Medications to Avoid After Gastric Sleeve Surgery
Here are a list of drugs to avoid after the gastric sleeve procedure. Please review the entire list of drugs to avoid. This list is NOT meant to be comprehensive, your physician will inform you on which medications and drugs to discontinue before and after gastric sleeve surgery.
If you have any questions regarding this list, please consult with your patient coordinator.
First Week After Surgery
Avoid all NSAIDs. NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) can cause gastric ulcers. Bariatric patients are susceptible to marginal ulcers (ulcers at the gastrointestinal suture line/staple line). Marginal ulcers are a frequent complication of surgical treatment; they are difficult to control medically and often require further surgery. Bleeding ulcers can be fatal.
What is safe for pain? Tylenol, and non-NSAID pain relievers prescribed by physicians.
Note: Many anti-arthritic medications like Celebrex and Meloxicam are NSAIDs.
Can I take NSAIDS after the first week? Occasional use of NSAIDs for pain (less than 3x per month) is fine. Chronic use increases a Bariatric patient’s risk of developing a gastric ulcer. NSAIDS are an ulcer risk in all people. In Bariatric patients, the risk is higher because of the smaller stomach. The ratio of NSAID going into the stomach to the surface area of the stomach is higher. Aspirin for cardio health and chronic use of medications for arthritis are best to discontinue permanently.
First two weeks after surgery:
Discontinue Estrogen-Containing Medications. These medications are often prescribed for birth control or hormone replacement therapy (HRT). Avoid hormone medications that contain Estrogen or Estrogen analogs. These medications are known to increase a person’s risk of a DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis-blood clot in the leg). Surgery in general also increases a person’s danger of developing a DVT. Patients who have surgery and take these hormones are doubling their risk of developing a DVT. If a DVT dislodges from the leg, it can travel through the body and become lodged in the brain (STROKE) or lung (DEATH).
What about after two weeks? The risk will return to the same risk of taking the medication previously without the increased risk caused by post-op surgery status.
Avoid all Nicotine Products. Nicotine increases a patient’s risk of developing a DVT after surgery. Avoid all nicotine products (gum, patches, cigarettes, etc.).
What about after two weeks? Toxins from smoking can adhere to saliva and mucous membranes where it can travel to the stomach and promote gastric ulcer formation. Smoking is best to discontinue permanently. After two weeks, the risk of DVT from nicotine products returns to the same as before having a surgical procedure.
Avoid all Steroids. These can lead to gastric ulcers, bleeding or perforation. Oral steroids delay healing in the stomach and impair the stomach lining’s ability to form the protective layer between the muscle wall and acid. If steroid use is unavoidable, it should be accompanied by a proton pump inhibitor (PPI) like Prilosec or Prevacid. Some antacids that do not provide adequate protection include Pepcid and Zantac.
What about after two weeks? Occasional steroid use is acceptable. Chronic steroid use is to be avoided permanently.
What about steroid injections? All steroids are to be discontinued for two weeks after surgery. After two weeks, steroid injections are acceptable.
Authored by MBC Surgeon Liaison
Guide to Gastric Sleeve Surgery: