I am scheduled for weight loss surgery and want to know if I’ll need to take medications after gastric sleeve? What about pain medications? Are opiates usually prescribed after surgery?
Also, are there any medications to avoid after gastric sleeve surgery? I take a daily aspirin tablet; are there concerns with taking a blood thinner after surgery?
Surgeon Response To: Medications After Gastric Sleeve
Congratulations on your upcoming Gastric Sleeve procedure!
Post operative pain management often times (but not always) includes the use of opiates. Alternative non-opiate analgesics may be substituted in certain cases provided they provide the required pain relief. Some form of post-operative pain relief will be required but may be as benign as acetaminophen (Tylenol) provided the procedure is done with minimal incisions and long acting local anesthetics are injected around the incisions at the conclusion of the procedure.
For most surgical procedures (including the gastric sleeve), you should not use any medications that interfere with blood clotting around the time of the procedure. This includes aspirin.
In specific situations and depending on a given patient's specific medical condition, the use of blood thinners and/or antiplatelet medications cannot safely be interrupted for the planned surgery. In these situations, the risk of operative bleeding is higher but it may be medically necessary to accept that increased risk of operative bleeding. Usually, your surgeon will give you specific instructions regarding which medicines to discontinue (and when) before the scheduled date of the surgical procedure.
With aspirin, the anti-platelet effect increasing the risk of operative bleeding lasts for up to a week. Consequently, under your surgeon's guidance, you should likely discontinue taking your daily aspirin at least a week prior to the procedure.
After the post operative recovery/healing phase, there shouldn't be any problem with you resuming your daily aspirin after the VG (unlike after the Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass in which case aspirin use is contraindicated due to the increased risk of ulcer formation.) I advise my patients to wait six weeks after their VG before resuming their daily aspirin to allow for adequate healing of the lining of the stomach.
However, I would consult with your bariatric surgeon and follow her/his specific instructions!
John M. Rabkin, M.D.
(click here for Dr. Rabkin's full bio & contact info)
DISCLAIMER: This educational advice is based on the depth of your question and the details provided. The above should never replace the advice of your local physicians as they have the ability to evaluate you in person.