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Posted (edited)

My wife had her RNY in 2019, I remember her pain was so intense that even clearing her throat would hurt her abdomen. Doing my research on how to minimize this type of discomfort beside taking your pain meds post surgery one can also have some relief by using a pillow or a brace to help you support the abdomen. Has anyone had experience with this and did it work for you? Any suggestion on a particular brand? And thank you in advance for all the replies this is a wonderful online community I am grateful for this forum it has really giving me hope and help me manage my questions and navigate thru my anxiety.

Edited by EsojLabina

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It’s really an individual thing cause we all react & heal differently to surgery. (I also think some surgeons may be more gentle than others.) I didn’t use or need a binder & had no problems sleeping - on my side or twisted half on my tummy from day one. I had more abdominal discomfort after my gall removal - like pulled muscles. But it was only noticeable when I was specifically using those muscles like as I got up or down. I just supported the area with my hand. Once I was standing or sitting there was no pain.

Good luck with your surgery.

PS - Oh yes, this forum is helpful & supportive. Always learning something here.

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I think one thing to take into consideration is we all carry our weight differently. A lot of mine was in my abdomen. As soon as my nurse saw me use my hands to support my abd to get up she got me an abd binder. It made such a difference. I only used it for a couple of weeks and then didn't need it anymore. Funny thing is, I saved it thinking I would need it after plastic surgery. Well, I forgot I wasn't going to be the same size! After my Tummy Tuck I needed a size XS binder, the one after my WLS was an XL! I did purchase one from a medical supply store to alternate with the one I got in the hospital because I had to wear a binder for a month while my drains were in after plastics. After the drains came outI could wear my compression garment. So, it isn't really required, but does make life a little easier. Good luck.

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I never had one for my RNY, but then I never had much pain, either. Pain is pretty individual and is really all across the board...some people have it, some have almost none. Hopefully you'll be one of the latter!

I did have one after I had plastic surgery, though (now THAT was painful - at least for me). The hospital gave me a binder - so you can always just ask them.....

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6 hours ago, Lynnlovesthebeach said:

I think one thing to take into consideration is we all carry our weight differently. A lot of mine was in my abdomen. As soon as my nurse saw me use my hands to support my abd to get up she got me an abd binder. It made such a difference. I only used it for a couple of weeks and then didn't need it anymore. Funny thing is, I saved it thinking I would need it after plastic surgery. Well, I forgot I wasn't going to be the same size! After my Tummy Tuck I needed a size XS binder, the one after my WLS was an XL! I did purchase one from a medical supply store to alternate with the one I got in the hospital because I had to wear a binder for a month while my drains were in after plastics. After the drains came outI could wear my compression garment. So, it isn't really required, but does make life a little easier. Good luck.

@Lynnlovesthebeach for sure, I will definitely buy one thank you for sharing

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5 hours ago, catwoman7 said:

I never had one for my RNY, but then I never had much pain, either. Pain is pretty individual and is really all across the board...some people have it, some have almost none. Hopefully you'll be one of the latter!

I did have one after I had plastic surgery, though (now THAT was painful - at least for me). The hospital gave me a binder - so you can always just ask them.....

@catwoman7 I really appreciate the support. Is really good to know that I can ask at the hospital. I did not get much pain from my gallbladder surgery but I know this surgery is completely different if I decide to go with the RNY. Thank very much for your reply

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13 hours ago, Arabesque said:

It’s really an individual thing cause we all react & heal differently to surgery. (I also think some surgeons may be more gentle than others.) I didn’t use or need a binder & had no problems sleeping - on my side or twisted half on my tummy from day one. I had more abdominal discomfort after my gall removal - like pulled muscles. But it was only noticeable when I was specifically using those muscles like as I got up or down. I just supported the area with my hand. Once I was standing or sitting there was no pain.

Good luck with your surgery.

PS - Oh yes, this forum is helpful & supportive. Always learning something here.

@Arabesque thank you so much for the great vibes.

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I asked my surgeon about these binders and he specifically told me NOT to use one. He said it’s important to keep using your muscles and that the pain is a very necessary indicator of your body’s boundaries during healing.

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5 hours ago, Summermoose said:

I asked my surgeon about these binders and he specifically told me NOT to use one. He said it’s important to keep using your muscles and that the pain is a very necessary indicator of your body’s boundaries during healing.

I'm not sure where you are from but we have an opioid crisis in the US. Doctors are using different techniques to reduce opioid use and reduce pain, including nerve blocks that last about 4 days. Requiring a patient to experience pain is never necessary and does not do anything to indicate healing! I've been in the medical field for over 40 yrs and have seen binders used many times for abs surgery, especially cesarean sections. If something as simple as a binder provides the support you need to move around, go for it. I'm talking about light support not compression garments, that's a completely different thing.

