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How painful is gastric sleeve post-op?



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I have my operation at the end of next month & am reading horror stories about the post-operative pain from a gastric sleeve surgery. Can any post-ops share their experience of what the pain feels like, how bad it is & how they dealt with it, please?

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pain is all across the board, but most people don't have much (if any) pain with these surgeries. Plus they'll send you home with pain meds, so if you're one of the people who experiences pain, you'll have meds for it.

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Pain meds made everything totally fine!

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I had practically no pain, the only discomfort for a few days was the gas pain from the surgery (when they insufflate your belly so they have room to work), mostly in my shoulders and back which is common.

My incisions didn't really hurt. I took the prescribed percoset for a few days and then stopped before I even finished the bottle because I didn't need it. I think I took it a few times a day for maybe 2 days, 3 at the most, then at night to help go to sleep for another day or two and then I stopped.

I was up and walking within a few hours after surgery with no pain, just a bit groggy.

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We all mange pain differently & our bodies react differently to the surgery so you can’t really say you will have this much pain. I didn’t have much at all. I was on opioids for three days in hospital & no pain at all except from my back but that’s another story. On the fourth day I only took one of the opioids I was sent home with in the morning & took an over the counter pain med on day 5 but didn’t take anything else.

Some say they struggle to get up & down & find it uncomfortable to sleep in a bed for a while. That wasn’t an issue for me & I even could sleep on my side. How much your muscles were pushed & pulled during the surgery will influence this & how much your tummy might pull on your wounds. Some say they find binders helpful.

I also didn’t have any gas pain which some struggle with but things like heating pads, walking, gas X, etc. can help with that. (It usually lasts about week.)

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Posted (edited)

Hi! I am a nurse, in the hospital I work I did care for surgical Sleeve and RNY patients. I would say the most common description of the pain I have been told is “gas pain” which is alleviated by walking and with pain medicine. Of all the surgical patients I’ve cared for I’ve found Bariatric patients to be the most motivated to move after surgery and the pain is uncomfortable but not intolerable (I’ve not had a bariatric patient in tears from their pain if that helps you feel less anxious!).

I used to be one of those people who saw bariatric surgery as “the easy way” until I cared for bariatric patients. Then I learned it is so much more than a surgery and it leads to life changes that improve quality of life.

Edited by Manda32830

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Thank you for the replies! It’s good to read from people who have actually had the surgery. I’ve been putting this surgery off for two years because of the nerves & was scared after reading Reddit posts. This forum has alleviated my fear. 😊

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I just had surgery 9 days ago. The pain is intense when you wake up but they give you pain medication before surgery and after to make you comfortable. I immediately felt relief. Of course you have to be on them for a couple days but you should be fine. I walked to the bathroom immediately after I woke up from surgery. The following day I walked in the hospital, your just sore from everything and tired from the anesthesia. I personally felt it was exhausting to talk too much. Just take it slow.

Sent from my SM-A326U1 using BariatricPal mobile app

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My VSG was August 3rd. The first 24 hours post-op were mildly painful, but I was given pain medication that managed the pain satisfactorily. After discharge, the pain was minor, and quite tolerable. I only needed one of the pills they sent me home with. Beyond that, some minor discomfort, but nothing I would describe as pain. The most important thing I discovered very early on, was that my body would let me know when my activity was too much. So, I listened to my body and when enough was enough, I stopped what I was doing and rested.

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So i was prescribed Hydrocodone in liquid form a nice big bottle. throughout my post op i only ever took it once. There is pain but its manageable. most severe pain is from the gas inside your chest which pain killers can do nothing with that. Just have to keep on walking and moving to get that air to go away. Getting in and out of a chair and bed can be painful so having a cane helps a ton or better someone else to help you get up and back down.

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Thanks, guys. I’ve had a recommendation of peppermint tea from another forum user & thought I would share that with you all. Sounds like the pain is there but manageable with meds so I’m feeling less anxious about the surgery date approaching.

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I'm 7 weeks post op today, so happily losing weight with pain a distant memory. However, my recollection is that my worst pain was horrible back muscle spasms as I woke up from anesthesia. This lasted for a few hours. Nurses told me I was on the surgical "board" for quite a long while due to complications elsewhere and I believe it. I struggle to lay on any sort of flat surface due to my "curves." Just doing the dexa scan was torture and I was deep breathing the whole time just to get through it. The tech felt sorry for me it was so hard for me to get up afterwards. Told her hopefully the 6 month post op scan will be much better since my butt will be so much smaller!

Anyway, while inpatient they gave me tordol IV for the pain which has always been my favorite for incisional pain - but you can only have so many doses. They sent me home with hydrocodone which I took very little of.

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I had very little pain post op. I woke up on pain medicine in the hospital and was feeling so good I asked them to wean me off of it. They put me on Tylenol instead. I was fine with that. I have heard stories of those who had a great deal of pain and others like me that had very little.

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11 minutes ago, ShoppGirl said:

I had very little pain post op. I woke up on pain medicine in the hospital and was feeling so good I asked them to wean me off of it. They put me on Tylenol instead. I was fine with that. I have heard stories of those who had a great deal of pain and others like me that had very little.

Seems like it’s one or the other & there’s no way of knowing until you go in. Eek!

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When I had my vsg, I took Tylenol powder packs when I got home for a day, it went very smooth. I did have gas pains so when I went for my revision to RNY this past August, I remembered to chew on some mylanta mini tabs too. No gas pains, and was even smoother.

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