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After Gastric Sleeve: Is Taking NSAIDs (Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs) Okay?

By Fernando Garcia on September 21, 2014

A collection of medications seen stacked togetherWhen patients come to visit Dr. Fernando Garcia in Tijuana, they receive detailed information on what to expect before, during, and after bariatric surgery. By knowing about the treatment process in detail, patients are able to have better experiences after undergoing highly effective bariatric procedures such as gastric sleeve surgery.

One issue that comes up a lot during consultations is the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) after surgery. Let's cover this right now and see why some patients should consider gastric sleeve surgery rather than other weight loss surgery procedures.

About NSAIDs (Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs)

NSAIDs are medications that are used to relieve pain, reduce fever, and fight inflammation in patients. They are some of the most common pain relievers available in the world. NSAIDs are often used to address the following kinds of conditions:

  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Migraines and severe headaches
  • Lower back pain
  • Tennis elbow
  • Menstrual cramps
  • Pain after surgery

Examples of NSAIDs (Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs)

Some examples of over-the-counter NSAIDs include:

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

There are also many different NSAIDs that are available by prescription, including:

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

Can I take NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) after bariatric surgery?

After undergoing gastric bypass surgery or gastric banding surgery, taking NSAIDs is prohibited. These bypass and banding patients must avoid taking NSAIDs to prevent major health issues from occurring.

However, gastric sleeve patients are generally still allowed take NSAIDs so long as their surgeons and their physician feel that it does not pose a health risk of any kind.

Why are NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) prohibited for surgeries other than gastric sleeve?

When people take NSAIDs, it inhibits the stomach's ability to create protective mucous that protects the stomach lining from gastric acid. The increased exposure of the stomach tissue to acid means a greater likelihood of discomfort, ulcers, stomach bleeding, and potential perforation of the stomach lining.

Gastric bypass patients are especially at risk of these issues if they take NSAIDs after surgery. The same holds true for many gastric banding patients. Because of this added risk, bariatric surgeons recommend that their gastric bypass and banding patients avoid NSAIDs after surgery is performed and instead look into alternative medications and pain relievers (i.e., acetaminophen/Tylenol).

Some Issues to Note with NSAIDs (Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs) and Gastric Sleeve

While many patients who undergo gastric sleeve are still able to take NSAIDs, it's important that they get the okay from their surgeon and physician. Sometimes a reduced dosage of NSAIDs only when necessary may be recommended just to avoid potential issues with ulcers and stomach perforation.

Yet Another Advantage to Gastric Sleeve Surgery

We've written at length about the many benefits of gastric sleeve surgery, as well as how gastric sleeve compares to gastric bypass and how gastric sleeve compares to gastric banding. This is just another advantage to consider for sleeve gastrectomy surgery.

Prospective weight loss surgery patients who expect to take NSAIDs in the future to address arthritis and other kinds of pain would benefit most from undergoing sleeve gastrectomy. The gastric sleeve offers additional flexibility for patients in so many ways, which is why we feel it's a great option for surgical weight loss.

Learn More About Advanced Weight Loss Surgery

If you are interested in undergoing gastric sleeve surgery or any other surgical option for safe and rapid weight loss, we encourage you to contact our bariatric surgery center today. When you meet with Dr. Garcia, you will be able to learn more about all of your options for advanced weight loss procedures.

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MessageOur Staff

Dr. Garcia is awesome. I chose bariatrics vertical sleeve surgery. I've lost 85 lbs. since January 2017. No complications... I regret not doing this years ago. Debbie M.

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