Medications That Can Harm Your Pouch

October 15, 2019


I often get asked which medications are harmful to your pouch after gastric bypass. The class of drugs that are most harmful are NSAIDs (Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs). There are many NSAIDs out there including:

  • Aspirin
  • Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin)
  • Naproxen (Aleve)
  • Rofecoxib (Celebrex)
  • And more…

The common side effect is GI upset, but more importantly, they can cause ulcers (known as marginal ulcers), especially in gastric bypass patients, that result in bleeding or perforation. This can even cause reoperation.

Corticosteroids, while necessary for some patients, can also slow healing and increase the risk of infection. These may also increase the risk of ulcers.

Some medications also come with weight gain as a possible side effect. Be sure to speak to your prescribing doctor and our office when you are provided a new prescription medication.

Other Things to Avoid with your New Pouch

Caffeine – especially in the first 90 days after surgery, you should avoid caffeine entirely. Caffeine can irritate your stomach and cause discomfort. Even after 90 days, caffeine should be consumed in moderation as it is very acidic and a diuretic.

Carbonation – carbonated beverages are very problematic for your pouch. Not only can they cause significant pain and discomfort, but over the longer-term they can stretch your pouch, even leading to failure of the procedure. All bariatric patients will have to avoid carbonation for the rest of their lives.

Alcohol – with your smaller stomach, it is possible that the effects of alcohol will be enhanced. This is especially true after gastric bypass. Refrain from alcohol until you know how it affects your new GI system. Even then, alcohol is high in sugar and ultimately, it’s a diet buster. Try to avoid alcohol as much as possible.

What Medications You May Continue to Take

Most of the medications you have been taking before surgery will be perfectly fine afterwards. You may have to crush pills or open caplets to ensure the full dose of medicine is absorbed. Your surgeon will advise you on what to do. Extended release tablets will likely need to be replaced, since they pass through your stomach more quickly after surgery.

Your primary care physician and our team will work together to help adjust your medication regimen over the course of the first couple years after surgery. As you being to lose weight you may find that many of the common diseases associated with morbid obesity will improve. You may be able to reduce high blood pressure, cholesterol and diabetes medication soon after surgery. However, you should only modify your medications with your surgeon’s approval.

You will also be taking supplementation in the form of a multi-vitamin as well as some specific vitamins if we find that your body is deficient. The most common supplements are Vitamin D3, Iron, Calcium, Vitamin B12 and more. Remember that some vitamins and minerals work together to nourish the body. For example, calcium is not absorbed without Vitamin D – so please be sure to take all your supplements as directed. We will be checking your blood periodically at follow-up appointments and adjusting as necessary.

Following your post-op instructions is the best way to ensure a smooth and swift recovery. We look forward to helping you achieve your goals, both before and long after surgery!

~ Dr. Muhammad Feteiha

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Advanced Surgical Associates is one of the first exclusively surgical groups practicing in Union County New Jersey. And that is just the first of many firsts for ASA. For over 40 years, we have pioneered breakthrough surgical patient care in North Jersey in both general and weight loss surgery. ASA also offers gastric bypass, gastric sleeve and gastric banding to those suffering from obesity in New Jersey.
© 2019, Advanced Surgical Associates, Bariatric & General Surgery, Springfield, New Jersey