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Gastric Bypass Surgery & Opioids

Oct 23, 2017 6:17 PM

I had gastric bypass surgery 10 yrs ago and was diagnosed with my first pain condition (fibromyalgia). It's common knowledge that people who've had this surgery don't absorb pills in the same way a patient who hasn't had the surgery.

We don't absorb the medicine fully and the affects don't last. In order to control my pain, I have to take 1.5 to double the amount prescribed to feel any relief and the relief only lasts approximately for two hours, yet, I'm supposed to take them every 4-6 hours. I'm also on the fentanyl transdermal patch, which was recently decreased from 75 mcg to 25 mcg. And sometimes the Oxycodone doesn't show up on the drug test even though I know I took it.

My question is, does anyone know of studies I could present to my pain doctor? Or any advice on how to effectively communicate this with him?

With the opioid epidemic, it's getting increasingly difficult to ask for what I need. At this point, I feel like I'll never get the relief I need.

Oct 23, 2017 6:19 PM

I forgot to mention they are trying to reduce my pain medications by over half. Not just me, all of their patients.

Oct 23, 2017 11:47 PM

I’m in the same boat as you. I had RNY gastric bypass in December of last year. My back and shoulder pain was about the biggest reason I had the surgery. I had hoped that with losing weight I wouldn’t hit as bad. I’ve been going to a pain clinic for 5 years prior to my surgery and now 150 lighter, I’m in more pain than I was before surgery. It’s nearly constant now, I used to have about one good day a week where I wasn’t having to watch the clock waiting to take my next dose...over the last 11 months since surgery I haven’t had but maybe 1 good day a month, if that. I take oxycodone, ext. release morphine, Valium, & tizanidine. I have to chew the oxy and the Valium for them to work, but I hardly take the morphine because it’s extended release and who knows how much of it is actually being absorbed. It’s kinda gross, but chewing the ones you can does help some. I was recently diagnosed with fibromyalgia and my dr wants to wean me off of the opiods because they make fibro pain worse, but I get feeling so much pain I have to take it, as so far there is nothing else they’ve given me as an option. I’ve read on here that there are non prescription things you can try but unfortunately they are illegal in the state of Tennessee. I did just find out that I can get CBD oil at a local health food store (No THC) but the other thing I just read about today on here and it listed the states where it’s legal and illegal and of course my state was one of the very few where it’s illegal. I can’t remember the name of it right now though...😕

Oct 24, 2017 5:38 AM

There is a genetic test that of course I cannot think of the name now. What this test dies is PROVE you process opiods faster that other people. What this does is protect the amount the doctor is giving you. Do some researsh. Medicare covers is so that means everyone else should. Worse case senerio I think it is 200.00 I can do that to prove my point. Your doctor should be able to get it authorized without any issues you just need to be the squeeky wheel.

Oct 28, 2017 12:02 AM

I truly appreciate your advice. I have asked my (multiple) doctors for such testing. To no avail. They say there's no way to test, which I know is untrue. As you suggested, further research is needed.

I recorded my gastric bypass surgeon during our last (recent) appointment, stating, I don't absorb medication normally and pain management should prescribe accordingly. Pain management already knows this, yet chooses to ignore it.

For now, I'll have to keep fighting. Even though I feel alone and defeated. It's disgraceful that doctors and the like, design and structure the relationship between them and the patient to be one of power and handicap; literally and figuratively. In every aspect.

Please forgive my rant. Frustrating times.

Again, thank you.

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