric surgery. It isn’t uncommon for opioids and acetaminophen drugs to be prescribed together to help with pain and discomfort.

How Long Will The Pain Last?

The pain and discomfort you experience after bariatric surgery can last as long as a few weeks; although, you will notice a significant decrease in pain after the first couple weeks. It’s important that you get a lot of rest and avoid any type of strenuous physical activity.

Follow All Recommendations From Your Bariatric Surgeon

It’s important that, as you recover, you follow all recommendations from your doctor pertaining to diet and activity level. This will help you with the healing process and allow you to make the transition into your new life and body. Follow every instruction to the letter, and never hesitate to call your bariatric surgeon should you have questions.

For more information on bariatric surgeries, such as the Gastric Sleeve surgery, and how they can help transform your life, contact Weight Zen today using the below form, and ask to schedule a consultation with us. We look forward to working with you and discussing your treatment options.

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