Tag: <span>Pain</span>

I hurt my knee about 10 days ago while out walking.

Before I had my bariatric surgery, my first instinct would have been to treat the injury it with an anti-inflammatory painkiller such as ibuprofen.

However I was told by my bariatric team that after having a gastric bypass I’m not allowed to take any NSAIDs, at all, for the rest of my life!

What’s the deal with anti-inflammatory drugs after bariatric surgery?

NSAIDs (or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) are widely used to relive pain, reduce inflammation, and to bring down a high temperature. Some are prescription medicines and others are available over the counter.

Common types of NSAIDs are:

  • Ibuprofen
  • Aspirin
  • Naproxen
  • Diclofenac
  • Celecoxib
  • Mefanamic Acid
  • Etoricoxib
  • Indometacin

In bariatric patients these painkillers are meant to cause damage to the stomach. In particular they are said to cause stomach ulcers, and that’s the reason why they need to be avoided.

The reduced stomach size with all types of gastric surgery presents a major problem with the use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Administration of NSAIDs in these patients carries an increased risk for serious damage to the stomach pouch, which may result in gastric ulcers.


So how can I treat aches and pains?

Well it seems that Paracetamol is safe to take – although it only helps manage the pain, rather than helping to reduce the inflammation.

I also checked with my doctor, and it seems that transdermal pain relief (that’s patches and gels) are a somewhat safer form of NSAIDs to take for bariatric patients. Apparently some of the drug can still get into the blood stream, but it’s much less that when taking pills orally, so the risk of stomach ulcers is (thankfully) much reduced!

Topical NSAIDs may have potential advantages when compared with oral NSAIDs. Several studies demonstrate that, perhaps because of low systemic concentrations, topical NSAIDs have a reduced risk of upper GI complications such as gastric and peptic ulcers


So for now, on my doctor’s advice, I’m able to use a pea-sized blob of Diclofenac based gel on my knee to help relieve the pain. And that seems to be doing the trick.

Medication Surgery

I thought I’d talk a little about the pain I experienced after surgery.

For the first two days, when I was still in hospital, I was in a lot of pain – particularly on my left hand side, which was the side (my surgeon explained to me) where most of the “work” was done during my bypass. Apparently there was a deep stitch in my muscle on that side, and that was the cause of a lot of the pain.

During these two days I couldn’t get enough pain medication inside of me. I must have been asking the nurses for drugs quite regularly, as they kept saying they couldn’t give me anything else for an hour or two. At the time I was rating the pain at about 7 or 8 out of ten.

Upon discharge from hospital I had a presription for Solpadeine Max, which is a combination of paracetemol and codeine. And for the next two days, I took three doses of them a day. During that time the rating for pain was more like 2 or 3 out of ten.

And then after that, I didn’t feel like I needed any more pain relief, so I stopped taking the drugs.

In total I only had pain for 4 days. After that I still had some discomfort when bending over to trying to lie on my side, but even that has continued to diminish over time, so that today – 12 days on – I don’t feel any discomfort at all.

A few days ago – on day 9 after surgery – I also got to take off the dressing on my surgical wounds, and they’re all fine and healing well. There were 5 incisions for the lapracopic surgery, but they’re all quite small – varying from 1cm to 2cm long.

The wounds aren’t sentitive at all, and don’t hurt if I touch them.

All in all, I was surprised at how quickly the pain went. I was expecting to be taking the pain medication for a couple of weeks.

My Story Surgery

It’s five days since my gastric bypass surgery, and over the last few days I’ve faced quite a few challenges – some expected and some unexpected – which I thought I’d share:

My new full time job is drinking water

I cannot physically get enough water into myself. They say that I should be aiming to drink at least 2 litres of water a day, but I can only take small sips. Pre-surgery I could always drink half a litre of water in one go. But my tiny new stomach means that it now takes a whole 4 hours to drink one litre – or 8 hours to drink two. That means I have to constantly drink throughout the day – and that actually takes a high degree of concentration and effort.

I have sooooo much wind

I seem to need to burp after every single sip of water. I don’t know if there’s something wrong about the way that I drink, but I always seem to swallow some air along with the water, and that air has to come back out. My stomach isn’t big enough to store a lot of air, so the burping (along with the drinking) is near constant. And not to put too fine a point on it, but the farting is pretty bad too.

I struggle with really low energy

At the moment I’m only managing to consume around 500 calories a day through my liquid diet, and about 40g of protein. With tiny portions for each meal – which at the moment is mostly porridge, scrambled egg, or soup – I’m only getting around 150 calories in a meal. And so when it comes to doing any activity, such as walking the dog, I get really tired quite quickly. I was out earlier in the park and had to stop for a rest on the bench after about 20 minutes. I’m hoping that if I can get a bit more protein in my diet that might help, but I’m finding that difficult to do with a liquid diet, and when (like me) you don’t have much imagination about what to cook.

The pain got better quicker than expected.

For the first 24 hours after surgery every slightest movement was agony. I was constantly asking my nurses for more and more pain medication. But only five days later and the pain around my laproscopic wounds today is actually not too bad. In fact, I haven’t needed to take any pain medication today, because I don’t feel I need it. There’s still some discomfort when I bend over or if I try to lie on my side in bed, but not enough to need pain relief.

My Story Surgery

A little under two weeks ago I had a molar tooth surgically extracted, and I’ve been as sick as a dog ever since.

What now follows is a self-indulgent wallowing blog post about pain, drugs, and bowel movements (or the lack thereof). If you prefer not to read my tales of woe, please feel free to skip this post – which doesn’t really have much to do with weight loss.

My Story Slimming World