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I agree that no one should feel pain & there are different ways of managing the level of pain someone may be experiencing. But I don’t think @Summermoose surgeon was saying pain helps healing. Rather that feeling pain like on movement (versus continuous pain) can indicate you’re doing too much & are risking damage which would impede healing. Well I hope that’s what they meant. 🙂

There’s pain & there’s pain & we all have different pain thresholds. Personally, I delayed taking my opiate meds when I got home after my sleeve surgery & my gall removal to assess how much pain I was actually experiencing & if I really needed to continue with opioids to manage it. In both cases I didn’t need the opioids any longer & an over the counter pain med was enough - one dose a day for a day or two & then none at all. Any discomfort I felt didn’t warrant pain meds - just being more careful. 🙂

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1 hour ago, Arabesque said:

I agree that no one should feel pain & there are different ways of managing the level of pain someone may be experiencing. But I don’t think @Summermoose surgeon was saying pain helps healing. Rather that feeling pain like on movement (versus continuous pain) can indicate you’re doing too much & are risking damage which would impede healing. Well I hope that’s what they meant. 🙂

There’s pain & there’s pain & we all have different pain thresholds. Personally, I delayed taking my opiate meds when I got home after my sleeve surgery & my gall removal to assess how much pain I was actually experiencing & if I really needed to continue with opioids to manage it. In both cases I didn’t need the opioids any longer & an over the counter pain med was enough - one dose a day for a day or two & then none at all. Any discomfort I felt didn’t warrant pain meds - just being more careful. 🙂

@Arabesque I’ve been sober for over 5 years and I was hesitant to manage my pain with opioids. However, my discomfort was so great after the gallbladder surgery that I needed to take them only as prescribed.

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Certainly not against prescribed opioids if you need them. Have a friend whose spine is crumbling away & wouldn't be able to stand up without hers. But can understand you being concerned if you need to be prescribed them again for your sleeve surgery because of your sobriety. And we can’t take nsaids which were always my go to for pain. My sleeve was less painful than my gall removal though. Not sure why as same surgeon - so fingers crossed yours will be too.

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On 08/29/2021 at 05:39, Arabesque said:



I agree that no one should feel pain & there are different ways of managing the level of pain someone may be experiencing. But I don’t think @Summermoose surgeon was saying pain helps healing. Rather that feeling pain like on movement (versus continuous pain) can indicate you’re doing too much & are risking damage which would impede healing. Well I hope that’s what they meant. 🙂




There’s pain & there’s pain & we all have different pain thresholds. Personally, I delayed taking my opiate meds when I got home after my sleeve surgery & my gall removal to assess how much pain I was actually experiencing & if I really needed to continue with opioids to manage it. In both cases I didn’t need the opioids any longer & an over the counter pain med was enough - one dose a day for a day or two & then none at all. Any discomfort I felt didn’t warrant pain meds - just being more careful. 🙂


That is exactly what he meant! His opinion is that the pain stops you from unintentionally harming yourself and that if you avoid it it’ll heal faster because you’re not forcing anything. Idk if how I said it makes sense 😅
I am located in Belgium and I haven’t heard anything about a lot of issues with opioids here.. That does make sense as to why the surgeons would recommend different things for aftercare! Thanks for the insight 😁

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2 hours ago, Summermoose said:

That is exactly what he meant! His opinion is that the pain stops you from unintentionally harming yourself and that if you avoid it it’ll heal faster because you’re not forcing anything. Idk if how I said it makes sense 😅
I am located in Belgium and I haven’t heard anything about a lot of issues with opioids here.. That does make sense as to why the surgeons would recommend different things for aftercare! Thanks for the insight 😁

Sorry if my response sounded a little harsh, that really wasn't my intent. I'm a nurse and I just found it odd that a doctor would suggest having pain enhances healing when we, as nurses, work so hard to to relieve pain. Sorry if I misunderstood.

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4 hours ago, EsojLabina said:

@Arabesque I’ve been sober for over 5 years and I was hesitant to manage my pain with opioids. However, my discomfort was so great after the gallbladder surgery that I needed to take them only as prescribed.

Ask your doctor if he uses the Bupivacaine Block. Anesthesia does it in your nerves in both sides of your abd. It lasts for 4 days. By that time you should be past the stage of needing opioids. I had absolutely no pain with my RNY-GB. I've also had that block with both my plastic surgeries and have not required narcotics. I have no issue with narcotics though and certainly have them available if needed. Congratulations on your sobriety. Good luck with your WLS. Now back to original question-the binder is a simple little garment that frees up your hands so you don't have to hug a pillow or use your hands to support your tender post operative abdomen-use it if necessary. I found it helpful.

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