Pain and Gastric Bypass Time Off Work

Question Below Submitted By:  

Alexandra (a patient from Denver, Colorado)

To whom it may concern,

I have questions on pain and gastric bypass time off work. I’ve been sober 5 years from an opiate addiction and I’ve heard that vicodin and percocet are commonly prescribed for gastric bypass pain. I won’t take an opiate for pain. Worst case scenario – how bad is the pain after gastric bypass?

Will I have to take more time off work after my bypass if I’m not on pain meds? Will I be able to manage my pain by just alternating tylenol and Ibuprofen? I have a BMI of 36 and severe sleep apnea. My PCP said she would refer me to a weight loss surgeon. I’m about ready to make the jump into this, but I’m scared of the pain after my gastric bypass. Any thoughts to ease my anxieties?

Thanks,
Alexandra

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Expert Responses to the Question Above

Surgeon response to "Pain and Gastric Bypass Time Off Work"

by: Dr. John Rabkin, M.D., Pacific Laparoscopy

Alexandra,

Gastric Bypass (RYGB) procedures (and most Weight Loss Surgical procedures) today are most commonly performed laparoscopically. This entails making several small (approx. 1 cm) incisions which are significantly less painful than when the procedures formerly were performed using an 'open' technique where a long incision is made.

Although there will be some discomfort from these incisions, many patients are able to tolerate the discomfort using non-narcotic analgesics. Parenteral (intravenous) non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs) such as Ketorolac and/or parenteral acetaminophen are commonly used for analgesic relief during the immediate post-operative recovery while still hospitalized.

After discharge home, oral analgesic agents without narcotics can be sufficient for many patients. Furthermore, I wouldn't anticipate the need for additional time off from work due to your avoidance of post-operative narcotics: in fact, I'd predict the opposite to be the case!

John M. Rabkin, M.D.
Pacific Laparoscopy

(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.

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